LED lighting is probably one of the most significant industry advancements in the last 20 years and has far-reaching implications outside of the world of aquariums . This has been validated with the awarding of the 2014 Nobel Prize in physics being awarded to the trio of scientists who invented the blue light emitting diode. Why is this significant? Because we get cool actinic lights? Nope, because without the blue LED, we would not be able to generate white light. Sadly, while this advancement has been honored the original inventor of the LED in the 1960s still has not been recognized for his truly revolutionary discovery.
The three researchers awarded with the honor were, Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura who recognized that gallium nitride would lead to a blue color and discovered a way to produce the light in an efficient way by adding in aluminum and indium. As you see with RGB led lights, red, green and blue light combine to make white light so the three Nobel Prize scientists solved this final piece of the puzzle to send us on our way towards the fabulous lights we have today and what we haven’t even imagined yet for the future.
As we mentioned earlier, while the advent of white LED light is significant, we would not be discussing it without the creation of the first LED. In 1962, Nick Holonyak invented the first visible-spectrum LED (that happened to be red) and the technology quickly revolutionized the world. As Geek.com points out, “The LEDs changed networking, data storage, data transmission, and more; the impact of LEDs can be seen in everything from your smartphone screen to your fiber internet connection to your next car’s headlights.”
Holonyak indicated he long ago gave up any hope that there would be a Nobel awarded to his invention, and as you can imagine was quite a shock when he learned someone earned it for the technology he himself invented. There are many facets and arguments to why one type of LED was honored over another, but from our perspective we are thankful to both camps.