Investigations | 22 Jan 2015

Not one single Syrian house today is without the bright illuminated aluminum strips called "LED." This invention has relieved Syrians from the dreariness of power outages and the darkness of winter nights.

"They're simple, easy to install, and cheap." With these words, Mazen describes "LEDs", which opened a new source of income for him. He also tells Rozana: "You do not need a large source of energy to run them; on the contrary. They operate on batteries with as low as 12 volts' power."

New Job Opportunities!

Mazen used to be in the business of electrical extensions in his native city of Homs. Today, he consecrated himself wholly to his newfound profession: "LED" extensions, as well as supplies and maintenance. He tells Rozana that "there is huge demand for LED extensions. I no longer have time for my original career. I now have a shop with all kinds of LEDs and batteries of all sizes and types, and I also perform installations and maintenance."

The "LEDs" commonly used in Syria come in aluminum strips between 6 cm to 100 cm in length, and a 3 mm thickness. They feature an array of lighting "spots" similar to a camera flash, varying in quantity according to type. LEDs are fed via a battery charged whenever electrical power is available.

Economical and Long-Lasting

Any Syrian citizen can install an LED network, says Mazen, who adds: "The estimated price of a small (12 V/7mA) battery is 2,500 [Syrian] Pounds, a charger costs 2000 Pounds, while the meter-run of LED ranges between 600 and 900 Pounds." This is extremely cheap if compared to the default working life thereof, in excess of one hundred thousand hoursexponentially more economical when compared to that of the old incandescent bulbs.

Osamawho extended an LED network throughout his house, of a variety of sizes—is grateful to whomever it was who developed this invention; considering such person "the greatest man in the world." He adds: "Without this invention, we would now be lighting up with dim candles. LEDs provide excellent lighting, compared to other existing alternatives; and also are as powerful as ordinary lamps."

Mazen explains how an LED network actually works: "All you need is a battery, and some thin wiring, similar to those of phones. These are then extended as desiredeither internally with the main power wiring, without being visible and spoiling the appearance of the room; or externally with conspicuous wiring. LEDs are then taped to the walls, with an external key to control them.

Given the ever-rising fuel prices and the increasing unavailability, Syrians can no longer run electric generators. Despite the many features of electric generators, Lina finds LEDs an ideal alternative to power outages. They are economical, and do not make as much noise.

Nobel Prize for "LED" Inventors

Three years ago, Japanese scientists began working on the development of the project "Light-emitting diode," the LED to produce white light. Scientists Isamu Okasaka, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura were able to finish their project, with their efforts being crowned by the Nobel Prize for Physics for 2014.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarding Japanese scientists the Nobel Prize, stated that "whereas it was incandescent lamps that illuminated the twentieth century, the twenty-first century will be illuminated by LED lamps." Considering the reasons that prompted them to resort to their use, it is not without irony that Syrians are the first peoples of the twenty-first century, to light up their homes using LED lamps.

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