Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Evolution of Lighting Technologies

Incandescent Light Bulbs

Lighting has evolved over the years. Let’s find out how it evolved. As we know Edison invented it to transform our life. By the way, you will be surprised to know that he also developed the first electric meter.

While Edison was working on the whole lighting system, there were many inventors that were putting their efforts to make several advancements in order to improve the filament manufacturing process. As a result, a dramatic change in the technology came in 1904, when European inventors invented tungsten filament. The new tungsten filament bulbs were quite significant and have the ability to last longer. 

The saga continues and 1913 became yet another remarkable year. This is the year, when Irving Langmuir pointed out that placing an inert gas like nitrogen inside the bulb can improve (double) its overall efficiency. By the 1950s, inventors and researchers had only figured out how to convert about 10% of the energy the incandescent bulb used into light. They began focusing on other more innovative lighting solutions.

Emergence of compact fluorescent light (CFL)


Furthermore, the oil crisis of 1973 forced lighting engineers to develop an efficient fluorescent bulb. 1976 was yet another significant year in the history of lighting when Edward Hammer of General Electric pointed out how to bend the fluorescent tube into a spiral shape. This was resulted in the development of the first ever compact fluorescent light (CFL). Early CFLs hit the market in the mid-1980s; however, they were bigger in size and somewhat bulky, as a result they didn’t fit well into fixtures.

It must be noted that CFL uses about 75 % less energy than incandescent and last longer say about 10 times longer.

Era of light-emitting diode (or LED)

One of the fastest emerging and developing lighting technologies today is the light-emitting diodes (or LEDs). Initially, they were used in a wide variety of applications including traffic lights, flashlights, etc. Since then, LEDs have evolved, no wonder, today, it is the most efficient lights than any other traditional lights. And the reason is simple - they have many advantages over incandescent light sources, including lower energy consumption, longevity, performance, robustness, compactness and much more.


LEDs contain no mercury, and a recent Energy Department study determined that LEDs have a much smaller environmental impact than incandescent bulbs. (source – energy.gov)
The LED was invented by Nick Holonyak Jr. in 1963 while he was working for General Electric. (source - phoenix.gov)

A business, such as a warehouse or large hotel, can save up to 70% of its electricity costs by switching to LED lights with motion sensors...and receive a payback on the capital outlay within two years. (source - http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/blog/future-led-lighting-gets-brighter)

Today, LEDs are used in the widest possible applications from aviation lighting, automotive headlamps, advertising, general lighting, to traffic signals.

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