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How Does An LED Work? Why Is LED Better?

I’ve Always Wanted To Know:
How does an LED work?


LED’s or light-emitting diodes are very small semiconductor diodes which have a unique property of glowing when electricity is passed through them. When an electron travels through a LED’s p-n junction the electron gives off a little bit of energy as a photon of light. The wavelength (or color if it’s in the visible spectrum for humans) is determined by the material used in the semiconductor and modern LED’s come in a wide variety of colors.

So what makes them so great? Energy usage and long life. LED’s use only a tiny fraction of the power of a traditional lightbulb and even when compared to a CFL bulb use significantly less power. LED’s also have very long lifetimes and can last many times longer than a CFL bulb.

What’s around your house with LED’s? Pretty much everything! A remote control uses infrared LED’s. Newer computer monitors and LED TV’s use LED’s to light the screen. LED’s are in most flashlights and glowing lights on electronics. Even new high efficiency light bulbs feature LED lighting. If you have an outdoor light that’s always on it’s a great idea to look at a LED lightbulb as you can save a lot of money in both energy and bulb replacement costs.