ledsign3There is a lot going behind a simple innocent looking LED sign, today we will be exploring the science of how it works.

What is an LED anyway?

For all the folks who still wonder what LED stands for, your mystery is about to be solved. LEDs or Light Emitting Diodes are marvel of scientific inventions. In the very simplest terms they can be thought of as tiny light bulbs which are small enough to fit onto an electrical circuit.

The difference between them and normal incandescent lights is that they do not have any filament, nor do they get extremely hot after frequent use, which makes them more reliable too. LEDs are lighted by very fast moving electrons, the energy released from the movement of electrons results in the illumination we perceive.

Looking further into an LED make up is its Diode, which can be referred to as a very rudimentary semiconductor device. Now for the one who do not know what a semiconductor is, fret not. A semiconductor is simply as the name implies, an element which conducts electricity in some state and in other it does not.

LED’s emit light by a process known as electroluminescence, which refers to materials that radiate light when electric current or an electric field passes through them. This phenomenon happens when the semiconductor in the LED’s case has electron holes, which are filled with electrons from the electricity charge. The electron holes imply simply that when an atom lacks electrons hence the term electron holes. The holes therefore have a positive charge due to the absence of needed electrons. This transition of electrons between the negative and positive crystals of LED’s results in the magic we know of as light.

How do LEDs give life to signs?

Well, not literally, but yeah LED’s do give signs a life from a static and dead visuals into a bright colorful existence. Highly complex minds work behind the scenes in the form of an integrated electronic circuit, which controls LEDs how they light up. Depending on whether they are illuminated or dimmed, their timing will synchronize with each other. A heavy density led sign consists of thousands and sometimes even millions of LED’s which yield such beautiful displays.

Who has not watched Las Vegas in the night whether in movies or in person? It is famous for those bright lit LED signs.

How LEDs work in signs

To understand how so many LEDs work in conjunction with each other, we will refer to each led to illustrate the point as an pixel, which is the smallest single dot on computing screens. So millions of pixels turn on and off producing the picture on the screen, very similarly LEDs are placed in a matrix.

When the circuit sends in the instructions each led responses to the request and illuminates producing a trailing effect or otherwise forming a complete image on the sign. This effect is achieved by the flow of current to each led.