It was of the very common standard shape and size LEDs were during that time, and its case was colorless but cloudy, not clear. A good thing, because that meant the LED would emit its light along the entire casing, not just straight forward, making it much easier to look at. It also wasn't much brighter than other LEDs, that came later.
When I applied power and saw it shining in that beautiful blue color, I was positively amazed. This was so much cooler and so much more beautiful than the red, green, and yellow LEDs I had been using before. I distinctively remember just leaving it attached to power, sitting on my desk, just for something nice to look at.
But roll on to today and the things are mostly a nuisance
In my life. I’ve got one shining at me off my monitor now. If I scoot myself up in my chair a bit it doesn’t annoy me as much. I may stick some tape over it.
Still, RIP Mr Akasaki. Your contribution to the world is a net good one. Without it we probably wouldn’t have white leds :)
Now of course they are used on all of the most tacky direct from China stuff.
One of the guys on our team had great relations with the major electronics distributors and always had well stocked lab. One day, mid 90’s, we saw he got a sample of few of these brand new Blue LED’s.
My coworker and I snuck into his lab after he left and wired one of them up.
It’s hard to describe what it was like to see this bright deep blue compared to only the red, yellow, and green LED’s that existed until that point. It was so cool to look at.
One time I had some red leds in clear encasing in a parallel configuration and they inexplicably would not light up... it turned out one of the leds was actually infrared and it was invisibly on and sucking up all of the voltage
In a pinch, if you don’t want your 5 or 7mm LEDs to be so focussed: carefully take a set of side-cutters and cut the tip off the LED.
I used to love looking into my father's spare electronics cabinet when I was a kid, full of chips and resistors and capacitors. I vividly remember the LED drawer, with a hundred red, green, yellow LEDs he used in almost all of his projects, and just one or two of those opaque, white LEDs which I knew shone blue light, and I've never seen him use, as if they were a rare and prized possession.
I get it now, as the blue LED technology is so much more recent than any other LED technology. They must have been much more expensive than the other ones.
Had this MS ergo keyboard, with the LEDs in the middle hump, came with green. So, I replaced with these 2.5 hi-blues and I was blinded by my own Numlock-Beam. Had to cross a resistor over there to take the edge off.
Anyway, I think HN should get a black-bar because the blue LED is so cool.
Then again, I rarely see such problems with products with red or amber LEDs.
I have a synthesizer with blue LEDs that's particularly obnoxious. It's probably feeding them 5V and there's of course no diffusion at all. I've taped all of them over with a layer of duck tape and they're still too bright.
Blue light (aka shorter waveforms) blocks the melatonin production, most likely a genetic factor as the blue wavelength is related to the sun's day cycle.
Don’t blame the inventor for the bad applications of companies. Just like you wouldn’t blame Alexander Graham Bell for telemarketer spam.
These days I like yellow, but am lazy and just put kapton tape over the white LEDs on my desktop...
The legend is that they secured an exclusivity agreement with Nichia for that colour for some years, but the reality is much likelly be it just being expensive, and hard to source.
I think they're so widespread now largely because they were so expensive when they first started becoming common that they were used in expensive equipment, and became a way of making things look higher end.
Ballpoints or other fine-tips tend to follow the shape of the recess and it does a pretty tidy job.
Contrast that with a USB charger I picked up in an emergency, unaware it had a red led that was on constantly as long as the cord was receiving power, fucking terrible design and I've thankfully replaced it, but it didn't bother me too badly when I had to use it in my room at night. I could still sleep and everything.
So cool, but so annoying.
Don't have home electronics in your bedroom is my advice.
For example: it's hard to get through summer without a fan or air conditioner in your bedroom by me. A surprising number of those come with always on lights and it's not always clear until you plug them in.
Beyond that there's just "not everyone has the luxury of a single purpose room." Especially now, lots of people need to setup their home office in their bedroom. I have a vacuum with an always on indicator light, and the only good place to put it is a bedroom. Some people have studios and their entire apartment is their "bedroom."
All in: you're right, it's best to keep your electronics out of the bedroom, but that's not always practical and way to many things have unnecessary status lights.
It doesn't bother me at night time as the light goes on only when it is in use. But the fact that it has lights at all is bothering.
Happen once and I only noticed because the light was on and I couldn't hear the water boiling because it wasn't there anymore.
They are annoying and typically insanely bright. Also, just because something has bluetooth, does mean that a blue LED is legally required.
Probably an analog is curving a 42" screen designed to be viewed on a couch across a living room.
In this case it enabled LED lighting for everyone. Transistors (Bardeen, Shockley), lasers or artificial fertilizer (Haber, Bosch) also come into mind.
What an amazing name!
Not bad. Or shall we say, good enough?
He got $180.
After a lawsuit, they settled for around 8 million.
Got a Nobel prize too.
I remember reading about him in Omni magazine.
We were very surprised that they also had blue LEDs, so we asked the price and it was $2 each. After some deliberation we only bought only 2 of them.
I'm still surprised when I see a cheap toy or device with a blue or white LED.
Quite fascinating, it was a holy grail of sorts in that it would lead to higher resolution applications (Blu-ray) as well as round out the RGB to be able to make the range of visible colors. One thing I remember about the article was that it's hard to say 'blue' with a Japanese accent and it comes out 'true baroo'.
Shortly after there were lots of expensive blue LEDs being added to lots of high-end items, including audiophile equipment that two of my family members made (separate brands: one tube, one solid-state).
There was a quantum leap required to go from Green to Blue. That same technical insight led to UV leds, which means florescent white light LEDs in various temperatures.
My boss wrote a book about color management, featuring the devices we made, and they made him remove his name. He did 100% of the work.
Also, they take all the credit even though they also had teams, often who did all the real creative work.
They also rarely share the rewards. Yu Suzuki had 6 expensive sports cars (Ferrari, etc...) while his teams worked 80hr weeks and got paid $30k-$40k salaries.
Apple does not focus on research as much as in development. They put billions into factories that mass produce what has been already proven to work.
Multi touch for example was not invented by Apple, Apple bought a company that invented most of the technology and brought it into telephones.
They did not invented Gorilla glass or accelerometers or small hard drives(like in the old ipod). They approached inventors and offered using their technologies in the millions or tens of millions of units.
The blue LED was on the eject button, and was only lit while the console was powered on (and a disc was loaded, IIRC).
LED status key
Green - online
Red - error
Amber - busy
Blue - modern
Reloading the page fixes it.. I've had this issue for probably about a year with Twitter.
At this point a blue LED is a little early 2000 electronics.
Similar story for LED lamps, I'm reasonably sure those are derived from blue LEDs.
wakes up in a cold sweat
Noooo come back zinc!
This man made it possible for LED purple to be everywhere.
Perhaps that's why I like it: it's novel when one is used to looking at screens all day.