.grecaptcha-badge { visibility: hidden; }
Close this search box.

WEATHER ALERT: Severe storms expected late this afternoon and evening

LED Inventor Is Grand Marshal Of Champaign Parade of Lights

Nick Holonyak Jr.

The man credited with inventing the LED light  is the honorary grand marshal of the Champaign Center’s 19th Annual Parade of Lights. Nick Holonyak, Jr. created the first light emitting diode — or LED — in 1962 at General Electric.

He began teaching at his alma mater, the University of Illinois, a year later. Today, LEDs are used in everything from household lamps to streetlights, as well as holiday lights.

Genevieve Kirk is the executive director of the Champaign Center Partnership, the nonprofit that hosts the annual parade. She said it was only fitting that this year’s parade honors Holonyak.

“There’s a clear tie-in for the inventor of the LED and Parade of Lights, an event that’s all about celebrating light,” said Kirk. “And so many of our lighted floats will have LEDs on them this Saturday.”

Holonyak is 91-years-old and won’t be able to physically participate in the parade.

The Champaign Center Partnership honored the professor at a reception held earlier this week at his retirement home in Urbana. They presented Holonyak with a small fiber optic Christmas tree replete with LED lights.

The Parade of Lights begins Saturday at 6:00 p.m. in downtown Champaign.

Picture of IPM News

IPM News

Powered by Illinois Public Media/WILL, IPM News provides news about Illinois & in-depth reporting on Agriculture, Education, the Environment, Health and Politics.

More Stories From Illinois Public Media

National Weather Service forecast map for June 13, 2024

Severe storms possible Thursday afternoon, evening and overnight

From the National Weather Service in Central Illinois: A line of t’storms will affect the area late Thursday afternoon into the overnight hours. Some severe storms are in the forecast, with damaging wind gusts and large hail. Stay weather aware and be ready to take shelter when storms approach.