LED Light Sources, From Past to Present

No wonder today’s innovations touch every area of our life. The best and most useful discoveries are devoted to cure and save people. LEDs stand out on this long list of innovative technologies. What can be more familiar to us than a simple light bulb? For decades we have used simple electric bulbs, but now they are rapidly being substituted by new LED bulbs.

What is a LED? LED – light-emitting diode – consists of a semiconductor diode. LED was discovered in 1927 by Russian scientist Losev, but enjoyed its practical application only in 1962, when the production of red light emitting diodes launched. One of the first LED indicators was used in calculators in 1968.

Gradually LEDs penetrated into many spheres of industry and medicine. Scientists developed very bright light sources based on super efficient LED bulbs, which at a higher current emit thousands of lumens. Now we can say that LED light sources have more advantages than any other, including Halogen or Metal Halide light sources, as they produce more light per watt than other bulbs.

LEDs can emit light of an intended color without the use of color filters. Now, LED handles for medical endoscopes emit a very powerful white light. This light is “cleaner” and “whiter” than Halogen and stands near Xenon light sources, which helps during the most complex operations.

LEDs can be very small (smaller than 2 mm). Based on this feature, LED light sources (or LED handles) are becoming more and more compact. Now it is possible to find a very convenient and bright LED light source, which can completely substitute a Halogen light source during laparoscopic and other operations. Doctors don’t need long wires. Everything is handy. You can easily take it and adjust light intensity and focus just with a slight touch of finger! LEDs can very easily be dimmed either by modulation or lowering the forward current. Now LED light sources have a light intensity switch to decrease or increase illumination easily.

In contrast to most light sources, LEDs radiate very little heat in the form that can cause damage to sensitive objects or tissues. Wasted energy is dispersed as heat through the base of the LED. This feature makes LEDs vitally important for the medical sphere, where it is necessary not to heat human organs or tissues.

LEDs also have a long and useful life expectancy. One report estimates 35,000 to 50,000 hours of useful life.

The solid package of the LED can be designed to focus its light. Incandescent and fluorescent sources often require an external reflector to collect light and direct it in a usable manner. This feature results in medical LEDs with adjustable focus. This helps to illuminate either a large area of inspection, or to concentrate on a small spot.

The development of LED technology has allowed their efficiency to increase exponentially, especially in the medical industry. Soon, LEDs will completely substitute all other light sources as they optimal for a variety of uses.

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