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An LED lamp is a light-emitting diode (LED) product that is assembled into a lamp (or light bulb)) for use in lighting fixtures. LED lamps offer comparatively long life compared to incandescent lamps and some fluorescent, although at a higher initial expense. Degradation of LED die and packaging materials reduces output over time.

Research into organic LEDs (OLED) and polymer light-emitting diodes (PLED) is aimed at reducing the production cost of lighting products. Diode technology currently improves at an exponential rate.

Some LED lamps are made to be a directly compatible drop-in replacement for incandescent or fluorescent lamps. An LED lamp packaging may show the lumen output, power consumption in watts, color temperature and sometimes an equivalent wattage of an incandescent lamp it will replace.

Efficacy of LED devices continues to improve, with some chips able to emit more than 100 lumens per watt. LEDs do not emit light in all directions, and their directional characteristics affect the design of lamps. The efficacy of LED lamps is generally significantly higher than that of incandescent lamps, thus for the same level of power in, they emit more light than incandescent lamps. The light output of traditional LEDs is small compared to incandescent and compact fluorescent lamps and in most applications multiple LEDs are needed to form a lamp, although high-power versions (see below) are quickly overcoming this limitation.

LED chips need controlled direct current (DC) electrical power and an appropriate power supply is needed. LEDs are adversely affected by high temperature, so LED lamps typically include heat dissipation elements such as heat sinks and cooling fins.

About LED light bulbs

LED lamps are made that replace screw-in incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs. Most LED lamps replace incandescent bulbs rated from 5 to 60 watts. As of 2010, some LED lamps replace higher wattage bulbs; for example, one manufacturer claims a 16-watt LED bulb as bright as a 150 W halogen lamp. A standard general-purpose incandescent bulb emits light at an efficiency of about 14 to 17 lumens/W depending on its size and voltage. According to the European Union standard, an energy-efficient bulb that claims to be the equivalent of a 60 W tungsten bulb must have a minimum light output of 806 lumens. A selection of consumer LED bulbs available in 2012 as drop-in replacements for incandescent bulbs in screw-type sockets.

Some models of LED bulbs work with dimmers as used for incandescent lamps. LED lamps often have directional light characteristics. The lamps have declined in cost to between US$10 to $50 each as of 2012. These bulbs are more power-efficient than compact fluorescent bulbs and offer lifespans of 30,000 or more hours, reduced if operated at a higher temperature than specified. Incandescent bulbs have a typical life of 1,000 hours, compact fluorescents about 8,000 hours. The bulbs maintain output light intensity well over their life-times. Energy Star specifications require the bulbs to typically drop less than 10% after 6000 or more hours of operation, and in the worst case not more than 15%. LED lamps are available with a variety of color properties. The higher purchase cost than other types may be more than offset by savings in energy and maintenance.

Several companies offer LED lamps for general lighting purposes. The technology is improving rapidly and new energy-efficient consumer LED lamps are available.

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