When was the LED Light Invented?


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Today, LEDs are the most common lighting devices. They have been used for domestic, industrial, and commercial applications.

Compared to conventional lights, LEDs have a longer lifespan and power efficiency.

In addition, LED lights are known for their improved environmental performance.

However, LED lights were not that efficient since their invention. The technology for LEDs has evolved significantly since it first developed.

This post will discuss when LED lights were invented. If you want to learn about the in-depth history of LED lighting, read this blog post.

LED Strip Light

The History of LED Lighting

LED lights have been commonly used for the past three decades. However, efforts for its invention started a long time ago. 

In 1907, Henry Joseph, a British experimenter, noticed yellowish light for the first time. When 10 volts were applied to silicon carbide, it produced yellowish light. 

Later, a Russian scientist, Oleg Vladimirovich Losev, proposed a working theory about the same. 

In 1955, Rubin Braunstein researched infrared light. He noticed that regular diodes generate infrared light when connected to electricity. 

After 6 years, Bob Biard and Gary Pittman studied that gallium arsenide diodes could generate infrared light.

In 1958, Rubin Braunstein and Egon Loebnar invented the first green LED. Still, it was not the first LED on the visible spectrum. 

Then who invented the first LED light? Let us find out in the below section.

Who Invented The First LED Light?

The first ever working LED technology was introduced in 1962 by Nick Holonyak Jr., a 33-year-old scientist at General Electric. He called his invention “the magic one.”

The first LED used semiconducting material known as GaAsP (gallium arsenide phosphide). According to scientists, this material emitted red light. It is still in use because of its affordability. Manufacturers utilize it to make red and orange LEDs.

Holonyak had realized the potential of LED lights. He knew that they could be powerful and long-lasting lighting sources.

Since its invention, LED lighting technology has undergone several amendments. Let us learn about some crucial changes.


LED Light Technology in the 1960s

The first-ever use of LED lights was as indicator lights. While they were durable, they had low lumen output. You might have seen them used in electrical equipment and circuit boards.

LED Light Technology in 1970

Some people think LED lights have been in the market for the last two to three decades. 

However, if you ask the previous generation – did they have LED lights in the 70s/ 90s, you will learn that in the early and late 1960s, they used infrared LEDs. 

And in 1970, yellow, orange-red, and green LEDs were introduced in the market. 

LED Light Technology in 1980 

Until this time, LED lighting technology had gained some traction. LEDs of the 1980s were comparatively brighter and more reliable than that of the 60s. 

It was the second generation of LED technology. At that time, LED light manufacturers could make a string of multiple LEDs on one single circuit. 

For the first time, LED lights could be used outdoors. Even several developed municipalities worldwide had started using LEDs for traffic lights.

LED Light Technology in the 1990s

In the 1990s, LED lighting technology had grown significantly in some developed countries. 

During the late 1990s, hospitals, offices, schools, and other institutes in developed nations were using LEDs. Gradually, people have started replacing their fluorescent and incandescent lights.

first led light

LED Light Technology in the 21st Century

In the 21st century, people have been using LED lights in almost all industries. Today, the lifespan, brightness, flexibility, and performance of LEDs have increased several times.

Nowadays, LED lights use is common in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. It would be hard to find an industry that does not employ LEDs. 

Due to their high efficiency and long lifespan, they have become an ideal choice for street lights and highway lighting. You can also use them for outdoor area lighting, freezer cases, and more.

LED lighting technology has changed the modern world in several ways. You can see them everywhere – from homes to hospitals to highways.

Let us quickly review the most typical use for LED lights.

  • You can see LEDs on the head and tail lights of modern vehicles. After all, they consume low power without sacrificing brightness.
  • You can see LEDs in electronic devices, such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and other portable devices.
  • Most municipalities worldwide have observed the advantages of LED lighting. Therefore, they have started using them as streetlights.
  • Modern TV sets use LEDs as their screens. Therefore, they consume low electricity and produce quality images. 
  • LED lighting is the most prevalent option to illuminate homes, offices, and commercial and public places.

In addition, different versions of LEDs have been used in distinct applications. For example, LED Grow lights, LED teeth whitening lights, and more.

What Was The First Color LED?

As we mentioned above, Nick Holonyak, who is known as the Father of the LED, invented the first-ever light-emitting diode in 1962. This diode emitted visible red light. So you can say that the first color LED was red.  

red led

Who Invented Blue LED?

Holonyak conducted tests on several chemical substrates. However, till the late 1980s, bright red and orange LEDs were the only options. 

Introducing a new LED color was still a big challenge for scientists. In the early 1990s, Isamu Akasaki, Shuji Nakamura, and Hiroshi Amano invented the 1st blue LED. 

For this innovation, they received several awards and recognition worldwide. They received the Nobel Prize.

After the invention of the blue LED, scientists could produce white light by mixing the three colors. After all, blue light could stimulate phosphorus and generate white light. The primary component used in blue LEDs was gallium nitride.

Today, the two most popular LED colors are blue and white. Blue LEDs have been used in the screens of electronic devices, such as smartphones, TVs, computers, laptops, and more.

On the other hand, you can see white LEDs used in commercial, industrial, and residential lights.

Why is LED So Popular?

There are numerous reasons for the popularity of LEDs. We have listed a few important ones below:

Higher Lifespan

LED lights have a long lifespan. In comparison to incandescent bulbs, the lifespan of LEDs is far superior. 

An average lifespan of an LED light could be between 50,000 and 100,000 hours. It all depends on how you use it. 

An LED light lasts about 40 times longer than an incandescent bulb.

Energy Efficient 

LED lights are known for being energy efficient. The competency of light is determined by lumens. 

Incandescent lamps from the past had an effectiveness of just 15 lumens. LED technology generally generates between 75 and 110 lumens.

Compared to conventional lights, LEDs are much more energy efficient. In some cases, LED lights could be 90% efficient.

Produce Low Heat

Traditional bulbs are used to convert about 90% of energy into heat. Nevertheless, this is not the case with LED lights. These lights emit almost negligible heat. Even if you touch them, they will not burn you. After all, LEDs emit light within the visible spectrum only.

Design Flexibility

Unlike conventional lighting systems, LEDs are flexible in terms of design. Due to their small size, you can utilize them in almost any application. 

As a result, you see them as indicator lights on circuit boards. When you combine them in bunches, they become like a conventional bulb. And if you connect a series of LEDs, they become a beautiful LED strip light.

LED Light

Capable to Perform in Cold

The performance of most conventional lights reduces in cold conditions. 

On the contrary, LED lights perform comparatively better in cold temperatures. You can see them in cold storage, meat lockers, and freezers. 

LED lights come with different waterproof IP ratings. These ratings determine their capability to perform in distinct weather conditions.

Dimming Capabilities

Modern LED lights come with dimming capabilities. You can power them at different percentages, from 5% to 100%.

In conventional lighting, dimming was not that efficient. Dimming further has a couple of benefits. For instance, it minimizes energy costs and enhances bulbs’ lifespan.

Frequent Switching Capability

LED lights are not affected by frequent switching. If you switch them on and off frequently, it won’t affect their lifespan.

It can even endure sudden power surges after blackouts. Due to this feature, manufacturers have been using LED lights as flashlights for sensor applications.  

Can Operate in Low Power

LED lights can operate at low voltages with ease. Because LED lights consist of diodes with nonlinear currents, they perform well at low power.

Environmentally Friendly

Nowadays, companies must produce environment-neutral products. Even customers looking for environmentally friendly options. 

LED lights require low energy. Therefore, socially conscious people prefer them over conventional lights.

The production process for LED lights is environmentally friendly as well. They do not contain mercury, as fluorescent bulbs do.

LED Light


This post described how LED lighting technology changed throughout different periods. We can say that LED light has come a long way since its invention in 1962. It is more advanced, flexible, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient. 

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