the lighting of the future
June 11, 2007
Practically everyone has heard of the new LED bulbs that are coming out lately, but few know exactly what they are or what makes them different from other bulbs. In short, Light Emitting Diodes (LED) are bulbs without a filament, that are low in power consumption and have a long life span.
A Little History
In 1907, a British experimenter, H. J. Round, was the
first to report of a light-emitting solid-state diode. Unfortunately, this
discovery produced no practical use for many decades. In the 1970s LED indicator
lights started to become commercially available for use in appliances such as
TVs, radios, and telephones. Although these LEDs were bright enough to use as
indicators, they were not able to illuminate an area. As the technology started
to advance, the light output of LEDs increased, and have now become bright
enough to be used for illumination.
How Are LEDs Different From a Regular Incandescent Bulb?
As we mentioned above, unlike ordinary incandescent bulbs, LEDs do not have a
filament that will burn out, and they don't get especially hot. They are special
diodes that emit light when connected in a circuit. They are illuminated solely
by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material, and they last as long
as a standard transistor.
More About LEDs
LED light bulbs give off directional light, which means that the light goes
where the bulb is pointing. LEDs are closer to the color of daylight than
incandescent bulbs, with an excellent
"Color Rendering Index" of around 85. They are about 5 times more
florescent bulbs, and can last up to 10 times as long.