LED Sign Works

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History of LED Lights

LED's or Light Emitting Diodes is basically just a diode that emits a single color light. An LED light is merely a die or semiconductor material, a lead (where the the die is placed) and some encapsulation epoxy that surrounds and protects the die. Pretty simply stuff really but the effects are amazing.

In the 1960's the first LED's were produced which resulted in a red light source. The problem though was the red LED's were not quite bright enough for humans to really be able to see it in normal day light operations. So the first LED applications were mostly indicator lights for military use. As technology progressed in the 1970's additional colors were created and as new colors became available, new uses for LED lights were in demand. LED's were produced in applications such as calculators, digital watches, test devices and more.

It wasn't until the 1980's when new materials were developed to make LED's brighter, more stable and cost efficient. With these advances, LED lights saw rapid growth. Since LED's are over 10 times brighter and more efficient than incandescent, neon etc., the sign industry started to boom.

Today, LED's are the standard in many applications such as traffic control (stop lights, pedestrian signals, hazard signs), message signs and automotive equipment and instruments. Electronic components highly depend on LED lights for many products and Toshiba is the leading manufacturer of LED's today.

LED's have come leaps and bounds since its inception 30 years ago and it does not look like its slowing down. From billboards to laptops to variable message signs and even medical equipment, LED lights are here to stay.

Quick Facts

  • Easy to install
  • Easy to maintain
  • Brighter than neon
  • Energy efficient
  • Safe to touch
  • Lasts up to 100k hours


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