What are LEDs and How Do They Work

We are The Lighting Experts

We have all heard the three letters L-E-D, but what is an LED?

What is an LED?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode which uses semiconductors and electroluminescence to create light. When you look at an LED landscape lighting bulb there are numerous LED diodes that make up a single bulb. The number of diodes within the bulb depends on the wattage of the bulb.

LEDs come in a wide range of colors and color temperatures, these colors are determined by the energy band gap of the actual semiconductor. Needless to say LEDs are way more high tech and engineered than the old school halogen and incandescent lamps of the past.

          First_LED                                 led bulb  

                       THE FIRST LED                                                                  MODERN LED LANDSCAPE BULB



The first LED appeared in electronics in 1962! Hard to believe that what seems to be relatively new technology to most has actually been around since the 60’s. Most of these LEDs were found in remote controls – what we thought

LEDColorInventors700was just a red bulb at the end of the TV remote is actually a small LED – and cost $200/unit! In the infancy of the LED movement the only visible color was a low intensity red – not much you can do with just red. Needless to say we have come along way from 1960, all colors of the spectrum are possible.



White LED

Now for our application, landscape lighting, white is the color used the most, color bulbs have limited applications. Actually creating the color white is not as easy as one might think, and the white isn’t actually white…but out eyes think that it is. White LEDs are created by a mix of the three primary colors – red, green, and blue.

Wiki LED Color

White LEDs have come a long way and the reliability is substantially better than the first iteration – experimental white LEDs can produce over 300 lumens and last 100,000 hours. When you think about it an LED may cost more upfront but it will long out last a halogen bulb in your landscape lighting system, and create a much better, clean look.


Advantages of LED over Incandescent/Halogen

  • Lower Energy Consumption
  • Longer Lifetime
  • Sturdier – do not break as easily
  • Faster Switching
  • Do not attract insects because there is not infrared or ultraviolet light


Applications for Landscape Lighting

Over the past 5 years we have seen the reliability of LEDs in the landscape lighting industry increase. Even 6-7 years ago the fail rate of LEDs was too high for Light It Right to stand behind the use of LEDs. Over the years, the highly sophisticated technology behind LEDs has been worked out, and the fail rate has decreased considerably. Now Light It Right exclusively uses LEDs in all its outdoor lighting system.

LEDs give lighting designers more room to be creative, there are wattages, color temperatures, and beam spreads to pick from. When using halogen lamps the options were much more limited which would stifle the creative abilities of lighting designers. Customers benefit as well, no longer does one have to settle for good enough, now they can get exactly what they want since there are so many options to select from.

Luckily for us the cost of LED per unit is no longer $200!

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What are LEDs and How Do They Work