History of LED Light Bulbs

History of LED Light Bulbs

History of LED Light

History of the LED light bulb.  A LED is a light emitting diode.

Electroluminescence as a phenomenon discovered in 1907 by the British Experiment H.J. Round of Marconi Labs. His experiment using a crystal of silicon carbide and a cat’s whisker detector.

And it wasn’t until 1927 when Russian inventor Oleg Lusev reported the creation of the first LED. His research distributed throughout the scientific communities in scientific journals such as Soviet, British, and German. There wasn’t any use made of his discovery until several years later.

Carl Accardo and Edward Jamgochian explained these first Light emitting diodes in 1951 using an apparatus employing crystals with a current source of battery or pulse generator and with a comparison to a variant, pure, crystal in 1953.

Many technologies are growing today, but LEDs is one of the fastest growing technologies today. They are the most efficient lights on the market. With the incentives to save energy upgrading to LEDs either at your place of business or home can mean significant savings.

The chart provided below is a comparison of typical light types:

LED CFL Incandescent
Lightbulb Projected Lifespan 50,000 hours 10,000 hours 1,200 hours
Watts Per Bulb (equivalent to 60 watts) 10 14 60
Cost Per Bulb $2.00 $7.00 $1.25
kWh of Electricity Used Over 50,000 Hours 500 700 3000
Cost of Electricity (@ 0.10 per KWh) $50 $70 $300
Bulbs Needed for 50,000 Hours of Use 1 5 42
Equivalent 50,000 Hours Bulb Expense $2.00 $35.00 $52.50
Total Cost for 50,000 Hours $52.00 $105.00 $352.50

Energy consumption

In 1962 Nick Holanyack Jr. invented the first visible-spectrum LED in the form of a red diode. Pale yellow and green discovered later that year.

In the 1970’s they started appearing as indicator lights and calculator displays.

The invention of the blue diode in 1990 quickly led to the discovery of white LEDs.

Shortly after that, researchers demonstrated white light using red, green and blue LEDs.

Engineering applications for traffic lights, flashlights and T.V’s. As research develops practical applications, we will see more LEDs in our everyday activities.

To make LEDs an option for general lighting researchers had to focus on improving the efficiency of LEDs. It was a major task because LEDs were no more efficient the incandescent bulbs. The private industries had to have an incentive to research and develop the LED lighting technology. So a plan was implemented to further the success of LEDs.



In 2000, The Department of Energy partnered with private industry to push white LED technology forward by creating a high-efficiency device that could be brought together in one package.

So a competition was set up called the L-Prize in 2008 bringing these private companies together. The competition was an endeavor to replace the traditional bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs. Focusing on the 25-40 watt bulbs.

Late 2009 Philips Lighting North Amerca entered its LED bulb in the L-Prize. It began its entry in the 60-watt replacement category. Putting all the entries through rigorous testing and only passing all the criteria would be the elimination of one. One entry that would answer all the tasks asked of it, and in 2011 the Dept. of Energy announced Phillip Lighting North America won the L-Prize.

Even with all this competition happening we have seen since 2008, the cost of LED bulbs have fallen more than 85 percent, and most recently, some retailers will sell LEDs at ten dollars or less. Still, an investment in the beginning because we think of LEDs as a traditional light but its a Light emitting diode (LED). It isn't the same as a regular bulb it works with a driver and uses heat sinks that usually is part of the lamp.

Today's LEDs last 6-7 times more efficient than traditional bulbs, Cut operating cost up to 80 percent. And LED will last 25 times longer than the lighting there replacing.

In 2012 49 million LEDs were installed in the United States. LEDs will become more of a standard feature in homes across the country.

Incandescents and existing lighting fixture use designs that date back to Thomas Edison days. LED's are only the beginning of saving energy on lighting. LEDs will take us into the nineteenth century.

It's hard to tell where the lighting technology will head in the future but incandescents will be an insignificant part of its growth.

The bottom line is that upgrading to LED lighting is only going to benefit you and the environment as well.

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