Understanding the characteristics of LED.

LED lights are the most energy-efficient and rapidly developed lighting technology available today. Understanding LED characteristics can help you in deciding if they are right for your home, project or outdoor space.

LED stands for light emitting diode and can be used for a variety of purposes. This includes traffic signals, office lighting, street lighting, lighting up your computer or mobile phone and much more. Not only can they be used for a variety of different uses, but they also are extremely durable and high quality LED bulbs last a lot longer than other forms of lighting.

What are key LED characteristics?

An LED can be described as a specialised type of diode due to them having similar electrical characteristics to a PN junction diode. This means that the electric current in the LED will pass through in a forward direction but will block the flow of current in the reverse direction. LEDs are made from a semiconductor material which is usually either Gallium Arsenide, Gallium Phosphide or Gallium Arsenide Phosphide. Either of these materials can be used for the construction of LED, however the colour the LED emits will depend on the change in material and the forward voltage.

Some of the main LED characteristics are that the light source is usually very small, around the size of a fleck of pepper. LEDs also emit light only in a specific direction compared to other light sources that light up in every direction. Another characteristic is that LEDs emit a very small amount of heat compared to incandescent bulbs as LEDs usually do not produce heat in the form of infrared radiation.

Advantages and disadvantages of LED lights:

There are many advantages of using LED lights which is why they are used for a range of applications, however there are some drawbacks that show LED lighting may not be the optimum solution for every application. One benefit of LEDs is that they have a long lifetime and that they are generally very robust. As well as this, LEDs are very energy efficient as they only emit a small amount of heat compared to incandescent bulbs that emit 90% of their energy through heat. Another advantage of LED lights is that they can operate over a wide range of temperatures ranging from 0 degrees celsius to 70 degrees celsius, making them extremely versatile. Lastly, one of the LED characteristics is that they are small in size and can be stacked together for alphanumeric displays as well as being very reliable and cheap to buy and run.

Some of the drawbacks of LED lights is that there is a lack of standardization in the LED field and that there is a high upfront cost due to the sophisticated technology used to create the LED bulbs. Not only this, but another disadvantage of LEDs is that there is the potential that the bulbs may colour shift over time due to the specific environment they are used in.

William Sugg and Co Ltd LED solutions:

At William Sugg and Co Ltd. we have a variety of different LED lighting solutions to suit any heritage lighting project. These include our LED module solution which is suitable for street lighting projects, paths and public areas in accordance with EN 13201. Our COB LED solution is suitable for enclosure in a luminaire, where space is limited, and can provide a service life of over 100,000 hours. If you are looking for symmetrical lights which are similar to what is produced by a superheated burner then our LED mantles solution would be perfect to suit heritage and gas lanterns. Finally, our LightBar LED solution is suited to produce light in a vertical plane for public areas, and is designed to replicate the output from a vertical discharge lamp.

If you would like to find out more about our LED solutions, visit our LED solutions webpage or get in touch with our team of lighting experts to discuss your options.