What is an LED?

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are solid-state lighting components. Each LED consists of a semiconductor diode that emits light when a voltage is applied to it. They have no moving, fragile parts and can last for decades. LEDs can be many times more energy-efficient than light bulbs, depending on the application. LED lighting can save up to 85 percent of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs and up to 50 percent of electricity used by fluorescents.

The electronics industry has used LED technology for several decades as indicator lights for various electronic devices. In more recent years, LED technology has progressed to the point where it is viable for general lighting applications.

Most of the energy emitted from incandescent bulbs is converted to heat instead of light. That’s why you’ll burn yourself if you try to touch an incandescent bulb once it’s turned on. Since LEDs consume significantly less energy, they don’t emit as much heat. That’s why you typically won’t burn yourself if you try to touch an LED light once it’s turned on. LED lights are also designed to last about 50 times longer, which means less ladder-climbing maintenance and less waste.