As a lighting company we like to keep up to date with lighting news and events. This is a bit late, however it would be remiss of us to mention Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura who, back in October, were awarded the Nobel Prize for revolutionizing lighting technology.
Red LED lighting technology had been available and in use since 1962. Green, Orange and Yellow LED’s were introduced in 1971 thanks to the development of new semiconductor materials. It wasn’t until 1994 that Isamu, Hiroshi and Shuji, working together and independently of each other found a way of producing blue light using semiconductors. With the advent of blue LED lighting, RGB LED lighting could be achieved leading to super energy efficient white LED light bulbs and rather more fun colour changing light strips and bulbs we have available today.
The committee that chose the winners stated that LED lighting will become the choice light source of the 21st Century as incandescent lighting was for the 20th Century.
The Nobel Prize was founded by Alfred Nobel who invented many explosive substances including dynamite. On hearing of Alfred’s brother, Ludwig dying; a newspaper mistakenly published an obituary for Alfred titled “The Merchant of Death is Dead”.
Inspired to be remembered for something better than his inventions, Alfred sunk his fortune into a prize that would be awarded to those who confer “The Greatest benefit to mankind” sinking 94% if his total assets into the prize.
Thanks to the invention of the Blue LED, millions of LED lamps have replaced polluting kerosene lamps in Africa, cities around the world are replacing incandescent street lamps with energy efficient LED lights and saving a great amount of energy and money.
LED lamps use less than 10% the energy of an incandescent bulb and last up to 100 times longer. As more and more governments around the world commit to phasing out incandescent lightbulbs LED lighting will become the standard home and commercial lighting solution and energy consumption will drop considerably from the change.
At the time, Professor Sir Colin Humphreys from the University of Cambridge was quoted “It pleases me greatly, because this is good science but it’s also useful science. It’s making a huge difference to energy savings. And I think some of the Nobel Prizes we have had recently – it will be years, if ever, before that science is usefully applied.”