The Physics Nobel Prize Goes To… (Drum Roll, Please) LED Technology!

November 12, 2014 at 10:02 pm  •  Posted in Product Highlight  •  1 Comment

….Thanks to science, long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lighting is now ubiquitous across the board—from homes and offices to smart phones.

Today’s LEDs deliver superior efficiency and longevity vs standard light bulbs and fluorescent lamps. But it wasn’t always this way. Over the years, tweaking LED technology has given scientists a run for their money.

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As recognition for their outstanding work perfecting LED technology, two scientists in Japan and one at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for creating efficient LED lights. (Read the full CNN article.)

Among those honored were Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura for their invention of the blue-light emitting diode, a technology that combines red, green, and blue light to emit white light.

The awarding committee was impressed with the trio’s dedication to perfecting energy-saving, long-lasting, environmentally friendly LED technology.

The awarding committee said, “[They] hold great promise for increasing the quality of life for over 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids.”

In other words, LEDs have literally changed the world—particularly for the billions of people who lack access to energy grids. Due to low power requirements, LEDs can be powered by cheap local solar power. (Thanks, Vox, for the interesting take on this news.)

Red and green diodes had been around for a long time, but the creation of blue diodes in the early ‘90s turned white lamps from a pipe dream into a reality. Scientists had tried to create the blue diode for over 30 years, and most unsuccessfully. But this clever group of scientists put their heads together to crack the LED lighting code.

“They triggered a fundamental transformation of lighting technology, [and] they succeeded where everyone else failed,” said the committee.

According to CNN, Nakamura—a scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara—was shocked to hear the news. He said it was “unbelievable.” And Amano was on a flight when the committee tried to call. (Can you imagine getting that voicemail?) Of course, Akasaki was also thrilled to hear the news.

The three winners will share the spoils that come with the glory: eight million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million), to be exact. That’s a good chunk of change, if you ask me.

LEDs, Power Up!

To find the perfect LED lighting for every project and application, visit Graybar’s online store.

Speak Up

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Todd Reed, National Market ManagerAbout The Author
Todd Reed, National Market Manager

Husband to a professionally licensed architectural engineer and lighting designer, and son-in-law to an electrician, Todd knows the importance of efficiency, safety, and productivity for electrical contractors. Todd is a seasoned professional, with 5 years’ experience within a family-owned distribution business and 10 years as a senior Graybar employee. As National Market Manager at Graybar, Todd’s goal is to find the best products and solutions to help contractors work more efficiently, stay safe on the job, and win more productive and profitable business.

Sources & Credits
CNN: Physics Nobel Prize Goes To Scientists Who Perfected LED Light
Vox: The inventors of blue LED lights just won the Nobel Prize. Here’s why.

One Comment

  1. Charles / May 15, 2015 at 5:00 pm / Reply

    Nice article, Todd. It’s time that the Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded to these scientists. LED technology has revolutionized the world and made great strides in energy efficiency.

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