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Over 100 years ago, Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb. Simple, elegant and cheap, it quickly became the standard way to turn electricity into light, and remains in use to this day.
But in spite of all its success, the incandescent light bulb does have certain disadvantages. It is not very energy efficient, and it creates lots of excess heat. In today's eco-conscious world where energy is not cheap, many people are turning to newer and more efficient light bulb designs. One of these is the LED light bulb, otherwise known as a "Light Emitting Diode" lamp.
An incandescent light bulb works by passing electricity through a small wire, or filament. The electrical resistance of the filament causes it to get so hot that it glows, producing light.
An LED, on the other hand, works by passing current through a semiconducting material, which emits photons (light) through the principle of electroluminescence. Since this design does not rely on heat to produce its light, it runs cooler and is much more energy efficient than an incandescent light bulb.
Light Emitting Diode technology has been around since the early 1960s. But back then LED lamps produced dim red light, making them impractical for most uses other than in small electronic devices such as calculators.
Today's LED light bulbs are far brighter and can produce white light, as well as many different colors. And multiple LED lights can be combined to achieve light output comparable to incandescent light bulbs and CFL lights.
Let's take a look at some of the main advantages of LED bulb technology.
To identify a type of bulb, use the visual guide on our Lamps Plus bulb finder page.
Or compare LEDs with the workings of other bulb technology:
1. How an Incandescent Bulb Works
2. How a Halogen Bulb Works
3. How a CFL Bulb Works
Finally, check out this video from our YouTube channel about 3 types of LED bulbs:
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