Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lighting is one of the most common forms of electrical lighting in the world. It is used in everything from handheld electronic gadgets to massive lights that can be seen from great distances. There are three distinct levels of LED power: miniature, mid-range and high power. LED lighting has many advantages over traditional lighting systems but also has its disadvantages, too.
LED lights are tiny bulbs that give off intense light. They stand alone as single lights but often are clustered together to provide a brighter source. The higher the LED power, the brighter the light given off as well. The lights were invented in the 1960s and initially provided only red light but have evolved into the full color spectrum.
The smallest and least bright type of LED power are miniature LED lights. This power level usually consists of a single LED bulb and is not intended to provide light by which to see. Instead, the miniature LED functions normally as a display light, such as indicating when something is turned on. For example, electronic devices ranging from a coffee pot to a television often let the user know the device is being used with an illuminated LED light.
The next step up in power are mid-range LED bulbs. These lights often provide enough light for the human eye to see but generally are not used to provide lighting. Instead, they are used as warnings and to provide dim visibility when needed. Some examples of mid-range LED lighting would be automobile tail lights, emergency lighting on airplanes and dashboard lighting in an automobile.
High power lights are the brightest on the LED power scale. A single high powered LED light can provide as much light as a flashlight bulb but in a fraction of the size. These can be clustered together to replace halogen headlights in automobiles and have been utilized to act as warning beacons atop large buildings.
The illumination power that these small bulbs provide is a great advantage, but the bulbs are far from perfect and often have problems. The biggest problem is the heat they produce because it can be much greater than traditional bulbs and can melt wiring and casings if not properly installed. Another drawback is that LED lights have a larger price tag than traditional lights.