White light for illumination can be produced from LEDs either by combining red, green and blue emitting chips in one lamp, or by using phosphors to down-convert the emission of short wavelength emitting InGaN LEDs. Both concepts will be critically reviewed, and simulations compared with experimental evaluations. As expected, each solution has advantages, but also drawbacks, which are weighted by the specifics of the applications. The overall picture strongly depends on the efficiencies of the single color chips, the temperature coefficients of all involved materials, and the wanted light output per lamp.© (2000) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.