Industrial-grade sapphires are used in many applications from lasers to windows to semiconductor circuit substrates. In particular, the use of industrial sapphires has revolutionized LED illumination technology. Polished sapphire wafers give manufacturers access to a cost-effective source for the raw industrial sapphire materials they need.
What Are LED Bulbs?
LED is an acronym for “light emitting diode.” LED Bulbs are able to use energy far more efficiently that conventional light bulbs because they emit light in a specific direction. LEDs first made an appearance in the 1960s when they were used as an electronic component in the fledgling handheld calculator industry. They were very expensive at the time, but scientific advances, including the use of industrial-grade gems in their manufacture, have now made LED lights available for an enormous number of uses. Conventional lighting sources in homes and offices these days are likely to be 12V LED bulbs because of their durability, their longevity and the huge energy savings associated with them.
Sapphires and LED bulbs
Something like 8 out of every 10 LED bulbs on the market today uses industrial-grade sapphire wafers in their manufacturing process. LED bulbs are manufactured through a process that relies upon the deposition of crystalline layers on top of a crystalline substrate, and industrial-grade sapphire is one of the most commonly used substrate materials. Sapphire is not only cost-effective, it also has thermal properties that allow it to stand up to the extremely high temperatures that are necessary to manufacture reliable shortwave LED illumination.
Other Uses for Sapphire Wafers
This same technology has been widely adapted for use in many other industries in addition to consumer lighting. Sapphire-generated LEDs are now a standard in mobile devices where they’re used for everything from touchscreen sensors to camera lenses. They’re also deployed in backlighting screens associated with many different electronic devices, including smartphones, televisions, computers and tablets. They can also be used to manufacture mega-screen displays such as the ones used at rock concerts and in sports arenas. Additionally, the automobile industry has begun incorporating LED lighting into headlights, brake lights and in-dash illumination sources.