An LED is a semiconductor light source that produces light when triggered by an electronic current. A semiconductor is a solid substance whose ability to conduct electric current ranges between that of most metals and an insulator.

How LED Lighting Differs from Other Sources of Light

LED lighting differs from other lighting sources, such as incandescent light bulbs, in several ways. Incandescent bulbs have filaments that glow, producing both light and heat when electricity flows through them. On the other hand, LEDs’ energy is released in the form of electrons (tiny particles that carry electricity in solids) that flow to create photons (visible light). Notably, LED lights emit very little heat.

Unlike other forms of lighting, like incandescent bulbs, which emit light and heat in all directions, a single LED chip emits light in a specific direction, eliminating the need for reflectors and diffusers, which can trap the light. LEDs also differ from the light bulbs we have known for many years in that they last much longer.

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Types of LED Lights

Different kinds of LED lights have been created over the years. Let’s look at some of them below:

Miniature LEDs: These are extremely small and come in a single color or shape. You will see this LED in remote controls, calculators, and mobile phones used as indicators.

Dimmable LEDs: Work by creating a dimming effect. You will find this type of light used for creating a unique setting, such as in bedrooms, where someone may need to create a romantic setting or the cabin of a plane seeking to replicate different times of the day.

High-Power LEDs: Deliver higher levels of brightness as a result of several improvements that have been made to LED technology.

Lighting LEDs: These are the light bulbs found in the home and often take the shape of the traditional Edison light bulb that has been in use for many years.

Flashing LEDs: These are used in places where the idea is to attract attention, such as in storefront signage, other kinds of displays at exhibitions, and automobile indicators and lighting.

LED Lighting Technical Details

The technical specifications of LEDs deliver crucial information that can help users use LEDs as efficiently as possible and ensure they last as long as they are designed to. Here are some of the basic technical concepts about LEDs that you need to know:

Lumens Instead of Watts

Instead of using the watts that we are used to when determining how bright a light source will be, LED uses lumens. A high lumen value denotes a higher brightness from the light. Generally, 1-watt in an incandescent lamp corresponds to about 9 lumens in an LED light.

LED Color Rendering Index

According to the publication devoted to all things LED,, one of the crucial specifications when using LED lighting is the color rendering index (CRI). The CRI gives an idea of how accurately the colors of the objects in a room will be produced by the color radiating from an LED lamp compared to a natural light source.

To understand CRI, you may need to start by noting that a tungsten halogen lamp has a CRI of around 100. reports that “blue chips plus phosphors are now achieving CRI of approximately 80.” It also notes that even though higher CRI is possible, it may come at the expense of efficiency. Anything below a CRI of 80 will start to lose accuracy in depicting the color of objects in a given space.

LED Lights Uses

Look at the advertisements from many automobile manufacturers and makers of electronic devices today, and you will see that LED lighting is used as a draw card. Because of the advantages presented by LED lighting, its application can now be found in almost every sphere of human life.

LEDs are used for backlighting devices like modern televisions and smartphones. Televisions are generally perceived to save power. Their widespread use in cellphones and other mobile devices seeks to preserve battery life. Also, because of their lower power consumption, LEDs are becoming common in areas like road signage and billboards. In the automobile industry, clear visibility is leading to the growing adoption of LEDs. However, there have been some complaints that LED lighting on roads could be dangerous when it becomes too bright.

LED Lighting Products’ Lifetime reports that LEDs “typically do not ‘burn out’ or fail. Instead, they experience ‘lumen depreciation,’ wherein the brightness of the LED dims slowly over time” (Source).

How Long Do LED Bulbs Last?

LEDs can last two to four times as long as other traditional bulbs. The lifespan measurement is usually expressed as B50-L70, which can be interpreted as the time when 50% of the LED bulbs in ideal conditions will have 70% of their rated output.

Going by that, B50-L70 of such LEDs ends somewhere between 10,000-50,000 hours. However, it’s important to acknowledge that factors such as material defects, electrical overstress, and heat stress may cause a large discrepancy in LEDs’ life expectancy.