This year’s Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three scientists last week. According to CNN, two of the scientists are from Japan, and the third at the University of California Santa Barbara. They helped create the LED light, which is now responsible for illuminating everything from technology like cell phones and televisions to flashlights.
The committee who awarded the prize to the three scientists said that their work was worthy of the award and keeps in the spirit of Alfred Nobel because LED lights are environmentally friendly, are long lasting, and save energy.
According the Nobel Prize official website, the three scientists, Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura, were awarded the prize “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.”
According to CNN, the committee also said that LED lights “hold great promise for increasing the quality of life for over 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids.”
Red and green LEDs had been around for a number of years, but it was the work of these three scientists that created the blue LED, which other scientists had tried but failed to do for 30 years. The blue LED, which the scientists created in the early 1990s, is the only one that can create white light.
“LEDs have definitely brought down energy usage compared to neon lights. There’s about a 85-90% reduction in electricity and maintenance costs when using LEDs. Reliability is a factor as well; since LEDs are so efficient, uptime has increased due to improved LED technology,” says Bill Hayes, CEO of Signdealz.
LED stands for light emitting diode, which are often used in lights, signs, and even public transportation because of the variability in design that they offer. With the invention of the blue LED, white lights have been used in designing signs and billboards for advertising, which are becoming increasingly popular in the digital age.
Since they are such a versatile, useful, and long lasting from of lighting, LEDs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, by 2019, LEDs are expected to reach a 53% penetration of the global lighting market.