Getting to Know Your LEDs

http://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/leds-are-greener-lightbulbs.aspx

 

LED bulb 
   PHOTO BY JESSIE FETTERLING
 

Usually when people talk about using greener lighting, they're talking about compact-fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs. But what about the other green light bulbs, LEDs?

LEDs, or light emitting diodes, are all around us. These long-lasting, efficient light bulbs are used for all kinds of applications, and they’re especially good for those that involve gently glowing, bright-colored light. That includes stoplights, Christmas tree lights, exit signs, the display on digital clocks and the indicator lights that show when electronics are switched on.

Although LEDs are also being developed for general lighting, most of them still aren’t bright enough for say, reading. That may all change soon though, because there’s a lot of research happening in this area.

More Info: 

For a good general description of what LEDs can do, check out this article from Scientific American.

For a mind-bending trip into the world of semiconductors (a world that also includes solar panels) check out this article on LEDs from How Stuff Works.

And for more on LED research, take a look at this article from the New York Times.

 

 

 

LED Stoplight 
  PHOTO BY ISTOCKPHOTO
 
LED Holiday Lights 
   PHOTO BY ISTOCKPHOTO
 

Above: Photos of LEDs in action. The top photo is an LED bulb used for general lighting. Below: An LED stoplight and LED holiday lights: two common uses for LED bulbs.


Megan E. Phelps is a freelance writer based in Kansas. She enjoys reading and writing about all things related to sustainable living including homesteading skills, green building and renewable energy. You can find her on .