What Does LED Stand For?

several types of LED lightbulbs laid out on a blue background

Long-lasting and cheap to operate due to advances in technology that make them one of the greenest light sources around, LEDs are an increasingly popular alternative to incandescent and CFL lights. But have you ever wondered, what does LED stand for?

What Does LED Mean?

LED stands for ‘light emitting diodes.’ And while there are many reasons they’re grand, including the fact they use 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescents and last 25-times longer, one of the main reasons LEDs are rising in popularity is their ever-dropping price tag. Now nearly the same cost as old-school incandescents and CFLs, the amazing, seemingly cutting-edge technology of LEDs is actually the outcome of 100-year old scientific oddity, morphed into a multi-million-dollar product line at the hands of a multitude of scientists and engineers.

A Bright Idea

Made from a compound called gallium arsenide, infrared LEDs were originally called ‘semiconductor radiant diodes.’ When electric current was passed-through this semiconductor material, it resulted in electroluminescence: Light emission. Later, by adding other elements to semiconductor materials, scientists and researchers were able to create LEDs bearing red and yellow hues, as well as LEDs that were bigger and brighter. Though originally they were only capable of emitting a single color or frequency of light, recent advancements in LED technology have made them available in a wide array of hues, including the holy grail of the lighting spectrum: Broad spectrum white light similar to sunlight and that of inefficient incandescent lighting.

Brilliant Construction

Much more efficient than its incandescent predecessors, an LED bulb comparable to a 60-watt incandescent can create the same amount of light using just 10-watts, with the added bonus of very little heat production. Though LEDs won’t last forever, they do have an impressively long lifespan: With no heated filament of unusual gases, bulbs last more than 3-years if left running 24/7. And they’re crowning achievement: Flexibility of use across an array of applications and environments, from freezers to your front porch, prompting many a home and business owner to make the switch to LED lighting.

A Strong Following

Expected to comprise 75 percent of lighting sales by 2030, the popularity of LEDs is rising. Contributing to 10 percent of the costs of the average energy bill, over the next two decades, LEDs are hoped to reduce energy consumption for lighting by 50 percent, providing a staggering $250-billion in energy savings. In the next 20-years, LED-use is expected to reduce carbon emissions 1,800 tons… provided Americans make the switch.

What are You Illuminating with LEDs? Find your Color Temperature:

With LEDs, Kelvin temperature determines LED lighting hue…

  • Less than 2,000
    Best for ambient illumination, the dim glow of bulbs less than 2,000K is similar to candlelight.
  • 2,000-3,000K
    The soft white, slightly yellow-hued glow of this temperature is best for living, dining, bedrooms and outdoor living areas.
  • 3,100-4,500K
    This bright white light is ideal for task lighting in kitchens, surrounding vanities, and in offices and workspaces.
  • 4,600-6,500K
    The bright blue-white light of this range mimics daylight, and is often used for display areas and workspaces that rely on bright illumination.
  • 6,500K+
    This bright blue hue is commonly seen in commercial environments.
  • Variable
    Dimmable, color-changing smart bulb options allow homeowners to quickly tailor their lighting via compatible mobile device, or Alexa/Siri/Google home.

Inexpensive, clean, and efficient – like Mr. Electric - there’s a lot to love about LEDs. Learn new ways to incorporate this amazing technology into your home. Contact Mr. Electric today.