In Pursuit of the Ultimate Lamp; February 2001; Scientific American Magazine; by M. George Craford, Nick Holonyak, Jr. and Frederick A. Kish, Jr.; 6 Page(s)
In 1995 one of us (Holonyak) was honored to accept the Japan Prize for pioneering work in semiconductor light emitters and lasers. Asked to say a few words about tomorrow's technology, he simply pointed to the ceiling lights and said, "All of this is going."
A revolution is taking place, literally in front of our eyes, thanks to semiconductor devices known as light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. Most familiar as the little glowing red or green indicator lights on electronic equipment, LEDs are beginning to replace incandescent bulbs in many applications. The reason? LEDs convert electricity to colored light more efficiently than their incandescent cousins-for red light, their efficiency is 10 times greater. They are rugged and compact; some types last a phenomenal 100,000 hours, or about a decade of regular use. In contrast, the average incandescent bulb lasts about 1,000 hours. Moreover, the intensity and colors of LED light have improved so much that the diodes are now suitable for large displays¿perhaps the most impressive example being the eight-story-tall Nasdaq billboard in New York City's Times Square.