We are hugely dependent upon technology and sometimes take it for granted. It is always worth reminding ourselves where it all began so we can fully appreciate how lucky we are. Take Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) for example. They have come a long way in a relatively short time. When they were first used as low-intensity light emitters in electronic devices, it is difficult to believe anyone would foresee them one day lighting our homes. But here we are!
The scientific principle behind the LED is electro-luminescence. Electroluminescent materials emit light when they receive an electrical current. The phenomenon was first discovered in 1907 by H J Round. The discovery of the light bulb by Thomas Edison predates this by many years.
Nick Holonyak is widely considered the 'father of the LED.' He developed the first practical LEDs in 1962 and it was in the very same decade that they became commercially viable. At this early stage they were used as electronic components in computers, remote controls and other appliances.
It would be a few more decades until LED technology was developed to encompass the entire visible spectrum of light, therefore making them a viable alternative to other forms of lighting. Modern high-power LEDs producing high intensity white light were developed in the 1990s by Japanese manufacturers, and it would not be long after that before LEDs began replacing the light bulbs in our homes.
LED Lights have revolutionized the lighting industry.
LED Lights are now available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. You will be able to find them in the most common lighting fittings including GU10, MR16, E27 and B22. They are also available as flexible LED Tape, which is becoming a popular substitute for older forms of effects lighting.