Light brings our world into focus. The history of lighting dates back as far as 70,000 B.C. with the use of hollowed-out rocks, shell or other natural non-combustible materials filled with moss soaked in animal fat and ignited. As time progressed, pottery and alabaster were used. By the 7th century, Greeks began using terra cotta lamps instead of handheld torches. As technology evolved, lighting progressed to the usage of oil lamps, candles, and kerosene lamps. The word lamp derives from the Greek word “lampas”, meaning “torch.” Although lamp developments progressed, the technology remained stagnant. The major focus was controlling the burning of fuel (natural oils, waxes, and the like) with wicks, tubes, chimneys, vents, and other similar devices. Many centuries would pass before the next major breakthrough in lighting technology occurred.
Most Americans believe that it was Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb, but this is not the case. Electric lighting was invented many decades prior, but was messy, noisy, and expensive. Additionally, electric arc lights could only be used outdoors. People still used candles and gas lights to illuminate their homes and offices. The first electric lamp was the carbon-arc lamp, demonstrated in 1801 by Sir Humphrey Davy, an English chemist. In the late 1878, the work of Englishman, Joseph Wilson Swan, revolutionized the world of light. He received a patent for his light bulb design, which used a carbon paper filament, to produce a long-lasting light source. The carbon paper filament produced a light that lasted 13.5 hours.
After Swan was awarded his patent, Edison continued to improve on this idea. Edison placed the carbon filament inside an oxygen-free bulb, therefore, extending the bulb’s life to 40 hours. He continued to improve the bulb by bending the filament into a horseshoe-shape, which in turn, created over 100 hours of light. When Edison was finished improving the light bulb, he was able to reach 1,500 hours of usable light. Throughout his lifetime, Edison continued improving upon his own and other people’s inventions. Even before his death in 1931, scientists formed a group in order to keep Edison’s ideas alive. They called themselves the “Edison’s Pioneers.”
Today’s incandescent light bulbs are similar to Edison’s design. Since his time, inventors have spent their time devising lighting systems that use less energy, last longer, and cost less. These include the Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL), lasting 15,000 hours and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDS), lasting 50,000 hours.
Whichever type of bulb your company chooses to use, Commercial Lighting Company will find you the most resilient bulb… Guaranteed. At Commercial Lighting Company, we light up the world… Longer.