5 ways LEDs have changed the modern world

Since Dr. Nick Holonyak created LED technology 50 years ago, it’s found its way into some surprising corner of our lives.

Here are 5 examples in which LEDs have changed our existing technologies:

1. Televisions

LEDs have changed the way we watch television by helping to reduce the size of our TV sets. Think back to how TVs used to look – big box shapes with a curved glass screen, which turned into even bigger widescreen versions with a huge back part. Then along came widescreen LCD screens, offering better picture quality and much reduced in depth. Over the past few years LEDs have been added to our TV sets… first around all the edges, then down to two edges, and now down to just one short edge. These LEDs have helped bring new depth to our TV sets, making them as slimline as you see today.

2. Home Lighting

LED lighting has become more popular over the last few years with people looking to illuminate their homes. LEDs are a great way to light any house: they’re very easy to install, and have a much longer lifetime than traditional domestic lighting (i.e. light bulbs). They also cost less to run and and you can install them anywhere you like. In coving or around the top of the walls in your living room, for example, rather than hanging your lightsource from the middle of the room.

3. Nightclub Lighting

Colour-change LEDs have found their way into nightclubs in so many different ways. They’ve been embedded into the dance floor, where they can be programmed to change to the music tempo and even display video underneath everyone’s dancing feet. They have been put into the toilets, and around bars, the DJ desk, the entrance and signage, even on staircases. (This also helps people see the steps in the dark environment, helping with health and safety issues.)

4. Street Lighting

County councils are starting to see the benefits of using LEDs to light up their public streets. Sheffield County Council in the United Kingdom are in the process of changing all of their street lights to LEDs. The new lights use less power so they’re much cheaper to run, offer longer lifecycles and produce more light.

5. Portable Devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets)

Portable devices such as smartphones, laptops, game consoles and tablets typically use LED displays. They reduce the amount of battery-power needed to power the screen, which means you can use your device for longer.

6. Car lighting

LEDs have found their way into modern vehicles because of their much smaller power requirements, with no sacrifice of brightness. They’re built into many cars in new and unique ways to enhance the look. For example, the new Audi models have LEDs curved in a line around the main headlights. Another benefit from using LEDs is they last over 15 years.  (That’s longer than the life of the car in most cases!) And if an LED does fade, there are still plenty of other LEDs that will keep working.