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The evolution of the light bulb.

Posted on - Wednesday 3rd May 2017

The light bulb has come on leaps and bounds over the last 140 years. The incandescent lamp (pictured left)  arguably invented by Thomas Edison in 1879. For over 130 years the incandescent light bulb dominated household lighting. But in 2011 the government classed as inefficient, with lamps ranging from 40 to 150 watts it was phased out.


In 1976 the lower wattage spiral Compact Fluorescent Lamp 'CFL' (pictured middle) invented by Edward E Hammer an Engineer at General Electric (GE) in response to the 1973 oil crisis, although it did do its job, with lamps ranging around 22 watts, It would have cost GE $25 million to convert their factories and therefore the invention was shelved. Mr Hammer's design was eventually copied In 1995, being manufactured in China it became commercially available.


The LED lamp at 9 watts (pictured right) The first LED's have been with us since the 1960's and can be seen everywhere from the red light on your tv remote control to the light on your plug in charger. It wasn't until 1994 when Shuji Nakamura of the Nichia Coporation demonstrated the first 'High Brightness blue' LED. developed further they used a coating to partially convert the emitted blue light to red and green frequencies to make a light that Appears white. Later on Nakamura was awarded the 2014 Nobel prize in physics for the invention of the blue LED.


So looking back at 140 years. The common light bulb has come on leaps bounds don't you agree.


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