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What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear about semiconductors in relation to lighting applications? To most of us, the first device that we will think of is a light-emitting diode (LED). This is a lighting system whose functionality depends on the operation of a discrete semiconductor component. In this case, it is a diode.
Other than diodes, other discrete semiconductors have been used to perform different roles in the lighting application. In this article, we are going to discuss in detail the primary roles of discrete semiconductors in lighting applications. If you are building any type of revolutionary lighting application, you will be able to appreciate the importance of discrete semiconductors.
Relationship between lighting applications and discrete semiconductors
Generally, a typical discrete semiconductor component is designed to perform a single role in an electric circuit. If the circuit is to be used for lighting purposes, the function of the component should be to emit light. Another component in the same lighting application may be used to regulate the flow of electric current and voltage in the circuit.
So, what would happen when several discrete semiconductors are used in a single application? You should expect multiple functionalities to be manifested in that application. This is exactly what happens in most modern lighting applications. Different discrete semiconductors that are independent of each other are included in an electric circuit. Each of them will perform its role.
Additionally, each discrete semiconductor comes with its own technical specifications that allow it to deliver different levels of performance in a lighting circuit.
Other types of discrete semiconductors that are used in lighting applications include transistors, thyristors, switches, and voltage regulators, among many others.
Functions of discrete semiconductors in lighting applications
Now let’s look at some of the key roles that discrete semiconductors play in the overall functioning and operation of modern lighting applications.
Emission of light
In applications such as LED lighting, the primary role of semiconductors is to emit light. When the right amount of electric current passes through a discrete component such as a diode. The ability to emit light is based on various properties of semiconductor materials. They have holes and electrons. When electric current passes through the material, it will force a recombination of holes and electrons, an act that will result in the generation of energy. This energy is released in the form of light.
Power management in lighting applications
Since lighting applications rely on electric power, we cannot undermine the role of power management. It defines how the lighting fixtures consume electric current and voltage. One role of discrete semiconductors is energy optimization. They ensure that there is a maximum conversion of electric current to light energy.
Energy management is among the top reasons why LED lighting applications are rated energy-savers. This is because they consume less energy than the traditional lighting solutions. Despite using lower energy, they are still able to produce the desired lighting results.
Protection in lighting applications
One of the advantages of LED lighting devices is reliability and durability. They tend to last for a longer time than most alternative solutions.
Another aspect of energy management is the protection of devices from the dangers of power surges. Discrete semiconductors ensure that lighting devices are shielded from the effects of high current and voltage. This results in a longer lifespan and reliability of lighting devices.
The ability to withstand high temperatures is another way in which discrete semiconductors contribute towards the reliability of lighting devices. They are rarely affected by high temperatures that can easily lead to physical and electrical damage to lighting components.
Some discrete semiconductors are used for controlling the behavior of electric circuits. Transistors fit this role perfectly. They determine when the lighting application should remain On or Off. The fast-switching speed of discrete semiconductors makes them perfect for the control action.
Lighting effects and features
You can use discrete semiconductors to add different lighting effects to an application. These effects include different colors, dimmability, sound effects, sensors among many others.
What are the lighting applications that use discrete semiconductors?
We have just discussed the key functions of discrete semiconductors in lighting applications. So, what are some of these lighting solutions? Think of any type of modern lighting solution. Chances are it fully relies on discrete semiconductors.
The most common and basic application is LED lighting. Here, discrete semiconductors are directly involved in the generation or emission of light. They do this by converting electric energy into light. LED lighting has evolved to be the most dominant form of modern lighting. Common applications of LED lighting include residential lighting, commercial lighting, security lighting, and floodlights among others. LEDs have replaced fluorescent lights in most applications thanks to the many advantages that they come with. They have high energy efficiency and as well as have lower maintenance cost.
Another common application of discrete semiconductors is in display technologies. When buying any electronic device, one of the features that you would want to know is the display technology that has been used. These technologies include Organic LED and LCD. The primary components of these display technologies are the discrete semiconductors.
We also have specialized lighting applications. These are lighting systems that are designed for specific application areas. These applications include automotive lighting, aviation lighting, smart lighting, farm lighting, and traffic lighting among many others. As long as your lighting solution is designed for a niche industry and uses discrete semiconductors, then it qualifies to be under this category.
What kind of lighting application are you building? Would you like the solution to feature cutting-edge technology? Chances are high that you will need discrete semiconductors to implement various features in your lighting application. Since each semiconductor component is designated to perform a specific role in an electric circuit, it won’t be hard to identify the exact type of semiconductor component that you will need.
Once you know the specifications of the components, the next step is contacting reputable discrete semiconductor suppliers and distributors. They will help you find the best discrete semiconductors for lighting applications.
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