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Happy Birthday! The LED Enters Middle Age

Ikea announced earlier this month that it will switch to selling only LED bulbs and lamps by 2016, becoming the first U.S. home furnishing retailer to do so. The announcement is fitting, as LED lighting technology celebrates its 50th anniversary. In October 1962, a scientist at General Electric, Nick Holonyak, invented the first practical visible-spectrum light-emitting diode, commonly known as LED.  “Boy, those were the golden years,” Holonyak, now 83 years old, said in a statement. “When I went in, I didn’t realize all that we were going to do. As far as I am concerned, the modern LED starts at GE.”

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