Nobel Prize awarded to Japanese inventors of low carbon LED light

8 October 2014

LONDON: Innovative low carbon technologies like LEDs are breaking boundaries at an accelerating pace, with three inventors being awarded the Nobel Prize this week.

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Isamu Akasaki of Meijo University and Nagoya University, Hiroshi Amano from Nagoya University and Shuji Nakamura from the University of California, for their joint invention of a highly efficient, blue light-emitting diode (LED).

Many of us are familiar with white-light LEDs in torches and mobile phones. But when turned off, you can see these LED devices appear to have a yellow color. What you are actually seeing is a phosphor and underneath that are usually one or more blue LEDs. When the power is turned on, the phosphor emits a broad spectrum of light.

The effective combination of blue LEDs and white phosphors provides an energy-saving solution that is not only replacing existing indoor incandescent and fluorescent lighting, but is ideal for making outdoor street lighting more efficient.

At The Climate Group, we highlight and promote the adoption of more energy efficient street lighting solutions through our LED Lighting programLED lamps, combined with smart controls, can cut CO2 emissions 50–70%, as well as reduce costs, enhance public safety and minimize light pollution. 

Peter Curley, Technologist, The Climate Group, said: “It is great to see the work of Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura finally recognized with a Nobel Prize. The blue LED plays a fundamental role in many of today’s electronic devices and full color displays but it also critically allowed the development of low cost, energy efficient broad-spectrum white lighting."

Throughout 2014, The Climate Group is conducting a consultation and series of global workshops to focus on supporting wide-scale LED street lighting in cities – where the potential energy savings of 50-70% can no longer be ignored.

The consultation process seeks to identify and address any remaining localized adoption barriers to accelerate wider adoption by cities around the globe. 

Learn more about our LED work and ongoing consultation.

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