LEDs are the hottest light source for designers, because they run so cool and seem so simple to interface and drive. They are used as basic indicators, for alphanumeric displays, and for illumination.

This Fundamentals course will look at their use for large-area illumination (street lamps, rooms), and display backlighting. Despite the presumed simplicity of using LEDs, the reality is more complex and nuanced. Issues covered here include LED array topologies and tradeoffs, power-supply configurations, LED and power-source reliability, safety standards, EMI/RFI concerns, and power factor considerations.