Scientists Shuji Nakamura, Isamu Akasaki, and Hiroshi Amano were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery and application of blue light emitting diodes (LEDs). Their invention is at present changing devices we use everyday by bringing better and cost effective lighting to people who don’t have it.
These blue LEDs produce an efficient white light source. In the past, lights like LEDs were only red and green diodes and missing an important component to produce simple white light. This new breakthrough is revolutionizing everyday devices and bringing light to areas of the under developed world that previously couldn’t afford it. The sheer magnitude of this innovation is global to say the least and transforms our world into a more illuminating place.
Statistics say that nearly one fourth of all global electricity consumption is used for illuminating dark areas. The traditional incandescent as well as fluorescent lights are inefficient regarding energy use and that energy is lost in heat. LED lamps on the other hand are cooler and last longer making them far more efficient in cost and maintenance. Known as lumens, the measure by which light is produced, the standard incandescent light produces 16 lumens per watt while fluorescent lights produce 70 lumens per watt. LEDs, however, produce upwards of 300 lumens per watt.
One can easily see the value of this discovery and what it means to the world in general. With so many people in parts of the world who have no lights or are using inefficient light sources like incandescent bulbs, the use of these new LEDs will allow for them to afford not only cost effective lighting but even brighter lighting. The same goes for the developed world as energy saving is a paramount issue and the green movement is always looking for the next best technology to stomp out that carbon footprint.
Everyday devices such as new television screens, computer screens, smartphone screens, headlights, home lights, office and military buildings and vessels will now be able to produce light, brighter and more energy efficient than before.
Any discovery, like this one, that makes the world a better place is welcomed and it should inspire other scientists and inventors to look for ways to make more efficient products and technologies that benefit everyone. Just a number of innovations like this one in any area of technology could make the world far more liveable and less expensive.