An IR LED, also known as IR transmitter, is a special purpose LED that transmits infrared rays in the range of 760 nm wavelength. Such LEDs are usually made of gallium arsenide or aluminium gallium arsenide. They, along with IR receivers, are commonly used as sensors.
The appearance is same as a common LED. Since the human eye cannot see the infrared radiations, it is not possible for a person to identify whether the IR LED is working or not, unlike a common LED. To overcome this problem, the camera on a cellphone can be used. The camera can show us the IR rays being emanated from the IR LED in a circuit.