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LED, how to use it in your projects?

If you are a beginner in the world of electronics, programming and development boards, you are probably familiar with LED lights and their applications. Usually our first programming project or the “Hello World” of microcontrollers is always to light an LED. If on the other hand you have never used one of these lighting devices, you are in the right place to learn a little more about the subject and acquire a base of criteria for the moment you need to acquire one.

Today we will be talking in a very simple article about LED lights and everything you need to know about them. We will also be leaving you with some purchasing options for different types of users, from the most basic to the most advanced.

Without further ado, let’s get started!!!!

What is an LED?

A light emitting diode, or LED, is a device that emits light when activated. Each diode has two connection terminals called anode (positive terminal) and cathode (negative terminal). When a voltage is applied to these terminals, an electrical reaction called electroluminescence takes place, which releases energy in the form of photons, creating the light effect we see when these devices are turned on. It should be clarified that each type of LED has a semiconductor bandwidth, which is responsible for defining the color of the illumination emitted, and therefore the color of the LED.

Parts of an LED Diode


As you can observe in the previous image, all the parts in which these devices are divided are presented. To clarify that it must always be connected as established in the diagram because if it is done in reverse no accident will occur, since it is still a diode, but in this case it will not turn on.

Types of LEDs

Next we will see the main types of LED diodes that we can find in the market and their main applications, after knowing this you will be able to make a smart decision in order to acquire the ones you may need in your future projects. We leave you the link to buy each one in AliExpress where you will find the best deals. If you still do not know where to buy your electronics accessories and the advantages of buying in this Marketplace, we leave you our article AliExpress, the best Marketplace for your projects in which we show you all the advantages and discounts you can get buying on this platform.

Through Hole or Standard

We start with the most common and mass-produced for their wide range of functionalities and ease of purchase. They usually have a variety of sizes but the most common to find are the models of 3, 5 and 8 mm in a wide variety of colors (white, blue, red, green, yellow, etc.).

LED AliExpress
Pack 500 LED – 5.72 EUR


Two-color or Bicolor

As the name suggests the following type of LED emits its illumination in two different colors. It consists of three connectors, two anodes and one cathode. Depending on the type of color and the connection configuration applied, one color or the other will be illuminated.

LED ALiExpress
Pack 40 LED Bicolor  – 1.28 EUR



RGB LEDs have three diodes in the same package, which allows to produce a wide range of colors thanks to the PWM or pulse width modulation system. This is a favorite because it has the advantage of having 3 colors in 1, saving space, wiring and increasing the possibilities of applications.

LED RGB AliExpress
Pack 100 LED RGB – 6.95 EUR


SMD(surface mount emitting diodes)

These LEDs are special for mounting on PCB boards. They are usually used in fixed assemblies and matrices. They are among the most commonly used in today’s housing luminaires, where we used to have the old cold light or incandescent lamps.

LED SMD AliExpress
Pack 100 LED SMD –  4.39 EUR

High Power LED

LED diodes whose power consumption is higher than 1W are considered high power LEDs. This range is usually used in automobiles, city lighting, high power consumption flashlights, etc… Since their consumption is high in relation to the other previous ranges, it is necessary to use heat sinks in these lamps since the power supply of these devices is usually quite high.

High Power LED Bulb 50W- 4.69EUR


In conclusion

As you have been able to appreciate, it is a fairly simple article so that you can have the basic notions and the differences between each of these LED diodes. In case you are starting with your programming projects either with Arduino, Raspberry Pi or any microcontroller, we always recommend you to start with the basics and develop your projects with LED’s little by little. Start with some unique colors and go understanding its operation and then learn the concepts of working with PWM and finally be able to control arrays or even some high power.

If you have any questions let me know in the comments and I’ll be helping you with anything you need. If you need a more personalized advice do not hesitate to contact us through our contact form.

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