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Nobel Prize winners put LEDs in the spotlight

blue LEDThree scientists earned this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the blue light-emitting diode (LED)–an essential part of creating white light from LED lamps.

Red and green LEDs had been around since the 1960s, but blue LEDs had been a challenge for scientists for years. In the 1990s, however, Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura broke through that barrier and developed the first blue diodes, which are essential to the mix that produces white lighting.

Now, white LED light has become pervasive in residential and commercial settings, offering a more energy-efficient alternative to CFLs or traditional incandescent bulbs.

At CUB, we’ve been applauding the use of LEDs for years.  LEDs last about 25 times longer than traditional bulbs and use less energy for the same level of brightness.  Not only are they good for the environment, they can save big bucks over the life span of a bulb.

And the benefits go even further.

“The LED lamp holds great promise for increasing the quality of life for over 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids,” the Nobel committee said. “Due to low power requirements, it can be powered by cheap local solar power.”

The three scientists will split the $1.1 million prize, which will be awarded December 10 in Stockholm.

Want more information on LEDs?  Check out CUB’s infographic.