LED technology has been grown rapidly in the past decade. From its early days of being used exclusively in laboratories, to being found on appliances as indicator lights, to being the next being thing in general lighting, the humble light-emitting diode has come a long way. It comes as no surprise that three scientists who developed LEDs received the 2014 Nobel Prize in physics for their contribution to the industry through inventing blue lights. 

Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura developed the blue light-emitting diode (LED) in Japan in the early 1990s, triggering a "fundamental transformation of lighting technology," according to a press release from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awarded the prize. Red and green diodes had been around for several years, but adding blue diodes allowed a mix that could produce practical white-light LED bulbs. LEDs use less energy than do other forms of lighting, including compact fluorescent (CFL) and incandescent bulbs. A typical LED bulb can produce around 83 lumens per watt—a measure of how much brightness you can get from a unit of electrical power—compared with 67 for a comparable CFL bulb and 16 for an incandescent. 

Read on at National Geographic.


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