However, the world would have to wait two more decades before the first LEDs bright enough to function as light bulbs were made. The invention of these LEDs was credited to Stanley Electric. But white LEDs did not become a reality until the 1990s when a researcher from a relatively obscure chemical company in Japan discovered a production-compatible way of making the diodes. By 1995, Nichia researchers had discovered a type of phosphor that could be combined with a blue LED die to produce a white LED. Despite the fact these discoveries were made a while back, mass production of white LEDs is only just taking off. Japanese electronics giant Toshiba, for instance, has announced plans to begin such production towards the end of 2012.
It is a fact that some governments, in embracing the ‘green’ ethos, have begun putting in place measures to phase out the incandescent bulbs that have been the norm in homes for so many years. They are doing this by introducing legislation that establishes energy efficiency standards. LED bulbs are among lighting technologies that are being touted as replacements for conventional lights. However, skeptics argue that people will be slow in embracing this type of energy saving light bulbs because of the perceived high cost. An ordinary bulb costs less than a dollar but an LED bulb could go for as much as $30. But one should consider the fact that after making that initial purchase, they will not be replacing the bulb for as many as 20 years. And research on LED lighting is still ongoing and as such consumers can be assured there will be more pocket-friendly LED bulbs on supermarket shelves soon.