Not so very long ago, everyone used incandescent light bulbs in their homes and thought nothing of it. Now, you'll find that many activists, hardware stores, and environmental groups advertise and advocate for the use of LED lighting. If you haven't been keeping up to date with the latest technological developments, you may be wondering what an LED is and how it is different from your regular incandescent bulbs, especially if you're currently trying to select your holiday lighting. This article should help.
Normal incandescent light bulbs work by forcing so much electricity through a small wire that it heats up and glows, giving off light. Much of the energy that goes into an incandescent bulb is lost to heat, so they are not very efficient. Home owners who use these kind of bulbs spend a lot more on their electricity bill. LEDs, which stand for light emitting diodes, function by exposing a particular semi-conducting compound to electricity, which causes it to become excited and give off certain wavelengths of light.
LEDs are much more efficient because they require only a small amount of electricity to induce the reaction in the semiconductor. Homes with LED lighting pay only a fraction of the cost they would pay for lighting which used incandescent bulbs, which is why they are becoming so popular. However, since LEDs aren't able to be very large or to give off large amounts of light, they are most useful in replacing small bulbs, such as the ones in Christmas lights.
LEDs have also been used in clusters to replace the incandescent bulbs in flashlights and light lights. They are even used in some computer and television displays, where tiny LEDs can be trained to light up in various colors and patterns in order to make a picture. LED TVs are more expensive than LCD displays, though, so you will have to take that into consideration when furnishing your new home.
LEDs can be made to light up in different colors in two different ways. The first way is simply to put a colored cover over a white LED, like many Christmas light manufacturers do. However if the LED itself must emit a certain wavelength of light, the semiconductor inside must be made of a certain compound. Aluminum Gallium Arsenide, for example, lights up in red, while Zinc Selenide lights up blue.