Once limited to simple status indicators, Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) now play prominent roles in back lighting, panel indication, decorative illumination, emergency lighting, and animated signage, among other applications. The emergence of LEDs as a viable alternative to incandescent lighting can be attributed to new manufacturing technologies, packaging innovations and an increasing number of colors. These factors, along with the growing awareness of the advantages of LEDs have engineers, product designers, purchasing agents and component vendors viewing LEDs in a whole new light.

This paper provides an overview of LED technology and discusses the benefits of using LEDs. It also presents information and guidance about a range of challenges and topics related to LED applications, including a comparison of incandescent lamps and LEDs, a method of performing cost-benefit analyses of LED lamp usage, specific information about applications that leverage white-light LEDs, guidelines for evaluating the brightness of LEDs, and an LED color chart.