LEDs: An Ubiquitous Technology for Many IndustriesMay 11, 2017
The explosive growth of LED technology is one of those things which have had multi-industry benefits – particularly with the invention of the high-output diode. When compared to incandescent, halogens, and mercury-bulbs, the LED is simply the most efficiently known way to convert an electric current into visible light. In other alternatives, a sizable amount of energy is lost as unused waste heat.
With LEDs, the type of semiconductor material determines whether you can get red, green, blue, or white light out of it. When the free electrons combine with a “hole,” energy is released as photons. This leads to an array of available LEDs for lighting applications, as well as high power circuits manufactured by companies such as Energy Recovery Products to meet the needs of industrial businesses.
Vetting High Power LEDs
The primary thing to think about when it comes to high-output LEDs is the heat dissipation. Understand the details of the intended application – such as the resistance, the voltage needed, and the current driver. Any significant variation on voltage can burn your diode out, which is also why a constant current source is always recommended. The operational difference between current drivers is the ability to deflect or absorb any unintended spikes in current that may arise because of a voltage drop.
The different types of high-power LEDs are judged by the voltage, lumen output and wavelength of light. Because this technology can be prone to overheating if the parameters are even slightly off, be sure to opt for products that have heat-absorbent cladding. The primary risk is a significantly-reduced operational lifetime as they burn out much earlier than usual. The disparity between light output and heat dissipation is important for high-powered LEDs.
LED Colors – RGB
You’ve seen those brightly-colored LEDs that are used at a large event or convention. Bars and restaurants also liberally use them. But, how are they made? An integrated computer chip is often used so the lights glow at a specified frequency, unless the semiconductor material already emits photons of the desired color when the p-n junction is crossed. When the integrated circuit technology is employed, the LEDs are connected to a controller and energy source without the need for resistors.
The bi-color LED consists of two light emitting diodes in a single casing. The current alternates between either one rapidly, which gives the appearance of two colors. This effect also depends on the frequency at which the current is shifted between them. At higher frequencies, the effect of a third color can be observed by the human eye.
The tri-color LED consists of a similar setup, except with three leads. The RGB LED allows a host of new colors to be produced depending on the frequency at which the current is alternated. There are millions of distinct colors which can be produced using this method and a precise controller or driver. When you consider that modern industrial LEDs are also programmable, a host of new applications open up.
ERP as a Leading Technology LED Circuit Provider
Energy Recovery Products has been proudly serving companies' high-power LED circuits for years. Our specialists are available to answer any question – from beginner to advanced – that you might have on the subject. We’re a phone call away at 805-517-1300 or you can first visit the website at ERP-Power.com for more information.