|Have you ever wondered how an LED flashlight |
like the FOURSEVENS Maelstrom MMS worked?
The inefficiency of incandescent bulbs was a problem. When there's a problem, people try and find a solution. Moving forward a few decades, we come to the LED, which stands for Light Emitting Diode. LED's are the brightest, most compact light emitters that are commonly available in flashlights. They are very energy efficient, small, durable and are quickly becoming less and less expensive. I wouldn't call them the future of lighting technology, since they're here already, it's just that some people haven't caught up with the times yet.
This leads me to my original question: How does a LED work?
A LED emitter is called a diode, not a bulb. A diode is a device that conducts and electrical current in only one direction. A bulb is not a diode since it will work with an electrical current flowing through it in either way. An LED will only work with current flowing through it in one direction.
|Illustration of simple light emitting diode (LED)|
Anyways, when an electrical current is applied to the diode, electrons travel from the N-type side to the P-Type side. When the electrons fall into one of the holes in the P-Type side, they release energy. Think of what happens when you drop a ball into a hole; the energy from the ball is transferred to whatever the hole is in. What can happen when an electron releases energy is really amazing, though. The energy from the electron falling into the hole is released in the form of a photon, which is a particle of light.
This continuous movement of electrons falling into the holes releases light, causing the LED to glow. This phenomena doesn't create much heat, so it's a lot more efficient than an incandescent bulb.
|The yellow phosphor on the Quark Tactical QT2A|
changes blue light to white light.
Now, I hope that you guys understood all that and that it didn't all go over your head. I figured that with a Flashlight Blog, and with so many LED flashlight reviews, you would be wondering how the technology worked. It's amazing and you can be assured that in the future, the technology will get better and better.
The future does seem pretty bright, doesn't it? (pun intended)
-Wikipedia. Diode. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diode
-How Stuff Works. How Light Emitting Diodes Work.
-U.S. Department of Energy. Using Light-Emitting Diodes.