LEDs have been around for decades. The cost of LED production has decreased significantly, resulting in their integration into many everyday items such as flashlights, car brake lights, and home lighting. They’re small and bright, but what exactly are LEDs and why have they become so popular?
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. Your standard LED, when it is connected to a circuit, allows electricity to pass through a special diode (semiconductor) which emits energy in the form of light. The housing around the diode is designed so that the light is reflected out in one direction. Many LEDs can be placed together in a series to increase the amount of light that is produced.
LEDs have several advantages over incandescent lighting. One important advantage is that LEDs do not have a filament. A filament is a part of a conventional incandescent that heats up and produces light. Over time, filaments become so stressed by the heat that they break or “burn out.”
Another great LED advantage is efficiency. Much of the energy used in incandescent bulbs is wasted in the form of heat. LEDs produce very little heat, which means that a high percentage of the energy used is going towards producing light.
LED’s still cost a bit more than the conventional incandescent bulb, but the investment should quickly pay for itself over time. An LED alternative is likely to last much longer and use much less energy in the process.