Lasers vs. LEDs - The Debate

The Seventh Sense Blog recently published a blog post on the Sensors Magazine online site. The unknown author referred to as “MD” professes that “Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are probably the most chronicled electronic components of all time, the ones finding more applications by the minute, and the fastest developing…”  He (or she) goes on to compare the laser and the LED, featuring the commonalities as well as the differences between laser technology and LED’s. 

Some of the highlights of this article include:

“A typical ILD…operates like an LED in that light emission depends on current flow through a PN junction, however it differs in its ability to contain and focus light and its lower-power capabilities.”

“Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are much simpler than laser diodes and share several attributes including their semiconductor origins and the ability to act as a light source. LEDs are also, in some ways, more versatile. For one thing, LEDs handle a wider range of mainstream applications and most people are more knowledgeable when it comes to LEDs as opposed to laser diodes.”

“A semiconductor light source, LEDs are available in three types: low power (2 mA to 20 mA), mid power (100 mA to 1W), and high-power (1W to 3W and higher on the horizon). Wavelengths do not extend to the reaches of laser diodes; LEDs span from less than 400 nm (ultra violet) to around 760 nm (infrared).”

NOTE: We know that LED’s actually span as high as 15 µm (or 15000 nm) with our own mid-infrared LED technology. But we can’t fault the author for not knowing what he doesn’t know, can we?

There is a great comparison chart as well that is worth a review.

To sum up, we enjoy the optimism this author has about the future of LED’s. We look forward to the next rendition of this article after he discovers how far LED’s have come in the last couple years!