Light Emitting Diode (LED) Tutorial
As indicated by its name, the LED is a diode that emits light. A diode is a device that allows current to flow in only one direction. Almost any two conductive materials will form a diode when placed in contact with each other. When electricity is passed through the diode the atoms in one material (within the semiconductor chip) are excited to a higher energy level. The atoms in that first material have too much energy and need to release that energy. The energy is then released as the atoms shed electrons to the other material within the chip. During this energy release light is created. The color of the light from the LED is a function of the ingredients (materials) and recipes (processes) that make up the chip.
What are the advantages of LED lights?
LED lights have a variety of advantages over other light sources:
- High-levels of brightness and intensity
- Low-voltage and current requirements
- Low radiated heat
- High reliability (resistant to shock and vibration)
- No UV Rays
- Long source life
- Can be easily controlled and programmed
Why are LED lights becoming so popular?
Over the past decade, LED technology has advanced at light speed. In the past, lack of colors and the low intensity made LEDs useful only as indicator lights. As manufacturing methods and technology improved, the LED quickly found homes in more and more applications. These days, the LED is becoming a preferred light source for much more than simple indicators. In fact, today Philips illuminates the world's largest spherical building (Globen arena), the world's largest observation wheel (Singapore Flyer), and the world's tallest free-standing tower (CN Tower) with LED lights!.
LED light sources are also gaining popularity due to the growing energy conservation movement. According to the U.S. Department Energy, no other lighting technology offers as much potential to save energy and enhance the quality of our building environments.
Today is an exciting time for those working closely with LED lighting systems, which allow completely new uses of light.
Far surpassing the simple enclosure of LEDs on a circuit board, Philips excels in all the critical areas that are vital to high-performing LED lighting systems - from thermal management, binning and optics to high-efficiency LED drivers and advanced power components. We have also developed important proprietary technologies to reduce the cost and complexity of LED lighting control, operation and installation - in turn accelerating market adoption.
Though it's been shown to affect the way people live, work, and feel, light has long been considered an afterthought. Philips strives to change that notion, advancing LED lighting technology to create experiences, inspire new applications, and even mitigate strain on our world's resources.