early LEDs emitted low-intensity red light. with very high brightness. LEDs are used as indicator lamps in many devices.INTRODUCTION A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor light source. but modern versions are available across the visible. ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths. . and are increasingly used for lighting. Introduced as a practical electronic component in 1962.

Round of Marconi Lab. In 1961.DISCOVERIES AND EARLY DEVICES Electroluminescence was discovered in 1907 by the British experimenter H. but no practical use was made of the discovery for several decades. . Russian Oleg Vladimirovich Losev independently reported on the creation of an LED in 1927 His research was distributed in Russian. American experimenters Robert Biard and Gary Pittman working at Texas Instruments. German and British scientific journals. using a crystal of silicon carbide and a cat's-whisker detector. J. found that GaAs emitted infrared radiation when electric current was applied and received the patent for the infrared LED.

the LED consists of a chip of semiconducting material doped with impurities to create a p-n junction. and releases energy in the form of a photon . current flows easily from the p-side. Chargecarriers³electrons and holes ³flow into the junction from electrodes with different voltages. to the n-side. or anode. it falls into a lower energy level .TECHNOLOGY: Like a normal diode. but not in the reverse direction. When an electron meets a hole. or cathode. As in other diodes. .

Typical lifetimes quoted are 25. With the development of high-power LEDs the devices are subjected to higher junction temperatures and higher current densities than traditional devices. .000 to 100. This causes stress on the material and may cause early light output degradation.LIFETIME AND FAILURE Many of the LEDs made in the 1970s and 1980s are still in service today.000 hours but heat and current settings can extend or shorten this time significantly.


. throughhole and surface mount packages. and they come in various-sizes from 2 mm to 8 mm. not requiring any separate cooling body. Typical current ratings ranges from around 1 mA to above 20 mA.MINIATURE: These are mostly single-die LEDs used as indicators. They are usually simple in design. The small scale sets a natural upper boundary on power consumption due to heat caused by the high current density and need for heat sinking.

MID-RANGE: Medium power LEDs are often through-hole mounted and used when an output of a few lumen is needed. Due to the larger amount of metal in the LED. The higher current allows for the higher light output required for tail-lights and emergency lighting. emergency lighting and automotive tail-lights. These LEDs are most commonly used in light panels. . they are able to handle higher currents (around 100 mA).

Since overheating is destructive. . Some can emit over a thousand lumens. the device will fail in seconds. compared with the tens of mA for other LEDs. One HPLED can often replace an incandescent bulb in a torch. or be set in an array to form a powerful LED lamp. the HPLEDs must be mounted on a heat sink to allow for heat dissipation. If the heat from a HPLED is not removed.HIGH POWER: High power LEDs (HPLED) can be driven at currents from hundreds of mA to more than an ampere.

ADVANTAGES: Efficiency: LEDs emit more light per watt than incandescent light bulbs. . Slow failure: LEDs mostly fail by dimming over time.LEDs used in communications devices can have even faster response times. Size: LEDs can be very small (smaller than 2 mm2) and are easily populated onto printed circuit boards. On/Off time: LEDs light up very quickly. Incandescent and fluorescent sources often require an external reflector to collect light and direct it in a usable manner. Color: LEDs can emit light of an intended color without using any color filters as traditional lighting methods need. A typical red indicator LED will achieve full brightness in under a microsecond. Focus: The solid package of the LED can be designed to focus its light. Their efficiency is not affected by shape and size. This is more efficient and can lower initial costs. unlike fluorescent light bulbs or tubes. rather than the abrupt failure of incandescent bulbs.

DISADVANTAGES : Fluorescent lamps are typically more efficient than LEDs (for lamps with the same CRI). Droop: The efficiency of LEDs tends to decrease as one increases current. Temperature dependence: LED performance largely depends on the ambient temperature of the operating environment. Voltage sensitivity: LEDs must be supplied with the voltage above the threshold and a current below the rating. This can involve series resistors or current-regulated power supplies. .

APPLICATIONS ‡Visual signals where light goes more or less directly from the source to the human eye. to convey a message or meaning. . ‡Measuring and interacting with processes involving no human vision. ‡Illumination ‡Narrow band light sensors where LEDs operate in a reverse-bias mode and respond to incident light. instead of emitting light. where light is reflected from objects to give visual response of these objects.




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