How it all Began
Incandescent Light Bulbs
From the early 1800s to the start of the 1900s, the development and improvement of the incandescent light bulb paved the way for the modern lighting technology. The concept of the light bulb is constructed from a few constituent elements.
- A wire filament is fixed to an electrical and mechanical interface called a socket.
- The wire filament is enclosed within a glass bulb filled with a vacuum or gas to prevent oxidation.
- Once the socket is attached to a live electrical connection, an electrical current is supplied to the wire, producing enough heat to glow.
Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
From the early 1900s to the start of the 1970s, scientists and researchers discovered and continuously made improvements over LED technology. It was not until the early 1970s that LEDs became commercially available due to the decrease of costs associated with their production. Since the 70s, the range of color, durability, and brightness has exploded in functionality.
Despite all these advances in the technology, LEDs use scarce materials mined from countries like China and Russia that are in short supply and rising in cost. In addition to that, LEDs frequently contain toxic materials such as lead, arsenic, and other heavy metals that make it very difficult to recycle electronics.
Organic LEDs (OLEDs)
From the start of the 1950s to the late 1980s, OLEDs came on the scene as an alternative solution to producing light, by passing an electric current through an organic compound. In simple terms, an OLED works by having a layer of organic material sandwiched between an anode (Positive charge) and a cathode (Negative charge). The composite materials are then placed on a substrate which is usually either made of glass or plastic. When an electric charge is passed through the OLED, the organic material in the middle of the device becomes excited and produces light as a result.