Although their applications are relatively new, light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, have actually been around since the early 20th century. The technology that paved the way for LEDs was discovered in 1907, when British researchers first conducted experiments on Electroluminescence with a silicon carbide crystal and a crystal detector. But it wasn't until the 1920s that the first LED was finally invented. Unfortunately, LED technology was just too far ahead of its time, and no practical application could be thought of then. Researchers could not figure out how such a small light could be useful.

In the decades that followed, LED technology saw its limited use as light indicators in laboratories and testing facilities. Because LEDs were so expensive during the time, they were often reserved for sophisticated laboratory equipment. After years of application, LEDs finally entered the mainstream and were used on watches, radio sets, telephones, remote controls, computers and other appliances for general use.

With early experiments resulting in the introduction of infrared LEDs, the first diodes only gave off a distinct red light. From generating red light, LEDs have grown to become capable of giving off just about any colour in the spectrum, including yellow, orange, purple, green and blue among others. The use of gallium nitride (GaN) as a semiconductor resulted in blue-light LEDs. Researchers also found out that the combination of GaN with other specific semiconductors produced white light. Because of this development, LEDs have become a favorite among Christmas lights and decorative lighting manufacturers.

LEDs are prized for being exceptionally energy efficient, capable of producing a bright light albeit in significant numbers with a strength that's comparable to CFL and incandescent bulbs, without consuming all that much power and producing high heat. In recent years, LED technology underwent massive improvements, and is now being looked at as a serious replacement for the older generation of lighting solutions. Everything seems to be pointing towards the mainstream usage of LEDs they're smaller, brighter, and above all, consumer far less energy than any lighting product in the market.

With further R&D, LED technology is poised to be in a position where it will be used as a lighting solution in all homes around the world. Whether it’s for decorative, electronic and general purpose lighting, these small lights are capable of doing it all.

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