GE LED City: A Brief Introduction to LEDs

    The future of lighting is spelled LED. Watch the brief video and learn more about the many benefits of GE LED technology including energy-cost savings of up to 90%, long-lasting performance, and design and construction that is free from mercury, lead and glass.

What is an LED?

A light-emitting diode, or LED, is a compound semiconductor device that converts electricity into light. One of more LEDs combined with a driver, housing and other components create a complete LED system.

LED CHIP LED PACKAGE LED SYSTEM
a layered
semiconductor light
source
LED chip + lead
wires and an
epoxy shell
multiple LED packages +
supporting electrical,
thermal, optical, and
mechanical components


What makes a robust LED system?

There are four main design factors that determine LED system performance.

Optical Design Mechanical and Thermal Design Electrical Design

  • OPTICAL DESIGN
    LEDs are a directional light source, meaning they emit light in a single direction. Through carefully designed reflectors and lenses, light is directed only where it is needed, minimizing wasted light and energy.
  • MECHANICAL DESIGN
    Because LEDs last for years, the materials and construction of an LED system are critical for performance. Careful mechanical engineering protects the LED system from corrosion and humidity to ensure long service life.
  • THERMAL DESIGN
    Excess heat causes reduced life and color shift in LEDs. With effective thermal management, heat is dissipated, thereby improving LED performance.
  • ELECTRICAL DESIGN
    Electrical design determines the LED lifespan, light output and color control of the LED system. Precise engineering ensures the right amount of electricity is delivered to the LED chip, enabling consistent, long-lasting LED system performance.


What are the benefits of LEDs?

LEDs offer a number of advantages over conventional light sources. LEDs...


...contain no mercury, lead, or glass
...offer significant energy savings, up to 90% compared to incandescent in traffic signals
...last for up to 50,000 hours
...are highly resistant to shock and vibration
...have excellent cold weather performance
...are dimmable
...have a quick turn-on time


How can LEDs impact us?

By the year 2030, the US Department of Energy estimates LED lighting could save approximately 190 TERRAWATT HOURS OF ELECTRICITY per year, which is equivalent to:

  • the annual output of 24 LARGE POWER PLANTS (1000 MW)
  • enough electricity to power 95 MILLION HOMES
  • and at today's prices $15 BILLION IN SAVINGS


Celebrating 50 Years of LED

Celebrating 50 Years of LED Innovation

When GE scientist Nick Holonyak turned on the first practical LED in October 1962, he ignited a lighting revolution.

Read More

Glossary of Lighting Terms