“light emitting diode”. It is basically a semiconductor diode or electronic device that lights up when electricity is passed through it. The light that is emitted by an LED is determined by the material used. LED’s can be visible bright lights, infrared, such as those in a remote control, or even near ultraviolet.
The first LED lights were produced in the 1920’s by a Russian scientist named Oleg Losev. He published numerous articles in the 1920’s and 1930’s that talked about devices that produced light through electroluminescence. Oleg Losev was however, unable to develop the device any further due to World War II. Oleg died during the siege of Leningrad in 1942. Surely, Oleg would be astounded at the ubiquitousness and the many uses of his device during the 21st century.
From the time of the publication of Losev’s last article on LED’s, until about 1955, there was no further research or development into LED technology. That is, until some researchers at Texas Instruments found that a compound of two elements, Gallium and Arsenic, which formed the compound Gallium Arsenide, would give off invisible or infrared light when electricity was applied. These two researchers attained a patent for their light emitting diode. Later, General Electric produced what would be the first visible spectrum LED. The LED has further been improved upon by scientists and researchers in the United States and Japan, which produced different colored LED lights, including red, yellow, reg-orange, blue, green and much later on, white LED’s.