What Exactly is LED and Why is it Important?

LEDBy definition, an is actually a light emitting diode. This means that it is a small electronic semiconductor that actually converts energy from electricity into light of the visible spectrum. Colors, as well as power efficiency and brightness in an LED are determined by the actual chemical compound used inside the LED. If you look at a standard light bulb, you will see a small filament inside. This filament is the cause of high electrical use and when it goes bad, the light is useless. LED lights don’t have that filament, and therefore are longer lasting and take less electricity.

The advantages of the LED lights are fairly obvious. In an attempt to ‘go green’, everyone is looking for the best solution to lower the electrical need and yet bring quality, longevity and color. The LED light actually uses less electricity than those newer curled compact fluorescent electric bulbs and the best part of all is that they don’t contain mercury like the standard CFL bulbs (another ‘green’ plus for LED).

LED lights typically have a life span of around 50,000 to 100,000 hours. (That’s around five to eleven years). Luckily, LED lights are becoming a lot more mainstream, so the original higher cost is being reduced quite a bit.

The source of the light is actually a chemical process. The semiconductor material is stimulated and the movement is what causes the light emission. Because it involves the semiconductor, the LED light also doesn’t get hot, like standard bulbs. In the case of the LED light, the semiconductor is made of materials that vary in their ability to conduct electricity. The electron interaction between the specially engineered semiconductor material and the diode causes the side effect that is light. Additional chemicals are added to produce the specific color. The original LED design was poorly constructed for light emission, but the newer, more efficient engineering has made a lot of changes that focus the photon production so that the light (and colors) are brighter and more sharp. The LED light is also housed in plastic with the ability to concentrate light in a designated direction.

In standard light bulbs, most of the energy is going into the process of creating the light itself and the ‘heat’ that we feel is wasted energy. The LED light doesn’t waste that energy, but instead streamlines it to be the light, not just in creating the light. Another advantage to the LED light is not only the size itself, but that it can fit more easily into the newer electrical circuitry. The original designs of the LED light allowed heat sensitivity, so that the flaw that was created gave birth to what was once known as LED-burnout. If external temperatures were too high, the LED circuitry had a meltdown. New designs and materials have addressed this problem.

The importance of the LED light is fairly obvious: less energy use, better technology, more brilliant colors and hues. However, as we move forward in high tech needs, the LED light is taking on a more important role in every day life. From LED televisions to electronic scoreboards, the LED light is taking the world by storm.


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