Different Types Of LED Lights

Heather Clouse
Written by
Last update:

Miniature LEDs (Chip, Nano & Pico LEDs)

Virtually any size light can be made into an LED.

However, when you say miniature, it means small enough to fit into a round pliers. Typical chip LEDs are anywhere from saucer-sized to about the size of a dime, which is 10-10,000 times smaller than a traditional bulb.

There are also Nano and Pico LEDs, which are even tinier.

LED technology is often promoted for its high energy efficiency. Chip LEDs are one of the most energy saving options.

The total amount of energy they use is measured as a lumen per watt, and chip LEDs have higher numbers than other LED types. A single high quality LED chip can be as bright as a 26 Watt halogen lamp and can last for years with minimal power.

These tiny little LEDs are used in almost all kinds of electronics, especially those that benefit from having LEDs as a light source.

The tiny individual LEDs are usually soldered on a STRIP board or on a PCB (printed circuit board).

Chip LEDs typically have a higher amount of lumen per watt than other types of LEDs.

High Power LEDs

These are the most powerful LED bulbs in terms of lumens. LEDs actually create light by putting electrons into an excited state.

They’re more affordable than their LED or Halogen counterparts of the same wattage. As such, they’re commonly used in commercial lighting, flood lights, and other high-power applications.

These lights also tend to last longer than competitors as the power density is lower. The majority of these can produce visible light in the 800-900 nm range.

Powerful LEDs emit a lot of blue light, which is useful in not only providing illumination but also in killing algae. So when you’re choosing LED aquarium lights, keep in mind that your intended purpose may be influencing your choice. So if you want to start a reef aquarium, you’ll want to find LEDs that emit red and blue light.

Application-Specific LEDs

  • BA or Par – pronounced baar-ay, stands for bar-type; a more efficient form of LED made by wafer. It generally comes with a more narrow field of view.
  • COB – comes from chip-on-board, meaning that the control circuitry is built onto the light. It normally comes with a wide field of view.
  • Para-LEDs or PAR – pronounced parr; this term is used for either a single diode or multiple diode arrangement. Almost all such LEDs have a wide field of view.
  • Spot-LEDs or Spot – These signal to the driver that light needs to be focused for a narrow field of view. They usually only come in a few specific colors including cool white, warm white, blue, and amber.
  • Surface mount – LEDs that are mounted on surface of a substrate do not have an associated lens or reflector.
  • Point source – LEDs that are mounted on surface of a substrate along with a diffuser lens are referred to as point source LEDs. These are usually used for high luminous output because they have a larger surface area.

Lighting LEDs

There has been a lot of talk about LEDs and people getting curious. They want to know what kind of lights they are, what they’re used for and how to get the most out of them.

Due to the low power consumption and longer lifespan, LEDs have become very popular in the home, either in the form of small spotlights or big bright light bulbs.

But what exactly are they?

LED is an acronym for Light Emitting Diode.

They are essentially ordinary diodes designed to emit light, by changing the way they work.

They are very small and can be placed all over the place. They are strong and durable as well. Also, they do not get hot even after continuous use.

LED lights are great examples of how technology has progressed over the years. They are one of the most beneficial inventions of the 21st century so far.

Here’s everything you need to know about them.

Alphanumeric LEDs

An alphanumeric LED sign is the best option for fractional, real-time data display.

These signs are designed to accept inputs that are in real-time and this allows for very accurate and fast data flow. A program can be set up to display almost any type of data including fuel costs, weather reports and a variety of other such options.

When the data has been compiled and compiled it can be sent out to the alphanumeric LED signs where it can be displayed via scrolling or pre-programmed formats.

Another major function of alphanumeric LED signs is that they can be used as scrolling announcements such as news and other such information to pique the interest of the general public. This information will scroll based on the data inputs and will be clear to the public.

RGB or Red Green Blue LEDs

These are easily identifiable by their multi-color lighting system. You can mix and match the colors of LED lights emitted by these balls.

The color emitted by these LEDs can be made different from one ball to the next to produce a uniquely-colored tropical fish tank design.

It’s also a good way to play around with color if you’re unsure of what type of fish you want to buy for your aquarium.

Bi-color and Tri-color LEDs

The bi-color LEDs are a special type of LED lights that have two color states: one color for growing and another color for flowering.

For the growing state, a plant would need a lot of red and blue light. That is exactly what the bi-color LED grow lights give. As the plant grows, the color state automatically changes to more purple light and a little bit less red and blue light. Thus, the growth rate is accelerated, which can be very beneficial for the budding, flowering, and fruiting phases of a plant’s life.

The tri-color LEDs can produce any color needed for any stage of plant growth, but they can’t transition automatically. Each color state must be turned off and then back on with a specific photo period.

Many dedicated growers use a timer to change between the bi-color and tri-color lights with a specific photo period for each. For example, plants may be switched to bi-color mode from white during vegetative growth, then switched automatically to tri-color mode. A timer would also be used to fade the tri-color lights until the lights are turned off for a period the plants are night-time dormant, and then the cycle would be continued when the plant is switched back to the bi-color lights.

Flashing LEDs

One of the most common components of an Arduino project, flashing LEDs often come in an array of different colors including white, yellow, red, green and blue.

They are very easy to use. Typically, they come in four pins – power, ground and two contacts that need to be bridged for the light to flash.

Each light has a forward voltage rating, so be careful not to install them with too much voltage or your LED may blow.