How It Works

What is an LED?

LED stands for light-emitting diode. Basically, instead of emitting light from a heated filament (as in an incandescent bulb) or a gas (as in a CFL), an SSL (solid-state light) emits light from a piece of solid matter. LED light bulbs can be used in all sorts of places to provide white and colored light, such as flashlights, common light fixtures, integrated light fixtures and more.

 

How does it work?

Stated very simply, an LED produces light when electrons move around within its semiconductor structure.

A “semiconductor” is a component made of positively and negatively charged particles. The positive layer has small openings and the negative layer has free electrons floating around in it. When an electric charge strikes the semiconductor, the electrons move from the negative to the positive layer, emitting light as they go.

 

Basic Parts

LED lighting starts with a tiny chip comprised of layers of semi-conducting material. The chip, or multiple chips, is mounted on heat-conducting material (heat sink) and usually enclosed in a lens. This allows it to have lighting controls such as dimming, light sensing and pre-set timing. The whole system is then encased in a lighting fixture, architectural structure, or even a light bulb package.

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