A relatively low-energy means of emitting light, light emitting diode (LED) technology is used in many electronic devices used frequently in the average home. LED is different from the standard light bulb seen in most homes because it uses an electrified semiconductive material to produce light instead of an electrified filament. A nearly omnipresent form of lighting, LED technology is used in computers, televisions, remote controls, and flashlights, as well as in signs, traffic lights, and architectural and stage lighting.
In an LED light, electrified energy causes the semiconductor contained inside the LED bulb to emit light. Used to produce blue or white light, nitride is one of the most common semiconductors applied in LED modules. LED technology is used in newer television sets, where it is a replacement for the cathode ray tube (CRT) lighting which was common in the past. In LED televisions, clusters of LED diodes are arranged into panels that are triggered to light and color the picture on the screen. Televisions lit with LED technology are more energy efficient, slimmer in profile, lighter weight, and more environmentally friendly in disposal than the old CRT televisions, but they are also more expensive.
Though the use of LED technology for simple lighting is more costly to set up than lighting with standard bulbs, LED technology offers a number of advantages. Because the tiny metal thread known as the filament is prone to heat weakening and breakage, LED bulbs are more durable and long-lasting than standard filament bulbs. They are less prone to breakage than fluorescent bulbs and they consume much less energy than either standard light bulbs or fluorescent bulbs.
LED diodes can be designed to have one color, or they can be designed to have several colors of light contained within one diode. The ability to change color using multi-colored LED diodes powers many high-tech LED screen like those used on large LED signs. The LED screen at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada, is among the largest true LED screens in the world. Though Las Vegas is well-known for its flashy lights and impressive LED signage, the screen, called Viva Vision, is significantly larger than any other LED panel in the city, extending about five football fields long and powered by approximately 12 million LED diode modules.
In addition to its applications in business and architectural design, LED technology can also be used for fun and entertainment. Countless inexpensive novelty LED items provide an array of interesting lighting for party favors. LED bulbs power many flashy toys, including glowing ice cubes, flashing jewelry, multicolored LED hair clips and scintillating belt buckles. Decorations lit by LED are often used to lend a high-tech futuristic look to an event or party.