PCBs, or Printed Circuit Boards have become an integral part o the modern world.
Used in just about every major piece of technology in the world from the simple to the complex, it?s something of a commonplace today.
Ever since the PCBs first emerged, a couple of decades ago, they have been adopted and developed into several different variants.
Each suited to its own interesting and specialized purpose, one can today find a host of different PCB varieties, and each suited for something unique and special.
Of the many PCB varieties that exist, one of the more interesting and often ignored variants, is that of the LED PCB.
LED PCB is an abbreviation for Light Emitting Diode PCB. It is an interesting technological development, used in a wide range of applications, and might just be in your own home as well, albeit gone unnoticed.
There is much that can be said about LED PCBs, with regard to their nature, characteristics and other aspects.
Given in the points below, are some of the key details about LED PCBs.
1.) The Nature of the Technology
The term LED PCBs refers to the fact that it is a merger of two different technologies, namely LEDs and PCBs.
To start off, LED is an abbreviation that stands for Light Emitting Diode. It is in simple terms, a semi-conductor, which has the property of emitting light, the moment electricity is passed through it. Found in everything from gadgets to lighting, they play an important role in the everyday lives of people everywhere.
Then there is the PCB aspect of the technology, which is an abbreviation for Printed Circuit Board. It is that technology, which after its introduction around the middle of the 20th century, quickly replaced wiring and become a major component of the technological revolution that took place afterwards.
LED PCBs in turn, are simply a complex and integrated version of the two, and can be found in a wide range of applications.
2.) Design & Construction
The design of LED PCBs is fairly simple, although different applications may use various additional techniques and features.
In simple words, the technology involves the soldering of LEDs, of various designs and specifications, to a metal-core PCB base. Other components may be added, as required by the client.
Also, the boards are typically thin, for the purpose of both efficiency and heat dissipation, which allows for higher performance of the assemblies.
3.) Uses & Applications
Of the many purposes that LED PCBs are used for, one of the most important is for the purpose of lighting.
Today, one can find LED PCBs used in everything from home and street lighting, to more important applications such as those in marine, military and even space-based applications.
In addition to this, LED PCBs are also increasingly integrated into gadgets and components, which have a need for light-based signals and indications, and for which they are an ideal option.
4.) Energy Efficiency
There are several advantages to the use of the LED PCBs, in the many applications explained above.
Of them all, one of the most important, is that of energy efficiency. This is because in comparison to regular sources of lighting such as incandescent bulbs or even CFLs, LEDs consume a very small amount of energy.
This is something which can be very useful in large-scale lighting requirements, where energy bills are usually high.
Another advantage of LEDs is that of the lighting?s brightness, which tends to be as bright, if not brighter, than regular sources of lighting.
It is a feature that makes LED PCBs very attractive in terms of a lighting choice, given that one is able to achieve a similar degree of lighting efficiency, with a lower energy cost.
With developments in technology, even the limitation of the brightness factor is being overcome, as LEDs get increasingly brighter and efficient.
6.) Cost Factor
LED PCBs are generally expensive, in comparison to other lighting-based alternatives.
There are several reasons for this, all of which adds up to the final cost of the product. For one thing, the manufacture of the PCB is fairly expensive, due to the raw material being used in its manufacture.
And then there are the technological requirements in its manufacture, which are a high upfront investment for many companies, all of which pass on the cost to their customers, at least temporarily.
7.) Heating Issues
One aspect of LED PCBs which are to be addressed, is the heating issue.
In general, the LEDs tend to get heated up, when used over a long period of time. Although a common issue in all applications where electricity is used, it is fairly pronounced in this case.
This is however an increasingly minor issue, as development of ?heat sinks? in the application, such as metal substrates, have allowed for faster heat dissipation from the boards.
Aluminum PCBs are typically used in these applications, along with a thermally conductive dielectric material that allows for rapid heat transfer and dissipation, as opposed to other PCB designs. Currently, the standard industry practice for the board?s design is that of a metal board with a ceramic base.
Another important advantage of LED PCBs, is their generally long lifespan.
LED PCBs usually last for a very long time, which may extend well beyond one or two decades, depending on the quality of the assembly design.
This is something that is in sharp contrast to regular lighting options, which may wear out in as little as a few short years, or sometimes a few months.
9.) Comparatively Non-Toxic
Last but not the least, LED PCBs are a non-toxic option for lighting needs, given the nature of chemicals used in their construction.
The most common chemicals used in the manufacture of the LEDs are Gallium Arsenide and Gallium Phosphide, both of which are generally safe, in comparison to chemicals such as mercury used in lighting options such as CFLs.
Although not entirely non-toxic, they are certainly a much safer alternative, given that LEDs don?t damage as easily as CFLs, which significantly reduces the potential for accidental exposure due to breakage.
To sum it all up, LED PCBs are some of the most widely used variants in the world of technology.
Found in everything from electronics to lighting, they are an indispensable aspect of the modern age, and can be expected to play that role for a long time to come.