LED, or Light Emitting Diodes, is semiconductor devices that produce visible light when an electrical current is passed through them. LEDs are a type of Solid State Lighting (SSL), with high durability that is very suitable for light sources. LED lighting uses Light Emitting Diodes to produce light very efficiently. An electrical current passed through semiconductor material illuminates the tiny light sources that are called LEDs. The heat produced is absorbed into a heat sink.
How is LED lighting different than other light sources, such as incandescent and CFL?
LED lighting differs from incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) in several ways. LED lighting can be more efficient, durable, versatile and longer lasting.
LEDs are now being incorporated into bulbs and fixtures for general lighting applications. Some LED bulb solutions may look like familiar light bulbs and can better match the performance of traditional light bulbs. Some LED light fixtures may have LEDs built–in as a permanent light source. LEDs are “directional” light sources which means they emit light in a specific direction, unlike incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs which emit light — and heat — in all directions. For this reason, LED lighting is able to use light and energy more efficiently in many applications.
LEDs and Heat
Because LED lighting doesn’t radiate heat the way an incandescent or halogen light bulb does, the heat produced from the power going into the product must be drawn away from the LEDs. This is usually done with a heat sink, which is a passive device that absorbs the heat produced and dissipates it into the surrounding environment. LED products use a variety of unique heat sink designs and configurations to manage heat. This keeps LEDs from overheating and burning out. This Thermal Management is probably the single most important factor in the successful performance of an LED product over its lifetime because the higher the temperature at which the LEDs are operated, the more quickly the light will degrade, and the shorter the useful life will be.