50 Years of LED Technology

In 1962, Nick Holonyak invented the first LED light while working at a GE laboratory. I, Dr. Bulb, may be his biggest fan. The best thing about this incredible inventor? He’s not done yet.

Nick Holonyak is another in a long line of American innovation. Since their conception 50 years ago, LED lights have undergone many transformations. Originally, LEDs were only used as the small red lights for things like elevators and radios. The changes LEDs have undergone have made them comparable, and, in my personal opinion, superior to incandescent and other popular types of bulbs. LEDs are incredibly long lasting, so their upfront cost is ultimately outweighed by their years of steady performance and low electricity use. The low electricity drain of these bulbs also makes them some of the greenest lighting options on the market, a key consideration as our world grows more conscious of green technology. With many commercial and sports applications, LEDs are beginning to appear in cities, buildings, and sports venues across the United States and the world.  People and companies are encouraged to use green technologies like LEDs in construction or refurbishment projects through various rebate programs.

Nick Holonyak continues his work as a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Illinois. The following video exemplifies the spirit of this incredible man, and his undying commitment to making the world a better place through consistent improvements to lighting technologies.

Learn more about commercial and sport LED lights.


Take it to the Streets (with LEDs)!

Dr. Bulb here with another story about LED street lamps. The city, you ask? San Antonio, Texas. Yeehaw!


Many cities have been making the switch from outdated, energy-sucking, high-pressure sodium street lamps to new and efficient LEDs. The city of San Antonio chose Toshiba TGT LED Luminaires. These LEDs will replace over 20,000 street lights across the city.

These lamps use about 70% less energy than the high pressure sodium lamps they are replacing, and in this installation they have been rated for 100,000 hours.  This low energy use combined with the durability of these lights mean they require very little maintenance and low life cycle cost. Perhaps the biggest advantage of switching to these new LEDS is that they may positively affect public safety because of their high color rendering, uniformity and small target visibility. Read the article.

Learn more about Toshiba TGT LED Luminaires.


I K (lEd) A!

Reporter (Dr.) Bulb here, with the new craze that is truly sweeping the nation. Actually, maybe you should call me hipster Bulb because I’ve been talking about this for months. It’s LEDs, of course!

The newest news in LEDs is that IKEA, the huge home goods company, has recently announced that they will only be selling energy-efficient LED lightbulbs in their stores. This shift is monumental, as Ikea will be the very first U.S. home furnishings chain to limit their lightbulb offerings in this way. Read an article about IKEA’s decision here.

This is, in my opinion, a wonderful change for the company to be making. LED lights offer many incredible advantages, and are a small change that can make a big difference in the health of our planet. They are energy-efficient which means less waste, and lower energy costs. LEDs are practical for the home, a fact that those at IKEA are well aware of, but they are also extremely effective for commercial and sports lighting. If you or someone you know are working on a commercial or sports project that requires lighting, be sure to look at LEDs and the many advantages they offer.


New LED Miami Tower Dazzles

Dr. Bulb here with some more cool LED news! The Miami Tower, located in the downtown area of Miami, has been retrofitted with a brand new exterior LED system.

Retrofitting Miami tower is not a simple task. The building is an incredible 47 stories high and offers a large amount of commercial space. This edifice is iconic to this area of Miami, and these lights represent a wide scale change happening in many variations and on many different scales across the United States. This swap is expected to reduce energy usage by a whopping 92%, and save approximately $260,000 in costs. Read more about this story, and find the photo (above) here.

Dr. Bulb is committed to providing customers with some of the highest quality LED products on the market. For large or small scale commercial and sports lighting projects, Access Fixtures specialists can offer many energy and cost efficient solutions. LED products are great for parking lots, tennis courts, walkway lighting, wall packs and much more. Learn more about LEDs and other options for commercial and sports lighting.


Party On with LEDs

Do you like to party? Dr. Bulb sure does. Recently, a nightclub in the U.K. has come to my attention for their incredible LED room.

LEDs are growing in popularity in many ways. This nightclub is one of the most creative and exciting applications of LEDs that I’ve ever seen. The best part about it? These lights will probably last an incredibly long time without much maintenance, won’t cost the club a relative fortune (as almost any other type of light would), and are green technology, not contributing much to the club’s environmental footprint. Check out a video of the club’s incredible LED room below:

Some of the most practical uses of LEDs come from commercial and sports lighting. In both of these instances, using LEDs can reduce costs and energy consumption. These lights are extremely versatile, and one of the greenest lighting options available.

Find out more about commercial and sport LEDs.


What does Rare Earth have to do with Lights?

Many people don’t know what goes into the production of LED lights and other new technologies. Well I, Dr. Bulb, am here to shed some light (get it?) on this process.

One of the components of LED lights, rare earth, is a highly sought after commodity, and mining of these minerals has sparked quite a bit of controversy recently. China, the leading exporter of rare earth due to their large reserves, began limiting their exports of these elements last year; but the bubble that initially raised prices burst, and ever since prices have been dropping.

Part of the reason for the drop in China is that their economic growth has weakened, and in addition to being the largest producers of rare earth, they are also the biggest consumer of the materials. Despite regulations placed on the mining of these materials, illegal mining may skew the actual mining statistics. These recent events have opened the door for other countries mining rare earth to enter the market. Read more on these developments here.

These issues are important to LED manufacturers, especially as LEDs are quickly gaining popularity. LED lights are becoming increasingly popular for many types of lighting including sports and commercial lighting. LEDs are great for many purposes. View different types of LEDs.