LED - The Most Efficient Illumination Technology  

by Pool Builders on 09-20-2014 in Articles

LED is tiny light source that twinkles in many applications that surround you. Probably you have seen it as lighting your Christmas tree, displaying numeric's in digital clock, flashlight of your Smartphone or lighting your luxurious swimming pool. This easy to use and commonly available light source although looks usual, but has a great physics behind its radiance.
Knowing the science behind this cool light will surely result in stepping-up your knowledge when you again held a LED device in your hand. So let's explore it:

What is LED?
LED is actually an acronym of €Light Emitting Diode', which uses €Solid State Lighting' technology to emit monochromatic light.
For those who are novice to physics, €Diode' is actually a two terminal electronic component made from semiconductor material. This solid matter inside the diode when energize, starts to emit light and so the technology is called solid state lighting.

History behind LED
The revolution of LED light is originated by the discovery of phenomenon termed as €Electroluminescence' in 1907. Technically it's a basic working principle of LED. Infrared is observed as first light emitted from diode. The first color visible through LED was €Red' and was developed by Nick Holonyak in 1962. Thus, he is also considered €Father of LED€. From then till today, the discovery of various semiconductors material and invention of several technology makes LED emits number of spectrum light through it.

What is LED light technology?
LED light technology is completely based up on the semiconductors electronic theory. So to understand it completely, one requires an in-depth knowledge of semiconductor physics. In a simpler way it can be explained as-
There are basically two types of semiconductor material in term of energy band i.e., indirect band gap like silicon and direct band gap like gallium. LED is basically made with combination of direct band gap material. These material junctions when energized with voltage source releases energy in the form of photon i.e., packet of light. Different color from LED depends upon the band gap energy of the material.

What is led light bulbs made of?
LED is the smallest form of light source available and constructed to a diameter of around 0.25 inch. Various combination of semiconductor material like gallium-arsenide, gallium-nitride, and indium-gallium-nitride are used to construct its solid state assembly. These materials emit light of different wavelength that makes a variety of color emission possible through LED.
The chips formed by these materials are then encapsulated in transparent or color molded plastic shells that give it final commercial touch.

Color emitting theory of LED
What makes LED light so much popular is, its availability in every possible pleasing color. You can have any color of your choice to enlighten your surroundings. Now, what's the science behind it? As we already know; color emission will be depend upon the wavelength of light emitted by LED's semiconductor material. So material and technique get differ to obtain color of choice. Some examples for you are:
White light: There are two ways to obtain a white light; either coating ultra violet chip with phosphor or by RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) system in which light from multiple LED is mixed to results in a white light. The color quality produce by white LED making it best alternative for traditional bulbs and CFL lights.
Blue light: To obtain cool a blue light from LED wide band gap semiconductor such as GaN and InGaN are used. By varying the fraction of these material ranges of blue shade from violet to amber can be emitted.
Red, Blue, Green, Amber and Yellow are commonly available colors in LED; however, every color within visible spectrum range can be obtained by several such manufacturing processes.

Types of LED light
LED is manufactured in a variety of shape and sizes that are enclosed in plastic casing that indicates the color of its light. Some time transparent casing is used to radiate light efficiently. The different types of LED used are:
Miniature, which is a very small size LED used as indicator and shaped as round or rectangular.
Mid-range, which is medium power LED handle higher current and used in light panels or emergency lighting.
High-power, which is high power density LED driven by higher current and require heat sink to operate. It can use as flashlight or powerful lamp.

Benefits of LED
If you look back towards each lighting technology evolved, you find LED lighting as most energy efficient, eco-friendly and pleasant illuminating technology. Its benefit includes:

- Long life and energy efficient: These lighting don't usually burn out and continuously serve for long period. Also, it converts 90% of input energy into light that makes it most efficient option.

- Eco-friendly and durable: LED doesn't emit any toxic material and this helps to keep environment green. LED is made up of sturdy component, which is resistant to shock and impact and thus, withstand under toughest condition.

- Flexible and adaptable: LED can be molded into any interesting shape and radiates the color that suits to your mood. These lights behave idol under any temper condition.

- Instant lighting and low voltage: LED is designed to operate in low voltage and brighten up immediately when power is ON.

- Focused and zero UV emission: LED lights are highly focused towards desired application and near zero ultra-violet emission. This makes them beneficial to illuminate sensitive object in gallery or museum.

- LED has a lifetime of more than 25,000 hours. If you use LED fixture continuously 8h/day then it will serve you around 20 years.

- 90% efficient. Your 80% of electricity bill is just to heat the room and rest to light it up. Using LED will reduce your bill from $100 to amazingly $20.

- According to one report, in 2012, about 49 million of LED lights are installed in US that result in saving of energy cost about $675 million in one year.

- LED is the safest way to illuminate the wet application like underwater lighting, swimming pool lighting and aquarium lighting.

- LED bright much efficiently and save your electricity if you opt to light it by solar panel.

LED lighting technology is continuously advancing in terms of manufacturing techniques. It is designed in several forms to lighten thousands of application. Scientists are developing organic and quantum dot LED's which will be surely results in reduction of cost and improvement in performance of LED technology. So next time when you hold a LED, you are surely familiar with the science behind its illumination.

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