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Maybe a silly/ignorant question.....

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Woodswalker, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. Woodswalker

    Woodswalker THe great PNW Member

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    But would LED lights survive EMP? My GUT tells me NO. They are a transistor-like device just like a lot of other electronics.

    Partly why I dont have 100% LED lights.

    Anyone else?
  2. UncalledForGabe

    UncalledForGabe Aloha Or. Member

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    An LED is essentially half of a transistor. My guess is that they wouldn't work.
  3. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    This is a really good question. The problem with electronic circuitry being exposed to electric charges and lines of magnetic flux is a matter of scale. Tiny sparks are to a billion transistors per square millimeter as a bolt of lightning is to a person's head. I'm going to say that the relatively large size of the LED junction would protect it from all but the most intense (or closeby) EMPs. It couldn't hurt to keep a few candles handy...just in case.

    I'm stocking up on good old fashioned incandescents, but with me that's more of a matter of civil protest than concern over EMPs :paranoid: .

  4. saxon

    saxon springfield Active Member

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    if i remember my physics class
    take the batteries out and discharge the system.
    the EMP over loads the powered system and that’s why it blows
    also a good reason to have a back up car that runs on a magneto or generator like the old jeeps :D
  5. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 salem or Well-Known Member

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    If your car is not running will it survive?
  6. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Puyallup, WA Well-Known Member

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  7. powersbj

    powersbj Seattle Area Active Member

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    I thought that the vulnerability of an object was proportional to the voltage it has E.G. A high altitude emp would fry transformers, substations, maybe large commercial generators but leave the lower voltage stuff alone... Something I caught in an article somewhere... Please correct me if I'm wrong.
  8. saxon

    saxon springfield Active Member

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  9. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    I have a bit of experience in electromagnetics....

    The internal resistance of nonlinear solid-state electronics is extremely high, so a small electric field can induce a large potential difference across a circuit, zapping it instantly and permanently. Bare chips have to be transported in conductive-foam holders to keep them from frying from the static charge on our fingers.

    It 's a function of many things. When the device is switched off, are the leads grounded, effectively shorted together? Is it inside a metal case that acts as a Faraday Cage? How long are the leads - the antennas that receive the E field?

    The general rule is that if it's switched off it may very well be okay. Even vulnerable devices like static RAM can be protected by encasing them in a conductor. And ask yourself, what kind of EMP event is it worth preparing for? Unlike the USMC, I am unlikely to still be in the fight if I'm inside the high-field inner radius of a nuclear blast.

    The US military spends cubic dollars on all manner of 99+% insurance. As I recall, even their bayonets have to be tested and rated as "rad hardened." That sort of thing is pretty well down my list of preparations.

    What I'm saying is, YES, you're right, incandescent light bulbs should be much more EMP resistant than LED lights. Does it matter? To me, NO.
  10. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    What you need to consider is that the chips that are most vulnerable to EMP are MOS based chips like logic/gate chips, the scale of a LED semiconductor junction is huge compared to the junctions found in gate array chips. Now one thought I have would be that some of your more fancy LED flashlights have modes that are controlled by logic chips that will be much more vulnerable than the actual LED.

    People have a mistaken notion that everything that has a wire is going to just cease to work after an EMP event but the fact is the non micro devices would require EMP radiation at levels that would kill you long before you would have a noticeable effect on the electronic device, so plan on owning a non computer controlled car after EMPSHTF.

    As others have stated you will have much more urgent problems to deal with that will kill you long before you deal with the concerns of EMP.