Although there’s most certainly an (pre-rebate) icon for Philips’ released-for-Earth Day L Prize Bulb, there’s never really been a universally recognized symbol for LED lighting in general. Until now.

Back in February, the revolutionary, chocolate Easter bunny-melting wizards over at LED manufacturer Cree set out — with the assistance of The Noun Project — to generate a symbol that represents LED lighting in all of its energy-saving glory during a day-long collaborative workshop held at the company’s North Carolina-based headquarters … a proper Iconathon, if you will. According to Ginny Skalski, Cree social media guru, blogger, and orchestrator of the aforementioned confectionery carnage, the new LED icon “will allow the public and the media to stop using antiquated Edison or swirly CFL bulb designs to symbolize lighting.”


Unveiled to the public today, the new symbol for LED lighting is just one of 15 new icons representing energy-efficient technologies created during the Cree-hosted workshop. Others include “Energy Audit,” “Wind Farm”, “Weatherized Home,” “Thermostat,” and “Electric Charging Station.”


Says Noun Project co-founder Edward Boatman of the icon:


One of the core themes that emerged from the group discussions was that LED is a radically different light source from any of its predecessors. Therefore, we all felt it was appropriate and necessary to break free from any past ‘light bulb’ design elements. LED lighting needed to have its own distinct and identifiable mark. As a group we decided that the two essential elements to the final design were the LED component that produces the light, and of course light itself. The final design honors both of these elements with a three-dimensional diamond shape representing the component and the use of negative space to represent a powerful and focused beam of light.

The LED icon and all of the other symbols created during the Cree Iconathon for Energy Efficiency are available for download here and can be used by the public under a Creative Commons license. And if you're not already familiar with The Noun Project, I highly recommend taking a look around the project website. Who knew there are official icons for cupcakes, bullies, bikers, and ice fishing?


For more on this nifty icon-generating endeavor, be sure to check out the video that I’ve embedded below. 



Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

LED lighting becomes 'iconic' at symbol-generating workshop
Tired of seeing LEDs constantly lumped in with incandescent bulbs in the symbol department, Cree collaborates with The Noun Project to generate a new universal