What is LED lighting?
LED lighting has been around for many years and is just now really coming into its own. For years, the Light Emitting Diode was simply used as an indicator or display light in various small-scale applications. Think of those old Texas Instruments calculators, or the blinking VCR light.
LED is a solid-state technology. This means there is no glass bulb, no pressurized gases, no mercury and no burning filament. In the traditional bulb, heat was the main result while light stood as a mere by-product of electrifying the filament.
With LED technology, what you have is a circuit board and a computer chip. The properties of the chip create light that is generated and focused through a plastic diode to create light. Depending on the chip and materials used, different colors in the color spectrum can be created. Early on the easiest color to create was red, which is why your calculator and VCR had red display lights rather than any other color. For many years, there were no advancements in LED technology and very little change in lighting technology overall; changes that did occur were mostly just plays on a theme. Metal halide, fluorescent, etc. were all just different ways to do the same thing with different effects.
In recent years, LED technology has completely changed and reinvented the light bulb and the way we think about lighting in general. This was not really possible prior to the technological revolution of the ‘90s and the rapid advancement of the microchip. The same advancements that spurred the computer to reach dizzying levels of efficiency have also done the same for the LED. Just as computers have become faster and cheaper, LED lights have become brighter, smaller, less expensive, and more sophisticated.