What are LED Light Bulbs?

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  • Written By: Michael Giuffre
  • Edited By: R. Kayne
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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The term LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. Modern electronics relies heavily upon these light bulbs. For instance, LEDs transmit information from remote controls, are used in traffic lights, digital LED clocks, flashlights, and to form images on jumbo television screens.

LED light bulbs are miniature bulbs that do not use filaments to produce light. Therefore, their life is much longer than that of a regular incandescent bulb, because there is no filament to burn out. Incandescent bulbs also tend to be much larger in size due to the filament, which must be housed in a vacuum inside the bulb. LED bulbs last as long as a standard transistor used in modern electronics, and are lit purely by the movement of electrons.

The simplicity and long life of the LED make its use very desirable for various technological applications. LED light bulbs are housed in a durable plastic rather than glass and perhaps most importantly, are much more efficient. In traditional incandescent bulbs, heat is generated when activating the filament to produce light. This causes energy to be wasted on the production of heat rather than the production of light. In order to produce the same amount of light as an LED, an incandescent bulb would have to work even harder. LEDs save electricity and lower electric bills.


Despite this positive scenario, incandescent bulbs are tailored to home lighting and will continue to be used until affordable, household LED light bulbs are available. At present, LED light bulbs are expensive and usually only recommended for low-light applications such as porch lights or subdued corner-lighting. (An exception are chandelier bulbs, which can produce a brighter glow because there are so many lights working together.) As semiconductor prices have decreased steadily over the past fewyears, the time for affordable, brighter LED bulbs is approaching. Prices will be offset in the long run by savings in electricity and the lifetime of the bulbs, which is reportedly 30,000-50,000 hours on average.

Until LED light bulbs become more prevalent in the house, they will continue to light watches, traffic signals, and jumbo television screens at the local ballpark.


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Discuss this Article

Post 5

I 100 percent agree with your article. Until you can buy an LED for around $1, like this one, then they will never become the standard.

Post 4

I have an incandescent torch and a LED torch and the LED torch is so much brighter and it's one tenth of the size.

Post 3

While not economically viable for the whole house, some applications benefit from improved safety. Closets or reading lights are simply too dangerously hot around bedding or clothing or paper. Halogens are not allowed in parts of Europe and closets in NYC can't have incandescents.

I've melted a nearby alarm clock and burned my mattress from a reading light that fell over. Plus children can burn themselves, and I've had mercury-containing CFLs shatter around children too. In a few key locations, using LEDs is just safer and common sense. Led is safe


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