What are LEDs?

Light Emitting Diodes (LED) are semi-conductors - a type of electrical component. They have been around since the early 1960s when they were used as indicator lights on electrical components. The first ones emitted a low intensity red light, yellow LED was invented a decade later, followed by the first high-brightness, high-efficiency LED.

As the technology evolved, other colours became available, light output increased, efficiency and reliability improved.

There are now many types of LEDs and they come in all different shapes and sizes. However, it was the development of high-power white light LED that led to its use in illumination and lighting. Today LEDs are fast replacing traditional incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) as lighting sources.

LEDs are all around us

Due to their unique long life and energy saving properties LEDs are finding their way in to more and more devices we use in everyday life.

Auto manufacturers are switching to LED lights for use in their road cars. LED lights are 'directional' and create less 'dazzle' so they are ideal for automobiles. LED 'Daytime running lights' are becoming more common due to low energy usage.

LED screens are fast replacing LCD screens in computers, televisions and mobile devices such as phones.