A CDE Definition
(Numeric Indicator eXperimental-1) The first electronic digital readout. Developed by Burroughs in the 1950s, a Nixie tube is a vacuum tube filled with neon that contains 10 wires formed in the shape of the digits 0 through 9. The wires are attached to cathodes on one end and a wire mesh anode on the other. When voltage in the range of 170 to 250 volts is applied to the wire, it glows. Nixie tubes gave way to LED displays in the 1970s. See LED.
(Light Emitting Diode) A display and lighting technology used in almost every electrical and electronic product on the market, from a tiny on/off light to digital readouts, flashlights, traffic lights and perimeter lighting. LEDs are also used as the light source in multimode fibers, optical mice and laser-class printers. See LED lightbulb.
LEDs Vs. LCDs
In the early 1970s, red LEDs were used in the first digital watches, but were superseded by lower-power LCDs within a few years. LEDs still use more power than LCDs, but less power than incandescent bulbs. They also last for decades and are virtually indestructible.
LEDs and LCDs coexist on countless devices where the LEDs provide the status lights, and the LCDs display data. In addition, white or red, green and blue LEDs are used as the backlight source on many LCD TV sets. See LCD, LED TV and flat panel TV.
LEDs are semiconductor diodes that typically emit a single wavelength of light when charged with electricity. Originally red, today, several colors can be generated based on the material used for the tips of the probes. Aluminum indium gallium phosphide (AlInGaP) is used for red and yellow. Indium gallium nitride (InGaN) is used for green and blue, and with the addition of phosphor, for white light as well. See digital billboard, OLED, IRED, LED printer, fiber optics glossary and Nixie tube.
An LED Unit
LEDs and LCDs Are Used Together
First LED Watch
LEDs Offer Flexibility
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