How Light Bulbs Have Changed Over The Years


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Contrary to popular belief, the light bulb was not actually invented by Thomas Alva Edison in 1879. In fact, there were electric lights around since 1802 and they’ve been changing and evolving ever since. See below as we take a walk back in history to find out more about the transformation of the light bulb:

1802 - The first electric light was invented by Humphry Davy. His experiment involved electricity and he was able to come up with an electric battery. He then went on to connect wires to the battery and a piece of carbon glowed, producing light.

1835 - The first constant electric light was demonstrated by James Bowman Lindsay at a public meeting in Scotland.

1850-1859 - Two Germans discovered they could produce light by removing all of the air from inside a glass tube. This became the basis for fluorescent lights as we know them today.

1878 - Thomas Alva Edison begins working on incandescent lights - him and his researchers focused on testing carbon and platinum before turning to a carbon filament.

1904 - Incandescent lamps with tungsten filaments first appear on the European market. The bulbs lasted longer and were brighter than lamps with carbon filaments.

1939 - GE and Westinghouse introduced fluorescent lamps at the New York World’s Fair and the Golden Gate Exposition.

1962 - The first LED was invented by Nick Holonyak, Jr. while working for General Electric.

1978 - LED lighting appears in consumer products such as calculator displays and indicator lights.

1985 - The first CFL hits the market and ranges from $25-$35 per bulb.

2002-2008 - LED bulbs make begin making their way into residential homes.

2014-2016 - There’s a major push toward smart technology including smart light bulbs and other household appliances.

GEN3 Electric is your friendly neighborhood home expert. We perform electrical installations and repairs for residential, commercial and institutional clients. Contact us the next time you need electrical service in Philadelphia or the surrounding areas.

About The Author

Bill earned a degree in Electrical Engineering and Architecture, then founded Generation 3 Electric in 2000. His father, an electrician, was his inspiration. These days, Bill actively manages his company and enjoys focusing on new technology and marketing.