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How an LED Works ?

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LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are now found on almost every electronic devices. LEDs have been popular for decades. However, today they are cheaper, brighter and come in more colors than ever before. While the incandescent light bulb has been the light of choice for at least 100 years, many believe the LED will soon replace it. Here is how LED light work.

LED Light Bulb Basics

An LED is what's called a "solid-state lighting" technology, or SSL. Basically, instead of emitting light from a vacuum (as in an incandescent bulb) or a gas (as in a CFL), an SSL emits light from a piece of solid matter. In the case of a traditional LED, that piece of matter is a semiconductor.

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

A semiconductor is made of a positively charged and a negatively charged component. The positive layer has "holes" -- openings for electrons; the negative layer has free electrons floating around in it. When an electric charge strikes the semiconductor, it activates the flow of electrons from the negative to the positive layer. Those excited electrons emit light as they flow into the positively charged holes.

LED Lighting Advantages

LEDs are very similar to traditional light bulbs, except that they fit directly into an electrical circuit. LEDs do not have a filament, so they generally last a long time without burning out. Because there is no filament, LEDs do not get hot and require far less electric power than traditional light bulbs due to their efficiency. In fact, electrons that run through the semiconductor material that LEDs are connected to illuminate LEDs.
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