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What is an LED Watch

Find the answer to the frequently asked LED Lights related question: What is an LED Watch?
While you might not know the difference between an LED and LCD television, there's one LED electronic device that you're doubtless quite familiar with: the LED watch. It's also one of the few LED devices that almost everyone has owned at one time or another. The LED watch has proven itself a classic ever since its introduction 40 years ago.

Definition of an LED Watch

The LED watch is one of the styles that we normally call a "digital" watch. Rather than using hands and painted-on numbers to tell the time, the LED watch uses tiny light nodes ("light emitting diodes," or "LEDs") to generate light. Whatever the time is, the diodes light up to present that time. For instance, if it's 5:01, then the diodes for the 5, 0 and 1 will light up, telling the time. Even though the LED watch has been around since 1970, it still has the look and feel of something more cutting-edge than the old fashioned rotating-hands watch.

Early History

Hamilton Watch Company developed the first LED watch in 1970. This first digital watch had a red light display and was priced at $2,100 (partly because of its 18 carat gold band and partly because all high-tech devices start off priced high, until demand allows costs to be cut). Since then, watch companies have managed to hold onto the LED watch's reputation for being cutting-edge, by introducing innovative features such as calculators, stopwatches, language translators, even tiny TV sets.

Advantages of the LED Watch

There are plenty of advantages that continue to make the LED watch popular. First, it's undeniable that it's easier to tell the time when it's spelled out for you in digits. Beyond that, though, LED watches are more environmentally friendly and they tend to have a longer life span than other watch display modes. Because it has no moving parts, it's actually easier to maintain the LED watch. On top of all of that, as ironic as it might seem, LED watches are now some of the most affordable ones available.

One other consideration: Many people have historically felt that the watch with hands and gears are more fashionable. While it's true that the practical, utilitarian watches now mostly come as digital watches, it's also true that there are scores of very classy, very fashionable LED watches. Of course, much of the watch's "fashionability" will come from the band that's on it. However, even the faces of some LED watches help make a striking fashion statement, thanks to the new funky colors and layouts that you can buy.

The Verdict on LED Watches

It's hard to argue against the LED watch. It's the most convenient way available to tell the time quickly. Beyond that, LED watches always look very cutting edge and "with the times." They can either be extremely affordable or extremely fashionable--and in some cases, both. For that reason, everyone should buy at least one or even several LED watches for their wardrobe.