Christmas tree lights and the success of globalisation…

I came across another article talking about the consistent evolution of LED lights in the world.

“The evolution of LEDs shows how innovation occurs steadily as companies compete.”

Some people have gone as far as purchasing LED Christmas trees. Not sure if I’m quite there yet. But I must admit, they look pretty cool. But I am a bit traditional, however I will purchase the LED lights for decoration for the rest of the house.

“The lights are better in other ways, too. They were cheaper — £23 for a 30m string of 300 lights — and more reliable than the Christmas tree lights of my youth, which were wired in series so a whole line would go dark if a bulb burst or loosened. They are also energy efficient: LED bulbs do not get hot and can be safely touched.

It encouraged me to find out more about our Christmas lights, and this is what I discovered.”

The visible LED was invented by Nick Holonyak, a GE research scientist, in 1962 but it glowed red and early LEDs were confined to devices such as clocks and calculators. It became possible to light offices and homes with them a decade ago when companies such as Philips started making blue LEDs treated with phosphor to glow white.

The technology has improved rapidly. Today’s diodes emit four times as much light in lumens per watt of power as they did eight years ago and the cost per lumen has fallen one hundred fold, according to Philips. As technology has advanced, economies of scale have grown. China’s push into LEDs has caused a leap in global capacity: there is a reason my lights were cheap.


The quality of LED lights has also improved. Not only are our lights safer than crudely wired incandescents but modern LEDs are capable of glowing in a range of colours and of changing during the day. As I press a button on the plug, made in Changzhou in the eastern province of Jiangsu, our lights display seven patterns, in turn flashing, glowing and twinkling. We chose white but could have picked other shades.


Read the whole article here: Financial Times


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