LED Lighting – Past, Present and Future

You might think that LED lighting (light-emitting diodes) is a pretty recent discovery, but the truth is it’s been around for over 100 years. A British scientist found that applying electrical current to certain crystalline compounds caused them to glow way back in 1907. But he was working on navigation systems, not lighting, so his discovery went largely unnoticed.

Then, in 1962, a GE engineer named Nick Holonyak applied semiconductor technology to a photovoltaic crystal. His invention of a red LED gained him fame as the father of LED lighting.

Further research showed that different crystals would give off pure colors of light in very narrow bands across the spectrum. As more colors were discovered, research began on ways to use them, both individually and in combination, and most importantly, ways to make the lights brighter.

By the mid-90s, light output had markedly increased and the first practical methods of using LEDs to produce white light were developed. In 2006, almost 100 years after the LED phenomenon was discovered, the first LEDs able to generate 100 lumens per watt of electricity were produced, making LEDs the most efficient lighting source other than large and expensive gas-discharge lamps.

The latest developments in LED technology involve using organic compounds as light-emitters. Known as organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), these compounds can be applied to or incorporated in a wide variety of materials, both rigid and flexible. They are coming into widespread use with TV, computer and smartphone screens, and experiments include incorporating them into fabrics. The possibilities are almost endless. How about an artificial window or skylight that changes with the time of day and displays clouds, trees, or sunsets to suit your mood? A wall that’s normally blank but turns into a display screen when you want to watch a movie?

Let the pros at Allstar Electrical Services show you the many ways LED technology can be used in your home or business. LED lighting systems operate for a fraction of the cost (up to 1/30 the cost) of traditional lighting systems. LED bulbs last years longer than incandescent, fluorescent, or halogen bulb. And LED lighting can be used in both interior and exterior settings.

Want to learn more about LED lighting for your home or business? Call Allstar Electrical at 303-399-7420.

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