Electroluminescence is a characteristic of a material, typically a semiconductor, that enables it to emit light in response to an electrical current or a strong electrical field.
The process behind electroluminescence is radiative recombination, also known as spontaneous emission. In radiative recombination, phosphorescent substances emit photons (light particles) in response to a small electrical current. Applications of electroluminescence include nightlights and automobile dashboard displays.
Other types of light generation include:
- Incandescence, which occurs as a result of heat.
- Chemiluminescence, which occurs as a result of a chemical reaction.
- Sonoluminescence, which occurs as a result of sound.
- Mechanoluminescencether, which occurs as a result of a mechanical action.