What is an LED Module?

H. Bliss

A light emitting diode (LED) module is a self-contained LED device designed either to function on its own or to plug into a compatible unit. LED modules are commonly used to create energy-efficient or portable lighting. When powered on, these modules emit bright light from a small bulb. LED module devices include LED book lights, night lights, outdoor lighting, LED headlamps, and LED flashlights, as well as the multiple LED bulb units used in LED lighting fixtures. These units usually have at least one LED bulb contained in a fixture that either powers the LED lights or plugs into a device that powers the LED module.

LEDs use less energy than traditional lights.
LEDs use less energy than traditional lights.

Traditional light bulbs make light by using electricity to heat a thin piece of wire until it glows. This piece of wire is called a filament. Filament light bulbs blow out and cease function when the filament breaks, which can happen if a bump or blow is dealt to the bulb or its fixture. LED bulbs have no filament, so they are more resistant to jostling, making LED a better bulb option for portable lighting fixtures.

Novelty LED module toys are most often seen at concerts, parties and public events.
Novelty LED module toys are most often seen at concerts, parties and public events.

The technology in an LED module uses an electrified semiconductor as its light- emitting material. Depending on the material used to emit light in the LED module, the light can take on any of the colors of the rainbow, plus white and ultraviolet (UV) light. In stage performance light modules, a lighting fixture can be affixed with several colors of LED lamps that can be mixed to light a variety of colors and patterns.

LED modules are popular in eco-friendly lighting because a properly designed LED unit will draw less power producing the same amount of light as a traditional light bulb. A five-watt LED bulb can emit as much power as a 100-watt traditional filament light bulb. Though LED modules last longer than filament bulbs and run on less energy, reducing their long-term cost, the relative price of LED modules in comparison with other types of lighting units can make its setup cost a problem. To offset the initial cost of lighting with LED module fixtures, some local governments and organizations offer financial incentives for installing LED lighting.

LED modules are not always used for serious lighting purposes. For entertainment, LED modules come in many novelty forms, including glowing ice cubes, color-changing wands and LED-lit sunglasses, as well as LED mugs, faux candles and jewelry of many kinds. Novelty LED module toys are most often seen at concerts, parties and public events. These toys are available in toy stores and novelty shops, but are least expensive bought in bulk online.

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