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The History of LEDs


The words you see above come from a man who has revolutionized the way we literally see things today. His parents were uneducated immigrant people, yet they emphasized to him that school was important. His father, who was a coal miner, gave him a pocket knife at around the age of five or six and told him “if you want something, make it yourself”, which is what he did. That person is Nick Holonyak, Jr., the creator of the first visible LED.

 In 1962 while working at General Electric, Mr. Holonyak invented a light-emitting diode (LED) that emitted visible red light instead of infrared light. Coincidentally, this is the same General Electric that was co-founded by Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb. Soon after this discovery, LED lights began being used in all kinds of apparatuses where small indicator lights were needed. Nick’s invention paved the way for more advances in the field of LED’s, which would eventually evolve into the technology we have today. Today, LED’s are being used in all aspects of lighting that were once only limited to certain types of traditional lighting.

There is a short 8-minute video on YouTube presented by General Electric that features Nick talking about his discoveries that you may find quite interesting. To see it, just go to the link below.

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