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A light-emitting diode (LED) is a two-lead semiconductor light source.

It is a basic pn-junction diode, which emits

light when activated.[7] When a fitting voltage is applied to the leads, electrons are able to recombine with electron
holes within the device, releasing energy in the form of photons. This effect is called electroluminescence, and the
color of the light (corresponding to the energy of the photon) is determined by the energy band gap of the
An LED is often small in area (less than 1 mm2) and integrated optical components may be used to shape
its radiation pattern.[8]
Appearing as practical electronic components in 1962, [9] the earliest LEDs emitted low-intensity infrared light.
Infrared LEDs are still frequently used as transmitting elements in remote-control circuits, such as those in remote
controls for a wide variety of consumer electronics. The first visible-light LEDs were also of low intensity, and limited
to red. Modern LEDs are available across the visible,ultraviolet, and infrared wavelengths, with very high brightness.
Early LEDs were often used as indicator lamps for electronic devices, replacing small incandescent bulbs. They
were soon packaged into numeric readouts in the form of seven-segment displays, and were commonly seen in
digital clocks.
Recent developments in LEDs permit them to be used in environmental and task lighting. LEDs have many
advantages over incandescent light sources including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved physical
robustness, smaller size, and faster switching. Light-emitting diodes are now used in applications as diverse
as aviation lighting, automotive headlamps, advertising, general lighting, traffic signals, and camera flashes.
However, LEDs powerful enough for room lighting are still relatively expensive, and require more precise current
and heat management than compact fluorescent lamp sources of comparable output.
LEDs have allowed new text, video displays, and sensors to be developed, while their high switching rates are also
useful in advanced communications technology.
On October 7, 2014, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji
Nakamura for "the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white
light sources" or, less formally, LED lamps.[10]

Step 1: To create this simple circuit on the breadboard start with a 9 volt battery
terminal. Battery terminals can be purchased at any local Radio Shack or online at, or your favorite online retailer.

Step 2: Connect the black, (-) negative wire from the battery terminal to a negative
power column on the breadboard. A breadboard typically has a positive and negative
power rail on each side of the board. In the example photo, the negative power rail on
the right side of the breadboard is highlighted in blue. The positive power rail on the
breadboard is highlighted in orange.

Step 3: Connect the red, (+) positive wire from the battery terminal to a positive rail on
the breadboard.

Step 4: Use a jumper wire to connect the positive side of the power rail to one of the
breadboard rows. In the example, row 10 was used for the circuit (see photo).

Step 5: Connect one end of the resistor into the same row as the jumper wire was
placed on the breadboard in the previous step. Connect the other end of the resistor into
the opposite side of the breadboard using the any row. In the example row 10 was used
again. There is no positive or negative side on a resistor so it does not matter which end
is connected into the negative column.

Step 6: Complete the circuit by connecting the positive side of the LED into the same
row as the second leg of the resistor placed in step 5. The positive leg of a LED is the
longer leg, also known as the annode. Place the shorter leg (negative leg) of the LED into
the negative power rail. The negative power rail is any opening in the column where the
black power wire from the battery was placed in step 2.

Science Learned
An LED is a Light Emitting Diode. The diode produces light from a low amount of voltage.
The voltage must be reduced in this circuit since a 9 volt battery is used in this
experiment. Standard LEDs are only designed for a maximum voltage between 1.8 volts
and 2.2 volts, depending on the color of the LED and manufacturer. In this experiment a
solderless breadboard is used to make the electrical circuit. Using a solderless

breadboard increases safety for kids since it elimates the need for a hot, soldering iron.
An LED circuit is a great starting electronics project for kids since it is simple to build and
produces a light, if produced correctly.