LED lighting is a common sight to see in many homes, offices and industrial spaces. Designed to provide effective light and to lower the energy consumption level, LED showed right from the start that the time of a classic light bulb is slowly coming to an end. LED technology develops as we speak and brings us to new levels of light quality and energy efficiency. There are many colors LED technology can recreate, whether as a single LED or a combination of a few. RGB technology is a way to create different colors using the basic three – Red, Green, and Blue.

Color mixing

A single LED unit only emits one kind of monochromatic light. These are the three primary colors: red, green and blue. Hence the RGB acronym. These three combine to create many other colors. It is called RGB color mixing. Seven basic colors can be created easily, just by controlling the switch of the channel for each of the primary colors (red, green, blue). If we want a color other than the basic 7, we have to manipulate the brightness of a specific primary color and not only switch it on or off.

A common technique to achieve this kind of color control is PWM. Here we can utilize the cycle duty range to determine the level of brightness. The choice of colors grows with the choice of brightness levels. RGB color mixing technology is common in outdoor decoration lighting, in home lighting solutions, in stage designs and display matrixes. Recently, it has been introduced to LED projectors and backlighting.

RGB LED types

Multi-color white LEDs come in a few major types. These are the dichromatic, trichromatic and tetrachromatic white LEDs. They differ in several factors which include color rendering capabilities, color stability, and luminous efficacy. High-efficiency LEDs will often show lower color rendering possibilities. They are a compromise between color rendering and luminous efficacy.

For instance, a dichromatic LED shows the best results in luminous efficacy, but have the lowest color rendering results. Their „older“ brother, the tetrachromatic LED will show excellent color rendering, but luminous efficacy is compromised. Trichromatic are placed in between, acting as a middle ground between the two.

Applications

LED lights and RGB LEDs are most commonly used as status and power indicators in various electronic devices and machines. However, they are becoming a common solution for home lighting as well. RGB LEDs are very adaptable and customizable, providing a myriad of home lighting solutions, from different colors to levels of brightness.

Another new and popular way to use the RGB LEDs are the RGB LED rings. These stylish rings are great because they can change color and produce many lighting effects. They often combine with motion detectors or other sensors. Digital signs are another area where RGB LEDs are put to excellent use. Here, these useful diodes play a key role to display images over large surfaces. Signs like these often come with a wi-fi connection.