A semiconductor is found in a light-emitting diode (LED). The semiconductor functions as a junction, filtering electrical energy and emitting light as a byproduct. Light is thus emitted immediately from the source input, without the need for a separate light-generating load to be powered beforehand (e.g. filament). As a result, LED consumes less electricity than competing technologies. Other light-emitting technologies (e.g., incandescent bulbs, neon lights, halogen lamps) present considerable energy loss since elements such as metals or gases must first be heated in order to produce light. See the table below for a better understanding of energy use in typical lighting settings. The power required to produce an equivalent amount of light (luminosity):
40 Watts – Incandescent Bulb
29 Watts – Halogen
10 Watts – CFL
5 Watts – LED lighting
Some of the most well-known benefits of LED lights include “80 percent total savings” and “25x longer lifespan.” We’ll look at some of the less well-known energy-saving facts concerning LED lights later in the post. But first, we’ll look at how the science underlying LED lighting results in lower power use.