What is an LED and how it is constructed?

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are semiconductors that emit light when electric current passes through them which is analogous to solar cells. LED should not be confused with lead which is an element (or a material) with its own properties. The major components of an LED light and its symbol are shown in Figure 1.

Light Emitting Diode or LED light, its components and its symbol
Figure 1: Light Emitting Diode or LED light, its components and its symbol.

The process of manufacturing or constructing an LED can be summarized as follows:

 1. Epitaxy: A thin layer of semiconductor material is created on a substrate, generally sapphire or silicon carbide, such as Gallium Nitride (GaN) or Indium Gallium Nitride (InGaN). The process is known as epitaxy.

 2. Doping: The semiconductor material is then doped with impurities to create regions with different electrical properties. This process is known as doping. The doped regions depending upon the impurity will form the p-type (holes) and n-type regions (electrons) of the LED.

3. Patterning: A metal layer is deposited on top of the semiconductor the employed material and then it is patterned in order to create the electrical contacts for the LED so that it can be connected to the external circuit.

4. Etching: Etching refers to the process of removing material. The semiconductor material is then etched (removed) to create a mesa structure so that it can be able to restrict the light emission to a small area.

5. Bonding: After the process of etching, the LED chip is joined to a package to provide mechanical support and electrical connections.

6. Testing: The LED is usually tested afterward to ensure that it meets the prerequisite specifications for color, brightness, and efficiency.

7. Packaging: In the final step, the LED is encapsulated in a cover that can protect the LED from environmental factors and helps to direct the light output. The complete process of manufacturing LEDs might vary depending on the type of manufacturer’s process and equipment used in the process.

Types of LEDs

There are several types of LED lights available, each designed for specific applications. Here are some common types of LED lights:

1. LED bulbs: These are the usual LED lights found in houses, workplaces, and other inside places. These lights come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors and can take the place of old-fashioned light bulbs like incandescent, fluorescent, or halogen bulbs.

2. LED strips: These are bendable lights that can be used to make a room look nice or to draw attention to specific things, like shelves or cabinets. They are frequently used for decorating homes, making signs for businesses, and in car lights.

3. LED downlights: These are lights that are put up in ceilings to give light to the whole room or to help you with tasks. People usually use them inside their houses, workplaces, and other buildings.

4. LED tubes: These are straight lights that use less energy than older, curved lights. They are often used in stores and factories instead of the old kind.

5. LED spotlights: These are special lights that can point in a certain direction and show off certain things or places. They are commonly used in shops, art halls, and exhibition centers.

6. LED floodlights: These are really bright (high-powered) lights that shine on big places outside, like sports fields, places to park cars, and big walls of buildings.

7. LED grow lights: These are specialized LED lights that are designed to promote plant growth and are commonly used in indoor gardening and commercial agriculture.

There are lots of different types of LED lights, and they are always getting better at using less energy, lasting longer, and being able to do more things.

Different Colors of LED lights

LED lights come in many colors depending upon the materials used to make them. These are the most popular colors of LED lights:

1. Red: This color of LED light is used a lot for displays, signs, and lights that show if something is on or off.

2. Green: This color is used a lot in traffic lights, signs for getting out of a building in case of an emergency, and other things that help keep people safe.

3. Blue: The blue lights that glow are often used in aquariums, for decoration and to make a relaxing atmosphere [1].

4. Yellow: Yellow LEDs are used in things like traffic lights, emergency vehicle lights, and signs that tell you to be careful.

5. Amber: Amber lights are often used in cars for turn signals and brake lights.

6. White: White LED lights come in different shades of white, from warm to cool. People often use them to light up their homes, offices, and indoor areas.

7. RGB (Red, Green, Blue): RGB LED lights can make many colors by mixing red, green, and blue light.

Other than the aforementioned colors, there are also special LED lights that make UV light for medicinal purposes and IR light for the applied use in the security and remote controls. power consumption of normal lights vs LED lights

Standard Lumens and power consumption of LED vs incandescent light bulb

Power consumption of different light bulbs

The brightness of LED lights can change a lot based on what kind of LED it is and how it’s being used. Lumens tell us how bright a light is. Lumens is an SI unit for luminous flux and lumens can be directly correlated to watts. Usually a 60 W incandescent tungsten light should have 700-750 lumens [2]. Some LEDs can be brighter than others even if they use the same amount of energy.

Some LED lights are brighter than others. A large one can produce several thousand lumens, while a small one may only produce a few lumens. A normal LED light bulb for your home is not as bright as one for an office. A home bulb usually gives off 800 to 1000 lumens of light, and an office bulb usually gives off 2000 to 3000. The brightness of an LED can be different depending on its manufacturer, its model, and other aspects. It’s important to check the product information to know how bright an LED light is.

LED lights use less energy than old-fashioned light bulbs and still give off the same amount of light. Here is a comparison of how much electricity LED lights use compared to regular lights.

1. Incandescent bulbs: Incandescent bulbs are the old-fashioned light bulbs that use a thin wire to produce light. They don’t work well because they use a lot of energy and most of it turns into heat instead of doing useful things. A 60-watt light bulb uses 60 watts and makes about 800 lumens of light.

2. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs): These bulbs use less energy than old-style bulbs and make light by passing gas through a special tube. A regular light bulb that uses 14 watts of power also gives out about 800 units of brightness, which is measured in lumens.

3. LED bulbs: These lights are very good at saving energy and use a special type of material to make light called a semiconductor. A regular 10-watt light bulb gives off 800 units of light and needs 10 units of power to do it. LED lights use less power than other types of light bulbs to make the same amount of light. This means they save both energy and money in the long run.

Lifespan of different light bulb technologies

LED lights last longer than regular light bulbs. LED lights don’t use a fragile or gas-filled wire to make light. Instead, they use a tougher computer chip that makes light better. A comparison of how long LED lights and regular lights last is provided below.

1. Incandescent bulbs: These bulbs can usually last for about 1,000 hours before they stop working.

2. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs): These light bulbs usually last for about 8,000 hours.

3. LED bulbs: These light bulbs can last for 25,000 to 50,000 hours, but it depends on how good the bulb is and how it’s used. However, the brightness of these bulbs can fade with time as is the case with the rest of the list presented here. LED lights can last much longer than regular light bulbs. They can last up to 50 times longer than old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, and up to 6 times longer than CFL bulbs. LED lights don’t need to be replaced as often. That’s good because it saves money and is better for the environment. LED lights last a long time so they are good for lights that are hard to get to or used a lot, like outdoor lights or lights in high ceilings.

New innovations in LEDs and rivaling technologies

New innovations in LED lights

LED lights are getting better all the time with new ways to make them work even better. Here are some new and cool things made with LED lights:

1. Smart lighting: Smart LED light bulbs can be easily controlled from a phone app. That means that people can change the brightness, color temperature, or even the color of their light even when they’re not home. Smart lights can work with other smart home gadgets like voice assistants to make your life easier and give you more control.

2. Human-centric lighting: Human-centric lighting systems that imitate natural sunlight patterns are made to help our bodies follow its natural sleep-wake cycle. These systems change the color and brightness of lights during the day, making them bright and energizing in the morning and warm and calming at night.

3. Li-Fi: Li-Fi is a new way to send information without wires. It uses light waves from LED lights instead of radio waves. This technology can give faster and safer wireless communication than regular Wi-Fi.

4. OLED lighting: Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting is a new type of technology that uses thin, bendable sheets of natural materials to make light. OLED lights are very good because they show colors very well, use energy well, and look nice and modern.

5. Laser lighting: Laser lighting is a new way to make bright light using small lasers. It uses less energy than other lights. Laser lights point in one direction and can be used for things like car headlights and movie projectors. These are only some new ways to use LED lights. As LED lights get better, they will become even more efficient, perform better, and have more features.

Emerging technologies rivaling LEDs

LED lights are used a lot nowadays, but there are new types of lights that might become more popular soon. These are newer lights that might be as good as LED lights someday.

1. OLED lighting: OLED lighting is a kind of technology that uses thin and flexible sheets made of organic materials to create light. OLED lights are great because they have bright, accurate colors, they use energy wisely, and they look stylish and modern. They are new and not fully developed yet. They cost more than LED lights right now, but they have special qualities that could make them a popular choice later on.

2. Laser lighting: Laser lighting is a way of making really bright light using small lasers. It’s also good for saving energy. Laser lights point in one direction and can be used for car lights and slideshows. Big lighting companies are working on making laser lights, but you can’t buy them everywhere yet.

3. Quantum dot lighting: Quantum dot lighting uses really small things called quantum dots to make light. Quantum dots make colors look really good and bright, and we can make them show lots of different colors. Right now, they cost more than LED lights, but their special things could make them liked more in the future. New lighting technologies are better than LED lights, but they are not ready to be used by a lot of people because they are still being worked on and are expensive. As technology gets better and the cost of making them goes down, these lights might compete with LED lights in the future.


[1]. Light-emitting_diode

[2]. Lumen_(unit)

Further readings

If you liked this post, you might be interested in reading the following posts.

Leave a Reply

We encourage your valuable feedback.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *