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What is an LED?

An LED (light-emitting diode) is a an electrical component that emits light when current flows through it. Diodes are like one way valves for electricity and consist of semiconductor material which are ‘doped’ with impurity elements to change their chemical structure so that one half of the semiconductor material has a negative charge and the other has a positive charge. These regions are called the n- and the p-region respectably. We stock a variety of LEDs in different sizes and wavelengths to jazz up your project. We also sell RGB LEDs which can be programmed to give output different colours of light.

How does an LED work?

In the n-region of the semiconductor material there are negatively charged free electrons, while in the p-region there is an absence of an electron known as an ‘electron hole’ which is positively charged. When current flows through an LED, free electrons combine with the holes in the p-region to produce photons. LEDs convert electrical energy directly into light which is why they are much more efficient a greener option for lighting your project than incandescent light bulbs which convert electrical energy into heat into light.

Diagram of an LED showing the semiconductor material composition and the physical build of a standard epoxy LED

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