What are LEDs?
LED stands for light-emitting diode. LEDs are small light sources that become
illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material. LEDs
can be integrated into all sorts of products to provide white and colored light,
such as flashlights, light bulbs, and integrated light fixtures.
How are LED lighting products different from other lighting, like fluorescent or incandescent?
LEDs emit light in a specific direction, whereas an incandescent or fluorescent
bulb emits light — and heat — in all directions. For direct lighting applications
LED lighting uses both light and energy more efficiently. For example, an incandescent
or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb inside of a recessed can will waste about half
of the light that it produces, while a recessed down light with LEDs only produces
light where it's needed — in the room below. LED lighting, when designed well,
can be more efficient, durable, versatile and longer lasting than incandescent
and fluorescents lighting.
What are the basic parts of LED lighting?
LED lighting starts with a tiny chip (most commonly about one square millimeter)
comprised of layers of semi-conducting material. LED packages may contain just
one chip or multiple chips, mounted on heat-conducting material called a heat sink
and usually enclosed in a lens. The resulting device, typically around 7 to 9 mm
on a side, can be used separately or in arrays. LED devices are mounted on a circuit
board, which can be programmed to include lighting controls such as dimming, light
sensing and pre-set timing. The circuit board is mounted on another heat sink to
manage the heat from all the LEDs in the array. The system is then encased in a
lighting fixture, architectural structure, or even a "light bulb" package.