Charles awards pioneers of LED lighting with prestigious engineering prize

The Prince of Wales has presented the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering to the pioneers of LED lighting.

The award was given in recognition of the engineers’ contribution to the groundbreaking technology of the light-emitting diode, which has made a global impact on reducing energy consumption and addressing climate change.

The prize winners are Professor Shuji Nakamura, Professor Nick Holonyak, Dr George Craford and Professor Russell Dupuis, all from the US, and Professor Isamu Akasaki, from Japan, who died in April.

Charles congratulated Prof Nakamura, Dr Craford and Prof Dupuis at St James’s Palace in London but Prof Holonyak was unable to attend due to Covid restrictions.

LED lighting is 75% more energy efficient than traditional incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs.

Solid state lighting – in which high-performance LEDs are used – have changed how the world is illuminated.

It can be found everywhere from digital displays and computer screens to handheld laser pointers, car headlights and traffic lights.

The Prince of Wales listens as Lord Browne speaks
The Prince of Wales (right) listens as Lord Browne speaks (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Charles carried out the engagement on behalf of the Queen, who has been undertaking only light duties for almost two months.

Lord Browne of Madingley, chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation, said: “This year’s prize winners have not only helped humanity to achieve a greater degree of mastery over the environment, they have enabled us to do so in a sustainable way.

“They have created a product which we now take for granted, but which will play a major role in ensuring that humanity can live in harmony with nature for many more centuries to come.”