As the Light Emitting Diode turns 50 this month, enLightment takes a quick look at ten fun facts about the tiny diode that changed the world
1. The first practical visible-spectrum (red) LED was developed in 1962 by Nick Holonyak, Jr., while working at General Electric Company
2. The development of LED technology has caused their efficiency and light output to rise exponentially, with a doubling occurring about every 36 months since the 1960s, in a way similar to Moore’s law.
3. LED light bulbs have no Mercury – or other hazardous material used in manufacturing.
4. LEDs, on the other hand, use at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent
5. There are 32,256 individual LED lights in the ball used for the New Years Eve Times Square ball drop!
6. Replacing half of all Christmas bulbs with LED bulbs would cut U.S. energy bills by $17 billion annually.
7. Kentucky recently switched 77,000 traffic signal modules from incandescent lamps to LEDs. The state estimates it will save $1.7 million from reduced energy costs and $1.5 million in reduced maintenance and lifecycle costs.
8. There can be as many as 1500 LEDs (depending on the size of the TV) placed in an array to light up the slightly more than two million pixels of your 1080p TV
9. Recent scientific observations worthy of mentioning, researchers found lower bacteria levels in meat displayed under LED lighting.
10. An LED bulb in a newborn’s room today, would probably not have to be replaced until that child goes off to college.
Bonus Fact. The Wallgreens sign in Times Square has 12 million LED power points.
Sources: General Electric Company, newscientist.com, howstuffworks.com., svconline.com, wikipedia, Hubpages.com, digitaltrends.com, CNet.com,