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What is a Light Emitting Diode?

The following is an Article about (Light Emitting Diode (LED)).
"What is a light emitting diode" is a question that may occur to you as you go electronics shopping. Nearly every electronic device these days features a light emitting diode, something that you probably know better as an LED. While you know that the LED display panels and LED televisions are nice and that if given a choice you always want LED, you probably don’t know what LED really means.

A light emitting diode or LED is simply a semiconductor light source. When power is introduced to the diode, electrons fill holes in the device to releases photon energy. LED’s are generally less than 1 mm in size and are arranged in patterns and masses to created lighted displays such as those you see on cell phones, digital clocks and even microwave displays.

As with a normal diode, the LED is made of a chip of semiconducting material. Current flows from the P- side (anode) to the N-side (cathode) and because this is a diode, the current can only flow one way. To create a different light spectrum, different voltages of current are used. The shorter the wavelength, the more variety of colors available.

Because LEDs use less energy, have a longer life span, are smaller, and are more reliable and instant they are becoming quite popular for household lighting and many other uses around the home. You will find LEDs in automotive indicators, traffic signals and airplanes.

The compact size of LEDs makes it possible for tiny text and video display screens. The light produced by a light emitting diode is called electroluminescence and has been in development and use since 1907. The LEDs such as the ones in microwave displays or clock radios are operated at low currents and low temperatures, leading them to last for many years. Wear and tear, higher current, and heat can shorten the lifespan of an LED.

The cost of LEDs was initially fairly high, but these days the usage of light emitting diodes is so wide spread that they are many times less expensive than other lighting methods. If by chance the LED is more expensive initially, the life and durability will more than cover the cost difference. One of the nicest benefits of LED lighting for homes is the instant on and off. Unlike fluorescent lights which have to warm up and often flicker as soon as the switch is turned on LED lights are on. The electron and photon converting process is nearly instantaneous.

It is important to understand which devices in your home have LEDs so that when a light display goes on the blink, or shuts off entirely, you have an idea of what could be wrong. We’ve all seen the cell phone or digital clock that is missing a vital line of light. Sadly, many of us have probably discarded a device like this, when in reality the LED may simply need to be replaced or tightened.

Now that you know what light emitting diodes are, you will be better equipped to ask questions and shop smart when you are choosing electronic devices or even household lighting sources.