An LED bulbs (LED light bulb) is a solid-state lamp that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as the source of light. The LEDs involved may be conventional semiconductor light-emitting diodes, to organic LEDs (OLED), or polymer light-emitting diodes (PLED) devices, although PLED technologies are not currently commercially available.
Since the light output of individual light-emitting diodes is small compared to incandescent and compact fluorescent lamps, multiple diodes are often used together. In recent years, as diode technology has improved, high power light-emitting diodes with higher lumen output are making it possible to replace other lamps with LED bulbss. One high power LED chip used in some commercial LED lights can emit 7,527 lumens while using only 100 watts. LED bulbss can be made interchangeable with other types of lamps.
General purpose lighting needs white light. LEDs emit light in a very small band of wavelengths, emitting strongly colored light. The color is characteristic of the energy bandgap of the semiconductor material used to make the LED. To emit white light from LEDs requires either mixing light from red, green, and blue LEDs, or using a phosphor to convert some of the light to other colors.
The first method (RGB-LEDs) uses multiple LED chips each emitting a different wavelength in close proximity, to form the broad white light spectrum. The advantage of this method is that the intensity of each LED can be adjusted to "tune" the character of the light emitted. The major disadvantage is high production cost.
The second method, phosphor converted LEDs (pcLEDs) uses one short wavelength LED (usually blue or ultraviolet) in combination with a phosphor, which absorbs a portion of the blue light and emits a broader spectrum of white light. (The mechanism is similar to the way a fluorescent lamp emits white light from a UV-illuminated phosphor.) The major advantage here is the low production cost, and high CRI (color rendering index), while the disadvantage is the inability to dynamically change the character of the light and the fact that phosphor conversion reduces the efficiency of the device. The low cost and adequate performance makes it the most widely used technology for general lighting today.
LED light bulbs
Many LED bulbs have become available as replacements for screw-in incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs, ranging from low-power 5–40 watt incandescent bulbs, through conventional replacement bulbs for 60 watt incandescent bulbs (typically requiring about 7 watts of power), and as of 2010 a few lamps were available to replace higher wattage bulbs, e.g., a 13-watt LED bulb which is about as bright as a 100W incandescent. (A standard general purpose incandescent bulb emits light at an efficiency of about 14 to 17 lumens/W depending on its size and voltage. According to the European Union standard, an energy-efficient bulb that claims to be the equivalent of a 60W tungsten bulb must have a minimum light output of 806 lumens.)
Most LED bulbs are not designed to be dimmed (although some models are designed to work with dimmers), and are usually directional. The lamps have declined in cost to between US$30 to $50 each as of 2010. These bulbs are more power-efficient than compact fluorescent bulbs and offer lifespans of 30,000 or more hours, reduced operated at a higher temperature than specified. Incandescent bulbs have a typical life of 1,000 hours, compact fluorescents about 8,000 hours. A LED light bulb can be expected to last 25–30 years under normal use. The bulbs maintain output light intensity very well over their life-times. Energy Star specifications require the bulbs to typically drop less than 10% after 6000 or more hours of operation, and in the worst case not more than 15%. They are also mercury free, unlike fluorescent lamps. LED bulbs are available with a variety of color properties. The higher purchase cost than other types may be more than offset by savings in energy and maintenance.
Several companies offer LED bulbs for general lighting purposes. The C. Crane Company introduced a 7-watt replacement for a 60-watt bulb, the "Geobulb", with an efficiency of 59 lumens/W. The company also offers wedge-base lamps for replacement in low voltage fixtures. In the Netherlands, a company called Lemnis Lighting offers a dimmable LED bulbs called Pharox. The company Eternleds Inc. offers a bulb called HydraLux-4 which uses liquid cooling of the LED chips. Philips makes a number of LED bulbss which are commercially available in the United States and come with a six year warranty, and a number of smaller producers can be found that sell LED lights that are screw-in replacements for conventional bulbs, for example, the General LED Bulb from Arani LED tubes in various length.
The technology is improving rapidly, and new energy-efficient consumer LED bulbss have been announced from three of the lighting industry’s largest producers, Osram Sylvania, Philips, and General Electric, so these listings should be taken as not necessarily representative of what is currently available.