Definition

LED bulbs use light-emitting diodes to produce light. The components used to create light from LED bulbs are encased in a solid material, which is why LED bulbs are often referred to as using solid-state technology. This essentially means that LEDs last longer than other lighting solutions that don't use solid-state technology, such as fluorescents, halogens and incandescent bulbs. Solid-state light sources are more resistant to shocks or vibrations thus making them more durable.

History

LED technology has existed for more than 40 years, with the first ever visible-spectrum LED invented some time in 1962 by one Nick Holonyak Jr., a consulting scientist for General Electric. Although LEDs were already discovered, it took a while for them to be used as a practical light source. One major reason for this was cost—one diode cost a staggering 200 USD to produce. Colour was also another reason for the slow progress of LEDs, as they could only generate red light during the time. Lighting output was yet another problem, as one diode could only produce as a small light on its own.

The usage of LEDs is still an ongoing process as the first ever mass-installation of LED bulbs just happened a few years back and the technology behind the bulbs is still under constant development.

Manner of Operation

In order to use LEDs for practical lighting purposes, a white light must be produced. Since LEDs naturally produce non-white colours, experts have used one out of two effective methods to create white light from LEDs.

The first method is called an RGB system, which can produce white light by mixing light outputs from blue, green, and right diodes that are in close proximity to each other. The other method is incorporating phosphor-based LEDs. This involves coating the LED with phosphor in order to shift the colour it generates into the white spectrum – this process is also used to create various hues from fluorescent bulbs.

Applications

As with all technologies undergoing rapid development, the applications for LED lighting are constantly changing. From LCD displays, signs and indicators, flashlights, nightlights, recessed lighting and spotlights, LEDs have seen a wide variety of applications. It's safe to say though that LEDs have long crossed the threshold of general purpose lighting, with the promise of added testing and development guaranteed to only improve their performance.

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