Lighting has come a long way since the first light bulb amazed the world. First brightening up the darkness in Britain in 1835, the arc light led the way for Thomas Edison’s incandescent bulb. In the 40 plus years between the British arc light and Edison’s first patent in 1879, scientists around the world studied and experimented with improving the filament—the thin wire inside a light bulb that produces light from electricity—and the atmosphere inside the bulb. A bulb’s atmosphere could be an inert gas or a vacuum.
Early experimental light bulbs had very short lifespans, used a lot of energy and were expensive to produce. Edison’s team in Menlo Park, CA finally produced a carbon filament in 1879 that lasted over 14 hours. Continuing to experiment with filament materials, the Edison team finally settled on a bamboo filament that gave light bulbs up 1200 hours of life. The bamboo filament became the standard for the next 10 years. Edison also created a better pump for removing air from the bulb and developed the “Edison screw,” which is still the standard socket fitting for light bulbs.
Once the light bulb was invented, there was no stopping scientists and inventors from forging ahead with improvements and new advancements. To provide the best service possible, the electricians at San Luis Obispo’s Electricraft, Inc. keep on top of advancements in lighting technologies. Over time, these advancements included:
- Street lights, which began appearing in Paris in 1878 and by 1890 the were around 130,000 street lights in cities in the United States.
- The first Christmas tree lights appeared in 1882.
- Neon lights first appeared in 1910 at the Paris Motor Show and continued to gain popularity around the world, reaching an apex in the 1960s.
- Auto headlights began appearing between 1910 and 1915.
- Lasers (Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation), was first built in 1960. Originally developed for scientific use, lasers today are key components in electronics as well as being used for surgical procedures.
- Patented in 1907 by Thomas Edison, fluorescent lighting didn’t gain popularity until the 1930s. Popularity surged again in the 1970s during the oil crises. GE introduced the spiral shaped compact fluorescent light (CFL) in the mid-1970s but they weren’t cheap! One bulb could cost as much as $25. Improvements during the 1990s reduced the cost to less than $2 per bulb.
Today’s lighting technology is forging ahead with the LED, (light emitting diode). Although invented in 1907 the LED began coming into its own in 1962. Today the LED remains one of the leading advancements in lighting technologies, joined in recent years by smart lighting.
Advancements in LED technology
The LED market has grown steadily since the LED was introduced. As a highly efficient technology, LED lighting is changing lighting, especially in the United States. The United States Department of Energy (DOE), reports that the LED “is one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies.
According to the DOE report, residential Energy Star rated LEDs use 75-percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. This same report predicts that by 2027, widespread use of LEDs can save the equivalent annual electric output of 44 large 1000 megawatt power plants for a total savings of more than $30 billion.
Smart lights are one more advancement in the smart home technologies. Smart light bulbs can be controlled through mobile Bluetooth. Remote, mobile operation makes it possible to activate a variety of smart bulb features such as turning the lights off and on, choose color or brightness, schedule when the lights turn on or off, or even flash when you get a social media notification.
The best lighting for your home or business
You can count on the San Luis Obispo electricians from Electricraft to provide the best lighting technologies for any electrical project. Flickering light bulbs, bulbs that frequently burn out and inadequate lighting are signs that it may be time to upgrade electrical wiring and the lighting technology in your home or office.
There is no project too small or too big for the Electricraft team. From troubleshooting lighting problems to electrical systems for a new home, call Electricraft for:
- Professional, on time, quality service to every customer
- Doing the job right the first time
- A fair price