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Beiträge vom November, 2011

What Is an Infrared LED

Wednesday, 30. November 2011 1:54

An infrared light-emitting diode (LED) is a type of electronic device that emits infrared light not visible to the naked eye. An infrared LED operates like a regular LED, but may use different materials to produce infrared light. This infrared light may be used for a remote control, to transfer data between devices, to provide illumination for night vision equipment, or for a variety of other purposes.
 
An infrared LED is, like all LEDs, a type of diode, or simple semiconductor. Diodes are designed so that electric current can only flow in one direction. As the current flows, electrons fall from one part of the diode into holes on another part. In order to fall into these holes, the electrons must shed energy in the form of photons, which produce light.
 
The wavelength and color of the light produced depend on the material used in the diode. Infrared LEDs use material that produces light in the infrared part of the spectrum, that is, just below what the human eye can see. Different infrared LEDs may produce infrared light of differing wavelengths, just like different LEDs produce light of different colors.
 
A very common place to find an infrared LED is in a remote control for a television or other device. One or more LEDs inside the remote transmit rapid pulses of infrared light to a receiver on the television. The receiver then decodes and interprets these pulses as a command and carries out the desired operation.
 
Infrared light can also be used to transfer data between electronic devices. Mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and some laptops may have an infrared LED and receiver designed for short-range data transfer. Some wireless keyboards and computer mice also use an infrared LED and receiver to replace a cable.

Although invisible to human eyes, many types of cameras and other sensors can see infrared light. This makes infrared LED technology well-suited to applications like security systems and night vision goggles. Many security cameras and camcorders use infrared LEDs to provide a night-vision mode. Hunters may use similar equipment to spot game at night, and some companies sell flashlights with an infrared LED to provide extra illumination for night-vision cameras or devices.
 
Infrared LEDs can be used for a variety of other purposes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved several products with infrared LEDs for use in medical or cosmetic procedures. Robots may use an infrared LED to detect objects, and some utility meters even have an infrared LED to transmit data to a tool for easy meter reading.

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What Is a 3D LED Cube

Wednesday, 30. November 2011 1:53

A three-dimensional (3D) light-emitting diode (LED) cube is a box — usually formed with wire or plastic — that uses colored LEDs. Most 3D LED cube units run on a red-green-blue (RGB) color channel, and these colors need to be combined to form other colors, such as purple, orange and teal. A microcontroller is used to control the LEDs. By making the LEDs go on and off in a sequence, the cube is able to produce light effects such as fading or waving. Aside from this, a 3D LED cube generally is used as a decorative element with calming effects.
 
The majority of 3D LED cube units, and the majority of LEDs in general, run on an RGB color channel. This means that, without mixing colors, the LEDs can be turned red, green, blue and usually white. To obtain other colors, such as orange, red and green will have to be combined — blue can be added, but this normally is used to change the orange’s shade. LED color channel is important for users, because they will need to know how to mix RGB base colors to get different colors, as opposed to channels such as cyan-magenta-yellow-black (CMYK), which would require different color combinations.
 
To shut the lights on and off, a microcontroller typically is paired with a 3D LED cube. In its simplest form, the microcontroller is able to turn the LEDs on and off; more advanced microcontrollers can access the different base colors. The most advanced types are able to mix the base colors and save LED sequences. Despite the complexity, each microcontroller is integrated into all the LEDs, so users can turn off all or some of the lights at once.

By turning certain LEDs on and off in a sequence, the 3D LED cube can display different light effects. For example, the LEDs can fade in and out, they can make a wave or they can light up in the center and then go outward. These effects generally are saved in the microcontroller, if it has the capability to save sequences.
 
While many people find the 3D LED cube interesting, it usually does not serve a practical purpose for owners. It mostly is for decoration and to help owners relax by watching the light patterns, though it also can be used to light up a dark room. Developers may get practical usage out of this, because it allows beginner and intermediate developers to learn how to make a microcontroller, how to control LEDs and how to form them into a workable cube.

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What Are the Different Types of Hallway Lights

Tuesday, 29. November 2011 2:14

Some commonly used types of hallway lights are recessed, track, and sconce lights. Recessed lighting is sometimes placed in the ceiling of a hallway, making it appear as if focused or diffused light is shining through a hole. Another type of hallway lighting is called track lighting, which is often used when recessed lighting is not an option. This type of lighting can simplify wiring for multiple lights attached to a track. Finally, sconces are sometimes reminiscent of torch holders and usually attach to walls at a height similar to free-standing lights.
 
Recessed lighting is a light fixture in a small hole, normally in the ceiling, and can have either a narrow focus or a broad dispersion. One advantage to recessed lighting is that it can be focused at a specific angle, allowing environmental ambiance. These hallway lights might be too difficult for a homeowner to install by him or herself because it usually involves creating a hole in the ceiling. It is normally recommended that a homeowner hire a professional if he or she wants recessed lighting in a hallway.
 
Track lights are a type of hallway lighting that involves placing a piece of track hardware on a ceiling or wall and wiring it to an electrical source. After a track is installed, individual fixtures can be attached to different sections of the track. Sometimes homeowners install track lighting instead of recessed lighting when they come to the conclusion that the recessed lighting installation is too complicated or expensive. Another reason why homeowners opt to install these hallway lights is because they simplify wiring for multiple lights.

Sconces are among the most popular hallway lights, and they are generally torch-like lights attached to a wall. They predate electric lights and are often fashioned with an upward design reminiscent of candle holders. Sconce lights are often placed partway up a hallway wall so that the lighting is at approximately eye level. The stylistic choices with this category of wall sconces are plentiful. While a significant portion of wall sconces have an upward design reminiscent of a medieval torch, others have an abstract appearance.
 
The important of safety during a light installation must be emphasized. Although do-it-yourself projects can be fun and educational, it is highly recommended to hire a licensed electrician when replacing lights. Even if a homeowner is experienced in electrical wiring, following the instructions and having an expert look over the wiring will help ensure against mistakes.

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What Are the Different Types of Kitchen Lighting

Tuesday, 29. November 2011 2:12

The standard kitchen has more different types of lighting than many people realize. Whether natural, halogen, or recessed, a kitchen is a room that often requires light for cooking and eating, reading, and even socializing with family and friends. These lights might be located under a cabinet, above the stove top, or near the sink area. Some are designed to naturally save on energy costs, while others are energy hogs that should not be left on when not needed.
 
Natural lighting is often regarded as the most attractive kind of light. Not only can natural kitchen lighting help cut energy costs, but it is easier on the eyes and can help improve emotional states. There are various ways to fill a kitchen with natural light, including adding skylights, garden windows, and french doors. If on a budget and the kitchen already has at least one window, the homeowner can simply remove the window blinds or curtains that block sunlight.
 
One type of kitchen lighting is referred to as under-cabinet lighting. The lights typically placed under cabinets are focused, task-oriented lights. These lights are oriented so that there is improved visibility on the kitchen counters for cooking and other tasks, but they also improve the general lighting of the room. Many different types of lighting fixtures can be used under cabinets, though long-lasting halogen and xenon bulbs are often favored. Small track lighting fixtures as well as singular bulb fixtures are also often affixed to the undersides of cabinets.
 
In addition to the standard interior microwave light, modern microwaves often have exterior kitchen lighting. These microwaves are typically installed above the stove, and the light can be used to light up the cook-top below it. With a touch of a microwave button, the light can usually be dimmed, brightened, or turned off. Not all microwaves have this feature, especially if they are designed to be used on a counter or in a wall.

Often, kitchen lighting fixtures are oriented to provide light specifically for the sink area. There are quite a few options for sink lighting, but a couple options stand out. Track lightingis often utilized on the ceiling around the sink, and can be particularly viable because it is very focused yet still adjustable. Recessed lighting is also prized, often due to how it can be focused and because it is usually unobtrusive in the decor of the kitchen.

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What Is LED Lighting Technology

Monday, 28. November 2011 7:51

Light emitting diode (LED) lighting technology is a technology that makes use of semiconductors to produce light. Semiconductors are special materials that have been manufactured with specific atomic valence characteristics, which include the ability to emit light, also known as electroluminescence. LED lighting technology evolved from research for brighter and more efficient LEDs, wherein the materials used include germanium, silicon, gallium arsenide, and many others. The LED lighting system has evolved as a major product from various global manufacturers.
 
Individual LEDs are usually less than 0.4-inch (1 cm) casings, usually with connection leads. The longer connection lead is the positive side, or the anode. The anode-cathode junction is enclosed in either a clear-type or diffused-type plastic casing. Each individual LED in a LED lighting panel requires around 2 volts (V) in the forward-bias mode. When used directly from the power outlet, these LEDs are incorporated with electronic power control to limit the currents within safe limits.
 
LED lighting technology has produced more economical lighting due to the efficiency of modern light-emitting diodes. When research on modern-day LEDs started in the 1970s, there was a huge challenge in creating bright LEDs. 40 years later, the significant results of these research efforts are already well known as super-bright signboards and LED light fixtures. The superiority of LED lighting technology is further demonstrated by its economy, efficiency, portability, and light weight. Together with improvement in batteries, LED lighting gadgets demonstrate much longer operation times and, because of the improved design of LEDs, less energy is converted to heat, making the optical efficiency very high.

Development in solar photovoltaic cells and battery storage systems makes LED lighting even more attractive to indoor and outdoor lighting needs. In many countries, the LED-type road safety lights that are being introduced may be charged from the sun during daytime. LED arrays are also very popular for lighting, and very high-visibility safety lights for modern cars use LED arrays in colors such as white, red, and yellow. Many LEDs are also assembled together to make LED panels for various applications. Portable and fixed lighting fixtures take advantage of the light weight, durability, and efficiency of LEDs.
 
The home uses of LEDs are also numerous. Standard compact fluorescent light bulbs are being replaced by LED arrays in certain applications. Indoor and outdoor lighting with or without solar photovoltaic power systems is becoming more popular as well. The technical breakthrough in high-efficiency white LEDs is seen in impressive modern products, and this is expected to further increase the popularity of LED lighting technology as more and more people benefit from it.

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What Is LED DMX Technology

Monday, 28. November 2011 7:49

The term LED DMX technology refers to the use of DMX512 controllers to manipulate light-emitting diodes (LEDs). A DMX controller uses EIA-485 differential signaling at its physical layer in order to adjust the amount of photons, in addition to the amount of light, released by an LED. LED DMX technology is most common in the performing arts such as theater and dance, where the lighting is usually combined with other special effects such as a fog machine or strobe lights.
 
The principle behind a light-emitting diode is generally considered simple. A semi-conducting chip containing impurities will have an anode and a cathode. Electrons and holes capable of transmitting charges flow from the anode to the cathode. When an electron collides with a hole, a photon, or packet of energy, is released, producing light whose frequency is determined by the “band gap energy” of the semi-conducting materials.
 
Originally intended as a “lowest common denominator” method of connecting proprietary protocols, DMX512 communications technology has become the tool of choice for linking advanced special effects fixtures involving LED technology. A particular LED is assigned an identification number such as “12,” and by sending particular electrical signals to the identification number, LED DMX technology can adjust the brightness, color and other characteristics of the diode. For example, by programming the command “12-40%,” a DMX controller could reduce the brightness of a light-emitting diode to 40 percent of the maximum output.
 
LED DMX technology has become increasingly popular because of the DMX512 cable’s sturdy, robust construction that protects it from damage that is easily sustained by other high-speed transmission cables. Wireless DMX transmissions to control LEDs, in particular, are often installed in architectural lighting networks because they are reliable even up to distances of 2,000 feet (609.60 meters). Modern LED DMX controllers also utilize frequency hopping spread-spectrum technology together with cognitive coexistence to minimize interference with other wireless networks.

As scientists seek to maximize the convenience and efficiency of this technology, further improvements are in the works as well. One example of these changes is the use of remote data management, which allows diagnostic feedback from lighting fixtures to the controller. This gives the user much more control over everyday lighting options and shades of color.

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What Is an LED backlight LCD TV

Friday, 25. November 2011 5:31

An LED backlight LCD TV is a flat screen television in which a front liquid crystal display (LCD) panel is illuminated by an array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Flat screen televisions and computer monitors require some form of rear illumination, so that the image displayed on the LCD panel will be visible to a viewer. Early LCD televisions and monitors employed other types of lighting, often high-power fluorescent bulbs. LED backlight LCD TV screens, however have several advantages over earlier versions of flat screen technology, including power consumption, brightness and lifespan.
 
LCD monitors and televisions work by filtering white light from a background source, allowing only the colors needed to produce the image on the screen to pass through and be visible. This process is not very efficient, and the majority of the light produced in an LCD TV is filtered out, leading to high power consumption. LED backlight LCD TV is more energy efficient than earlier flat screen television technologies, in large part, because each LED is responsible for illuminating only a very small portion of the screen, and each LED needs to generate light only when that area of the screen needs to show an image and only at the level of brightness necessary for the image being displayed. This characteristic of LED backlight LCD TVs reduces waste light and heat generation.
 
An additional advantage to high-quality LED backlight LCD TV is their longer average lifespan. LEDs are very simple and durable products, if manufactured properly, and can provide years of reliable service. Flat screen televisions backlit with high-power fluorescent bulbs are prone to failures related to their illumination systems. LEDs, on the other hand, if produced to an appropriately high standard, are less likely to fail before other elements of a LED backlight LCD TV. Individual LEDs do eventually fail, and the failure of LEDs can produce dead spaces in an LCD TV screen where the pixels are no longer illuminated.

More advanced technologies similar principles to LED backlight LCD TV are possible. Organic LED technology fuses the two key components of a flat screen TV. In such devices, the LCD panel that creates the image for display can also directly emit light. This is a significant advantage because no energy needs to be wasted generating light in portions of the visible spectrum that will be filtered out by the display panel or in illuminating darkened areas of a screen.

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What Are LED Landscape Lights

Friday, 25. November 2011 5:30

Light emitting diode (LED) landscape lights are outdoor lighting systems that utilize LED technology, which is also used for many electronic systems found in the home. These lights illuminate outside spaces while using much less electricity than traditional incandescent lights, making them a popular choice for those who are ecologically minded. LED lights tend to be more durable than incandescent lighting as well and often are found in places where other lights would be impractical, such as fences, decks or walkways. LED landscape lights also may replace traditional spotlights, lanterns or be used as recessed lighting in a walkway. To create ambience in a backyard setting, LED lights may grace trees with hanging lights or light up a grill with a “goose-neck” clip-on light.
 
Fashion-conscious landscape designers often look to LED landscape lights to create special effect lighting in an outdoor setting. Installing recessed LED lights into a deck floor for instance, may transform the entire area once night falls. Several hanging pendant lights may lend a cozy glow to a patio or welcome visitors near the front entrance of a home. Exterior LED sconces could dramatically light up a fence, highlight a garage or put the focus on a unique deck railing. These light fixtures are usually made of steel, brass or copper and use LED lights in hues of red, green, blue, amber or white.
 
In an outdoor environment, LED landscape lights may be easier to work with when it comes to wiring and electrical concerns, due to their low-voltage requirements. This may make lighting up a remote area of a homeowner’s property a possibility, compared to what would be needed to install traditional outdoor lighting. Usually, LED lights need just a fraction of the power needed by standard outdoor lighting, which also makes this type of lighting popular with homeowners who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint.

Using LED landscape lights in the garden may also be a more practical way to showcase plants — and a safer one too, as LED lights do not get hot to the touch. In comparison to incandescent lighting, which can get fairly hot, this may also put homeowners at ease when it comes to pet safety. This type of outdoor lighting also tends to be more durable than most traditional lighting systems because LED lights do not have filaments that can break, which also may make LED systems a popular choice for lighting up ponds or rock gardens.

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What Are Bubble Christmas Lights?

Thursday, 24. November 2011 6:03

Bubble Christmas lights are decorative items that consist of a plastic tube of liquid that rises from a base with a light bulb inside. They can come on a string of several lights or separately as a tube and base that can be snapped over a regular Christmas light. Traditionally, the liquid was something with a low boiling point such as a light-weight oil or methylene chloride. The heat from the light bulb would cause the liquid to bubble, hence the term bubble lights. Modern versions typically use LED light to duplicate the effect of the bubbling liquid.
 
Early versions of bubble Christmas lights usually had a clear light bulb and colored liquid in the tube. There were also some versions with colored lights and clear liquid. More modern variations include glitter in the liquid, decorative bases, and lights for other holidays such as Halloween.
 
The color of the plastic base can also vary. Early versions of the lights usually had plastic parts that were green, red, blue, and amber. Modern bubble lights come in an even wider array of colors.
 
Most modern versions of Christmas bubble lights do not contain liquid, but rather have bubbles etched into the sides of the tube. The lights may be stationary or have LED elements in them that change the color in a way that imitates the way bubbles once appeared in the tube. There are also now larger bubble lights filled with distilled water that are made to be able to stand on their own.

Bubble Christmas lights have consistently existed in some form since they were first created in the 1940s. They were first made in Manchester, England, but quickly spread to other countries as their popularity grew. Bubble lights were most commonly used as decorations throughout the 1950s and 1970s, at which time they were essentially replaced by the smaller variety of light most popular throughout the rest of the century. They have since had a resurgence in popularity as a retro Christmas decoration.
 
The lights have been available in several sizes, voltages, and configurations over the years. Early versions of bubble lights came eight lights to a string with 15-volt light bulbs. The bulbs were screwed into a base. There are two kinds of base used for modern versions of bubble Christmas lights: a wedge base into which a 12-volt light bulb can be snapped into place or a candelabra-style base that accepts 120-volt light bulbs.

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What Are LED Icicle Lights

Thursday, 24. November 2011 6:01

Icicle lights are strands of decorative lights that have varying lengths of shorter light strands attached at intervals. When the main strand is hung horizontally, the shorter strands hang down like icicles. LED lights are those created from a light emitting diode. They are generally brighter and more energy-efficient than standard light bulbs. LED icicle lights, then, are strands of icicle lights made from LEDs.
 
The first LED lights were introduced in the early 1960s and were used primarily as low-brightness indicator lights on electronics. Eventually, their small size, long lifespan, low energy cost and potential brightness made them a popular choice for a wide variety of uses. Today, LED lights are used in automobiles, airplanes, traffic lights and, of course, decorative lighting such as LED icicle lights.
 
Icicle lights first appeared on the market at Christmas time in the mid-1990s. The unique shaping made them surprisingly popular. They soon became a common sight on homes decorated for Christmas. In the 2000s, the popularity of icicle lights merged with the technology of LED lights and LED icicle lights emerged.
 
These light strands are popular for decorating for a number of reasons. LED icicle lights use less energy than standard icicle lights, so they have less impact on seasonal power bills. They generally last far longer than traditional lights, so they are efficient for seasonal displays that are operated each year, for several days or weeks in a row and for a large portion of each day. Their size and construction makes them less prone to breakage and burnout than traditional holiday mini-lights, which decreases homeowner frustration with the light-testing and -hanging process.

LED icicle lights are brighter than other available icicle lights, so a greater effect can be made with fewer strands. LED lights also produce a truer color. Traditional lights can fade over time and can appear pastel rather than primary.
 
While LED icicle lights were originally available only in white and were used only during Christmas or other winter holidays, use has spread. Such lights are now available for December holidays in all white, red and green, red and white, blue, blue and white and multi-colored. Red, white and blue strands are used in the United States for patriotic holidays such as the Fourth of July. Strands are available in purple, green, orange, black and combinations thereof for use at Halloween. Other colors and color palettes are available for use in general party or event decorating.

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