LED is short for Light-Emitting Diode, a type of diode that transforms electrical energy to light. In other words, it is a light source that produces light whenever current passes through it. LEDs have two electrodes: cathode and anode. Electricity flows in via the anode and it goes out via the cathode. LEDs are semiconductors and are often made from selenium or silicon. They conduct electricity only in certain conditions. LEDs are sensitive to light intensities and specific voltages.
Light-emitting diodes have similar physical attributes to small light bulbs, except that they do not heat up too much. LEDs do not require a lot of power for lighting up, so they use energy more efficiently. They are ideal for low-power devices and applications. However, there are high-intensity LEDs that are ideal for high-power devices like car headlights and spotlights.
Types of LED
These are the different types of LEDs:
- HBLEDs or High-brightness LEDs – These inorganic LEDs generate high light output than the traditional LEDs. They are also highly efficient and last longer. HBLEDs are used in various lighting applications.
- Traditional inorganic LEDs – Produced using inorganic materials, these LEDs are traditional diodes that have been in use for years. They are characterized by the tiny LED lights used as panel indicators. Some examples of inorganic LEDs include surface mount LEDs, alphanumeric LED displays, and flashing LEDs.
- Organic LEDs – These light-emitting diodes are made of organic materials. These materials are produced in sheets and they distribute light at a particular area.
Semiconducting Materials in LEDs
There are two semiconducting materials working in a light-emitting diode: the N-type and the P-type. These “astringent materials” are doped, so their electrical properties are already altered.
The first LED color was red, but there are now different varieties you can choose from, including white and blue, which are more expensive than the other colors because they are more costly to manufacture. There are also bi-color and tri-color LEDs.