LED Lighting

An LED lamp (or LED light bulb) is a solid-state lamp that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as the source of light. LED lamps offer long service life and high energy efficiency, but initial costs are higher than those of fluorescent and incandescent lamps. Chemical decomposition of LED chips reduces luminous flux over life cycle as with conventional lamps.

The LEDs involved may be conventional semiconductor light-emitting diodes, organic LEDs (OLED), or polymer light-emitting diodes (PLED) devices. However, PLED technologies are not commercially available. Diode technology improves steadily.

Efficiency of LED devices continues to improve, with some chips able to emit more than 100 lumens per watt. LEDs do not emit light in all directions, and their directional characteristics affect the design of lamps. The efficiency of conversion from electric power to light is generally higher than with incandescent lamps. Since the light output of many types of light-emitting diodes is small compared to incandescent and compact fluorescent lamps, in most applications multiple diodes are assembled.

Light-emitting diodes use direct current (DC) electrical power. To use them on AC power they are operated with internal or external rectifier circuits that provide a regulated current output at low voltage. LEDs are degraded or damaged by operating at high temperatures, so LED lamps typically include heat dissipation elements such as heat sinks and cooling fins.