A Brief History of LEDs

February 2020

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LED lighting is a relatively new technology that has become hugely popular in a short space of time


Here's why:

LED stands for light-emitting diode, a type of semiconductor capable of converting power directly into light.

 

While popularly used in lightbulbs, LEDs are also used in many of the electronics and technology that we use both at home and at work every day, including televisions, laptops, DVD players and smartphones.

Who invented LEDs?

LED lights are now widely used in homes and commercial premises, so you may be surprised to learn they haven’t been around long.

LED lights are now widely used in homes and commercial premises, so you may be surprised to learn they haven’t been around long.

 

LED lighting was virtually unheard of until the 1970s, but the technology is older.

 

Captain Henry Joseph Round, a British engineer, first discovered the concept of electroluminescence back in the early 1900s.

It was this discovery that paved the way for the development of LED technology.

 

However it wasn’t until much later, in 1962, that the first LED on the visible spectrum was developed by Nick Holonyak – an employee at General Electric.

 

This prompted further experimentation with LED technology in the 1960s, during which time IBM used LEDs on a computer circuit board and Hewlett Packard did the same in a calculator.

 

It wasn’t until the 1970s that an American company called Fairchild Optoelectronics introduced affordable LED lighting to the market. LEDs as we know them today though are a more recent development.

 

In 1993, ultra-bright blue LEDs were developed by an electrical engineer called Shuji Nakamura. Soon afterwards the development of white LEDs followed and were first used commercially in 1994.

Finally, in 2002, white LEDs became available for residential use.

 

LED lighting today

LED lighting is now the preferred choice for businesses and homeowners alike, with an array of products available to choose from.

 

Whether you’re looking for a bulb for a bedside lamp, fairy lights for a Christmas tree, lights for your vehicle or for a huge warehouse, you will find plenty of LED options on the market.

 

The success of LED technology has been such that further research and development is still being carried out, so who knows what the future holds?

 

While the initial outlay for LED lighting is generally a little more than for other types of bulb, there are of long-term savings to be made. 

 

On average, LED lights have a lifespan of 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use about 80 per cent less energy – in turn saving users money on replacement bulbs, energy and maintenance.

 

Intelect Lighting LED specialists

Here at Intelect Lighting we design, supply, and install advanced LED lighting solutions to organisations and businesses of all sizes nationwide.

We have specialised in LED lighting for more than a decade, developing and patenting our own innovative LED technology.

 

If you need help or advice with using or designing LED lighting to effectively light your workplace, get in touch with our team of experts by calling 01942 604 191.

 
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