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Light is everything now. It drives the worlds technology and we're just now starting to tap into it's potential.
When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb 136 years ago, I bet he didn't envision the world that we live in now. If you look around you right now, you'd probably be shocked at the amount of light emitting items are within eye-sight outside of the standard room lighting light bulbs. Just the screen that you're reading this article on is full of hundreds of thousands of pixels, each one a tiny microscopic light “bulb”. If you look out of your window, you'll probably see vehicles, each one has at least 15 light bulbs in it. Your cell phone is full of hundreds of thousands of glowing pixels as well. We carry light anywhere and everywhere we go. At this point, I'd argue that because of how our businesses and livelihoods are so reliant on the internet, that we rely on powered light as much as we rely on just about anything.
Our planet is old, very old, and in the long history of it we've only harnessed light like we do for 136 short years, roughly two life generations of time. Edison invented the incandescent light bulb in 1880. That means it's possible that your great great grandparents knew life without the light bulb, and it's probable for your great great great grandparents. How's that for perspective?
Recent developments in light technology include a total phase-out of the incandescent and florescent light bulb in Japan, to be replaced completely by the more efficient and reliable LED bulb. The United States is also on course for the eventual phase out of the less efficient versions of light bulbs; the 40 watt and 60 watt incandescent bulbs have already become extinct because of the phase-out initiative.
Other developments include the just announced “LiFi” data transmitting technology. It basically replaces Wifi technology by sending data over imperceptible flickers of light through light bulbs. The advantage is the ability to send data at more than 200 times faster than we can send it now over WiFi. Imagine being able to wirelessly send a terabyte of data, that's 1000 gigabytes, in around 5 seconds? That is the type of stable speeds that are currently being reported using this technology. Another advantage is its security, as the hacker would have to be under the same light source as the original computer. The light can be dimmed to a brightness that's dark enough to be imperceptible and still work. You don't have to be directly under a light bulb either, the light reflecting off of walls can still give you 70 megabytes per second which is still roughly 20 times faster than our current wifi technology. This new tech is not without it's downsides however, because sunlight can really ruin it, so you can imagine its limitations.
Also, fiber optics, another light based technology, is the new standard in wired data transmission ability. It seems like as our “data” driven world expands and its demand increases, more and more the solution to whatever technological choke point we run into is found in light.
The point here is that the more stuff becomes bright and glowy, combined with the phasing out of inefficient old style lightbulbs, the more the LED industry is breaking through like a tidal wave of cutting-edge technology. LED Video Wall Rental companies are providing affordable, temporary large LED Video walls for small town events when just a few years ago this technology was only affordable for the highest level concerts and sporting venues. Digital video signs and billboards, which for years were reserved for only the fanciest of cities, are popping up in small towns across the United States.
Savvy technology minded businessmen and investors would be wise to think on these things and keep an eye on the ebbs and flows of our technologically oriented world, with a specific focus on light. Ours is a light emitting world, thanks to Thomas Edison, and we're just now harnessing the possibilities of what we can do with it, and what it can do for us. To understand more about LED light technology, check out this wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LED_lamp