In such LED applications as lighting, it is desirable to have the highest light output for the lowest power consumption. This paper investigates the optical properties and electronic requirements of a commercially available yellow LED as a function of temperature from ambient to liquid nitrogen temperatures. It was found that the illuminance increased by almost an order of magnitude, producing much higher light output at the same diode current. However, the operating voltage increased, increasing the overall power consumption slightly. The efficiency (light-watt output to electrical watts consumed) of the LED, though, improved by a factor of more than three. This, combined with the enhanced light output, compensates for the small increase in power consumption and added cooling costs. These improvements further translate into a comparable increase in the lifetime of the LEDs. In general, each ten-degree reduction in temperature corresponds to a doubling of the lifetime of semiconductor devices. It was also found that the maximum operating current increased significantly at liquid nitrogen temperatures over that at ambient temperatures. Lastly, the emitted wavelength range shifted to shorter values in addition to the significant increase in brightness. Thus, a yellow- colored LED at room temperature gave off a much brighter yellow-green-white color at liquid nitrogen temperatures.