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This paper discusses radiation effects in light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes in the visible and near infrared region. Although initial evaluations of radiation damage in these types of optical emitters were done more than 30 years ago, modern LEDs and laser diodes respond somewhat differently to radiation because of the many advances in fabrication and materials technology that have occurred during the last 30 years. Results from newer technologies are discussed, along with revised interpretations of older results in the literature. The dependence of damage on particle type and energy, which has been revised by more recent experimental work, is also discussed in the paper.