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Light emitting diode (LED) lighting technology is a technology that makes use of semiconductors to produce light. Semiconductors are special materials that have been manufactured with specific atomic valence characteristics, which include the ability to emit light, also known as electroluminescence. LED lighting technology evolved from research for brighter and more efficient LEDs, wherein the materials used include germanium, silicon, gallium arsenide, and many others. The LED lighting system has evolved as a major product from various global manufacturers.
Individual LEDs are usually less than 0.4-inch (1 cm) casings, usually with connection leads. The longer connection lead is the positive side, or the anode. The anode-cathode junction is enclosed in either a clear-type or diffused-type plastic casing. Each individual LED in a LED lighting panel requires around 2 volts (V) in the forward-bias mode. When used directly from the power outlet, these LEDs are incorporated with electronic power control to limit the currents within safe limits.
LED lighting technology has produced more economical lighting due to the efficiency of modern light-emitting diodes. When research on modern-day LEDs started in the 1970s, there was a huge challenge in creating bright LEDs. 40 years later, the significant results of these research efforts are already well known as super-bright signboards and LED light fixtures. The superiority of LED lighting technology is further demonstrated by its economy, efficiency, portability, and light weight. Together with improvement in batteries, LED lighting gadgets demonstrate much longer operation times and, because of the improved design of LEDs, less energy is converted to heat, making the optical efficiency very high.
Development in solar photovoltaic cells and battery storage systems makes LED lighting even more attractive to indoor and outdoor lighting needs. In many countries, the LED-type road safety lights that are being introduced may be charged from the sun during daytime. LED arrays are also very popular for lighting, and very high-visibility safety lights for modern cars use LED arrays in colors such as white, red, and yellow. Many LEDs are also assembled together to make LED panels for various applications. Portable and fixed lighting fixtures take advantage of the light weight, durability, and efficiency of LEDs.
The home uses of LEDs are also numerous. Standard compact fluorescent light bulbs are being replaced by LED arrays in certain applications. Indoor and outdoor lighting with or without solar photovoltaic power systems is becoming more popular as well. The technical breakthrough in high-efficiency white LEDs is seen in impressive modern products, and this is expected to further increase the popularity of LED lighting technology as more and more people benefit from it.