From the LED lights that provide visibility to those that are used for television screens and signs, such electronic parts can cater to many applications that we regularly use or rely on in daily life. While small in size, a single LED can produce a large amount of light with great efficiency. As LEDs can come in a variety of forms to accommodate different requirements and applications, understanding the differences between certain LED light types can be useful when searching for lighting solutions.
LEDs are light-emitting diodes, meaning that they are a semiconductor light source that can produce visible light when induced with current. As diodes are components that only permit the flow of electricity in a single direction, LEDs are able to radiate light when voltage runs from the anode to the cathode of the diode. As electrons within the semiconductor begin to recombine with electron holes, energy is released in the form of photons. Depending on the energy needed for electrons to be capable of passing the semiconductor’s band gap, the resulting light is affected. To create white light, multiple semiconductors on a light emitting phosphor layer are used. With the color changing capabilities of LED lights, they can be used to create a number of displays for varying applications.
Depending on the intended use of LED lights, a number of types may be procured. 5mm LED electronic parts are very common, and they consist of housed diodes that have two metal legs protruding from their lens. It is important to note that the legs of 5mm LEDs are different lengths, as the longer leg is the anode while the shorter one is the cathode. As a type of LED that operates with lower drive currents as compared to other similar types, the 5mm LED light is most beneficial for low light applications. With a variety of colors available for 5mm LED lights, they are commonly implemented for sign lighting, indicator lights, small flashlights, battery run applications, and more.
Surface Mount Device (SMD) LEDs are another major LED light type, and they are diodes that are installed onto a substrate and protected with a silicone dome. As a very small component placed on the surface of a PCB, SMD LEDs require machine soldering to achieve the high precision needed. Unlike similar LED types, such as the 5mm LED light, SMD LEDs do not physically go through the boards they are installed on. Furthermore, their miniature size also permits the ability to add three LEDs of varying colors onto a single unit to increase image quality of a display with higher resolutions. With numerous SMD LEDs available with different brightness levels and capabilities, such electronic parts are regularly used for accent lighting, primary lighting, emergency lighting, sign lights, and more. For many SMD LED lights, the polarity of the component can often be discerned from labeling present on the item itself.
Beyond the aforementioned examples, numerous old and new LED technologies are available, each providing their own unique construction types and characteristics. Additionally, white and colored LED lights may also be procured to create specific displays as desired. When deciding upon lighting solutions, it can be useful to know that LEDs are quite efficient, have rapid warm up times, exhibit slow failure rates, and are often very cheap.
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