LED Lamps & Light Bulbs
Light Emitting Diodes, or LEDs for short, are miniscule electronic devices. They are typically built from silicon or germanium. The manner in which they are built allows electricity to flow in one direction only. When the diode resists current flow, rather than converting the energy to heat, it produces a bright light. By changing the impurity type and percentage, the color of the light can be altered. It is even possible for an LED to "sweep" through a range of colors or the entire visible light spectrum. LEDs are also capable of producing light with a wavelength outside the visible range of the human eye.
LED lamps and bulbs can be comprised of one LED or many. They come in a number of form factors, such as LED PAR38, GU10, PAR20, PAR30, MR16 and T8. They can be mounted in light fixtures that are powered by DC or AC current. However, in the event that AC is used, a transformer and rectifier must be installed to convert the current to a usable form. LEDs can range from the size of a large flood light to an organic LED, or OLED, that is roughly the size of a speck of dust.
LEDs are far more energy efficient than older incandescent or florescent bulbs and by comparison, emit extremely little heat, consume less power, do not flicker and produce a softer light with less glare.
Applications for LED lighting include, but are not limited to:
- Illumination of digital displays
- Illumination of outdoor areas
- Indoor lighting
- Flashlights and emergency signal lights
- Large and small signage
- Signage and advertisement, as an economical replacement for neon
- Night vision devices such as FLIR
- Remote controls utilizing the IRDA protocol
- Status indicators on consumer and business electronics