The Technology of LED Lighting

Podcast Link

What is it?5

  • An LED is a semiconductor that emits light when the energized electrons combine with the semiconductor’s material. The color of the light is dependent on the energy states of the electrons.
  • LED’s are a form of Solid-state lighting, which is a category to set lighting solutions apart from the traditional methods of burning a filament.


  • Indium Gallium Nitride (InGaN): Blue, green, UV.
  • Aluminum Gallium Indium Phosphide (AlGaInP): yellow, orange. High brightness.
  • Aluminum Gallium Arsenide (AlGaAs): Red and IR.
  • Gallium Phosphide (GaP): yellow and green.


  •  Invented in 1962 by Nick Holonyak Jr, an engineer from IL who was working for General Electric at the time.1
  • LED’s were only red for 10 years after being invented.1
  • Primarily only used in extremely high tech labs due to their cost ($200/unit).

Modern Uses

  • Household lighting, car headlights, indicators, televisions, camera flashes, disc readers such as Blu-ray, infrared and UV lighting.

Future Uses

  • Already being used for inexpensive lighting.
  • Newly developed self-assembling nanoparticles called Perovskites.3
    • Princeton researchers.
    • Cheaper, brighter, more efficient.
  • Lighting underdeveloped regions with efficiency.
  • How about a sunroof that functions as solar powered led lighting?4
    • Philips
  • LED contact lenses for Augmented reality?4
    • Aalto University in Finland
  • Replacing ceiling panels with led panels that create a calm, natural light?4
    •  Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering

What does this mean?

  • Nano tech will be getting brighter.
    • Wearables are more wearable.
  • A better world with more developed countries.
  • Better health, physically and mentally, with more control over lighting.



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