3 Basic Concepts you should know about LEDs

LED is the most popular source of light which is widely employed in our homes as well as it is used in electrical projects. In the start of the electrical age, simple bulbs were used to obtain the light. Let’s understand the working of simple bulb:
A light bulb contains a filament (simply a type of wire). A voltage source connects to the wire and produces an electric current which raises the temperature of the filament and generates heat from it. While this setting is easy to design, 95% of the energy is wasted in generating the heat.

Light emitting diodes (LED) are, on the other hand, efficient devices which contain two semiconductors. Many LEDs have a long life up to 10 years. Here are three basic concepts you should know about LED.

List of Contents

The concept of polarity

Just like a simple diode, led has two terminals: an anode (+) and the cathode (-). Always connect the positive terminal of the battery to +ve terminal node) and the negative terminal to the cathode (-). The longer terminal of led is an anode and the smaller one is a cathode.

Forward voltage

Each component has a specific forward voltage that should be applied to properly lit it. This voltage varies with color of led and approximately:
  • Red led has 2.0 V
  • Green has 2.2
  • Blue has 3.4
  • White has 3.2

Rated current

Each led has a rated current above which it’ll burst down in pieces. Connecting a direct power supply to led will torn it. So use a proper series resistor to control the current flowing through the circuit. Normal 5mm led can handle 20 mA. While using LED always check for the manufacturer specifications.

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