What is an LED?

“LED” stands for “light emitting diode”.

A light emitting diode is a type of solid-state lighting (SSL) technology, which means it emits light from a piece of solid matter. In this instance, that solid matter is a two-lead semiconductor.

 

How do LEDs work?

An LED is able to generate light because of the arrangement of the two semiconductor materials located between its electrodes:

 

N-type: A semiconductor with extra electrons (also known as extra negatively charged particles).

P-type: A semiconductor with extra holes (also known as extra positively charged particles).

Connecting the N-type semiconductor to the negative electrode and the P-type semiconductor to the positive electrode activates the LED’s electrons so they can flow across the junction from the negative to the positive layer. As the extra electrons (negatively charged particles) move through the extra holes (positively charged particles), they emit light.

 

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