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LED Lamps

By HHI Staff

One of the newest lamp innovations is the LED (light emitting diode) lamp, also called a diode array bulb. LEDs are a unique approach to lighting. A diode is a special type of electronic device having two electrical terminals which allow current to run through it in only one direction. Diodes manufactured from certain materials can give off visible light. Thus, they’re called light-emitting diodes or LEDs. Gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP), for example, produces the red, green, or yellow light commonly seen in alarm clocks. In a diode array bulb, multiple LEDs are arranged within a single bulb.


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LED Advantages:

  • Directional light emission – directing light where it is needed
  • Size – can be very compact and low-profile
  • Breakage resistance – no breakable glass or filaments
  • Cold temperature operation – performance improves in the cold
  • Instant on – require no “warm up” time
  • Rapid cycling capability – lifetime not affected by frequent switching
  • Controllability – compatible with electronic controls to change light levels and color characteristics
  • No IR or UV emissions - LEDs intended for lighting do not emit infrared or ultraviolet radiation
What makes LEDs different from other light sources

LEDs are semiconductor devices, while incandescent and fluorescent lamps are based on glass enclosures containing a filament or electrodes, with 'fill gases' and coatings of various types.

LED lighting starts with a tiny chip (most commonly about 1 mm2) comprising layers of semi-conducting material. LED packages may contain just one chip or multiple chips, mounted on heat-conducting material and enclosed in a lens. Each LED typically can produce 30 to 150 lumens each, and can be used separately or in arrays. LED devices are mounted on a circuit board, and attached to a lighting fixture, architectural structure, or a “light bulb” package.

Applications for LEDs include:

  • Under-cabinet lighting
  • In-cabinet accent lighting
  • Adjustable task lighting
  • Outdoor area lighting
  • Recessed downlights
  • Accent lights
  • Step and path lighting
  • Cove lighting
  • Spaces with occupancy sensors
  • Food preparation areas
  • Display cases

    Source: US Department of Energy

LED-array lamps with this design use approximately one watt to produce the same brightness as a typical 10W incandescent bulb. They’re also considered much more energy-efficient than even compact fluorescents. Amazingly, LED-array lamps may be rated to last 30,000-60,000 hours (10-20 years, used 8 hours a day).



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LED Lamps:  Created on April 12th, 2008.  Last Modified on May 16th, 2010


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