Light Bulbs – Historical and Modern Concerns
Light bulbs are found throughout the world and have become one of the most shared of household items. The ability to light our surroundings is a basic human need, and has inspired many by the years to find better, safer and cheaper light supplies. Frederick de Moleyns designed an incandescence lamp, for which he received a patent. Thomas Edison is credited with inventing the first functional prototype of the electric light bulb, but there were other inventors who worked on and contributed to the concept, including Heinrich Göebel, James Bowman Lindsay, Sir Humphrey Davy, Warren De La Rue and James Prescott Joule.
The new technology used electrical resistance to heat a wire filament. When the filament reached a high temperature it would glow, giving off light – this course of action is call incandescence. The light bulb is the surrounding which protects the filament from oxidation at high heat. Most bulbs are filled with a low-pressure gas, while quartz lamp bulbs are filled with halogen gas. Edison invented his light bulb in 1879 and received a patent in 1880. However, as many people had been working on the concept of electric bulbs, there were understandably disputes as to who owned the technology and many lawsuits were filed.
The arrival of electrical lighting would bring changes in residential and industrial living. Prior to bulbs gas lighting was used in many homes and businesses, and not only was the infrastructure in place, but there were gas manufacturing plants up and running and gas utility franchises had been stated. But, this would change and the infrastructure would begin switching to electricity which was becoming a functional and useful technology for homes and businesses.
Over the next hundred years Edison’s first prototypes would rule to the creation of light bulbs of all shapes and energy outputs as new lighting fixtures were developed. Table lamps were joined with ceiling lights, industrial lighting, and outdoor lighting fixtures. Light bulbs small enough to fit in penlights and large enough to light sports arenas were designed, and they were obtainable in a multitude of colors. However, as people became more aware of the ecosystem they would begin to look at the way they used energy and seek changes. This would rule to more changes in the bulb and how it was used.
One of the first changes was replacing electricity, which becomes costlier each year, with different energy supplies such as solar energy. When homeowners first began installing outdoor path lighting, they needed to use electrical wiring. Today most outdoor path bulbs are lit with solar energy collected during the day. And more efficient bulbs, such as LEDs and CFLs are replacing the traditional bulb designs. In fact, many countries are requiring that the incandescent bulb be completely phased out and replaced with environmentally friendly and energy saving bulbs. New environmental standards are and will continue to promote the evolution of the bulb. Hopefully these changes are helping humans to become more energy efficient and respectful of our world and its natural resources.