While Edison was working on the whole lighting system, other inventors were continuing to make small advances, improving the filament manufacturing process and the efficiency of the bulb. The next big change in the incandescent bulb came with the invention of the tungsten filament by European inventors in 1904. These new tungsten filament bulbs lasted longer and had a brighter light compared to the carbon filament bulbs. In 1913, Irving Langmuir figured out that placing an inert gas like nitrogen inside the bulb doubled its efficiency. Scientists continued to make improvements over the next 40 years that reduced the cost and increased the efficiency of the incandescent bulb. But by the 1950s, researchers still had only figured out how to convert about 10 percent of the energy the incandescent bulb used into light and began to focus their energy on other lighting solutions.
One of the fastest developing lighting technologies today is the light-emitting diode (or LED). A type of solid-state lighting, LEDs use a semiconductor to convert electricity into light, are often small in area (less than 1 square millimeter) and emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light.
For the first time in its nearly 130-year history, General Electric will stop making light bulbs, a product that has been synonymous with the brand since it was co-founded by Thomas Edison, the inventor of the modern lightbulb, in the late 19th century.
Consumers can still expect to see GE-branded lightbulbs on the shelves, however. Though the company did not release terms of the sale, the contract includes a long-term licensing agreement for the use of the GE brand. The deal is expected to close by the middle of the year.
But the uncoupling from the lightbulb business, though not a significant financial decision for the company, is perhaps the most notable cultural event in history of the company, which was founded by Edison to manufacture light bulbs and has led innovation in the space since.
For the apartment tests, we set up a colorful, fruit-and-flower-filled still life scene on a kitchen table. Then, we screwed each bulb into an overhead fixture that was plugged into a Lutron dimmer, noting whether bulbs buzzed or flickered, how well they dimmed, and how well they showed colors. We conducted all tests in the late afternoon and with other lights turned off for consistency. We took photos of the scene under the light of each bulb using a manual white balance to compare colors and brightness levels. Our photo editor adjusted the exposures and white balances for consistency among photos with 60 W and 40 W bulbs, and we compared the photos.
Anna Perling is a former staff writer covering kitchen gear at Wirecutter. During her time at Wirecutter, she reported on various topics including sports bras, board games, and light bulbs. Previously she wrote food and lifestyle pieces for Saveur and Kinfolk magazines. Anna is a mentor at Girls Write Now and a member of the Online News Association.
An incandescent light bulb, incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe is an electric light with a wire filament heated until it glows. The filament is enclosed in a glass bulb with a vacuum or inert gas to protect the filament from oxidation. Current is supplied to the filament by terminals or wires embedded in the glass. A bulb socket provides mechanical support and electrical connections.
Incandescent bulbs are manufactured in a wide range of sizes, light output, and voltage ratings, from 1.5 volts to about 300 volts. They require no external regulating equipment, have low manufacturing costs, and work equally well on either alternating current or direct current. As a result, the incandescent bulb became widely used in household and commercial lighting, for portable lighting such as table lamps, car headlamps, and flashlights, and for decorative and advertising lighting.
Incandescent bulbs are much less efficient than other types of electric lighting. Less than 5% of the energy they consume is converted into visible light; the rest is lost as heat. The luminous efficacy of a typical incandescent bulb for 120 V operation is 16 lumens per watt (lm/W), compared with 60 lm/W for a compact fluorescent bulb or 100 lm/W for typical white LED lamps.
The lamp was a small component in his system of electric lighting, and no more critical to its effective functioning than the Edison Jumbo generator, the Edison main and feeder, and the parallel-distribution system. Other inventors with generators and incandescent lamps, and with comparable ingenuity and excellence, have long been forgotten because their creators did not preside over their introduction in a system of lighting.
In 1835, James Bowman Lindsay demonstrated a constant electric light at a public meeting in Dundee, Scotland. He stated that he could \"read a book at a distance of one and a half feet\". However he did not develop the electric light any further.
In 1859, Moses G. Farmer built an electric incandescent light bulb using a platinum filament. Thomas Edison later saw one of these bulbs in a shop in Boston, and asked Farmer for advice on the electric light business.
In 1872, Russian Alexander Lodygin invented an incandescent light bulb and obtained a Russian patent in 1874. He used as a burner two carbon rods of diminished section in a glass receiver, hermetically sealed, and filled with nitrogen, electrically arranged so that the current could be passed to the second carbon when the first had been consumed. Later he lived in the US, changed his name to Alexander de Lodyguine and applied for and obtained patents for incandescent lamps having chromium, iridium, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium, molybdenum and tungsten filaments, and a bulb using a molybdenum filament was demonstrated at the world fair of 1900 in Paris.
On 4 March 1880, just five months after Edison's light bulb, Alessandro Cruto created his first incandescent lamp. Cruto produced a filament by deposition of graphite on thin platinum filaments, by heating it with an electric current in the presence of gaseous ethyl alcohol. Heating this platinum at high temperatures leaves behind thin filaments of platinum coated with pure graphite. By September 1881 he had achieved a successful version of this the first synthetic filament. The light bulb invented by Cruto lasted five hundred hours as opposed to the forty of Edison's original version. In 1882 Munich Electrical Exhibition in Bavaria, Germany Cruto's lamp was more efficient than the Edison's one and produced a better, white light.
With the help of Charles Stearn, an expert on vacuum pumps, in 1878, Swan developed a method of processing that avoided the early bulb blackening. This received a British Patent in 1880. On 18 December 1878, a lamp using a slender carbon rod was shown at a meeting of the Newcastle Chemical Society, and Swan gave a working demonstration at their meeting on 17 January 1879. It was also shown to 700 who attended a meeting of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne on 3 February 1879. These lamps used a carbon rod from an arc lamp rather than a slender filament. Thus they had low resistance and required very large conductors to supply the necessary current, so they were not commercially practical, although they did furnish a demonstration of the possibilities of incandescent lighting with relatively high vacuum, a carbon conductor, and platinum lead-in wires. This bulb lasted about 40 hours. Swan then turned his attention to producing a better carbon filament and the means of attaching its ends. He devised a method of treating cotton to produce 'parchmentised thread' in the early 1880s and obtained British Patent 4933 that same year. From this year he began installing light bulbs in homes and landmarks in England. His house, Underhill, Low Fell, Gateshead, was the first in the world to be lit by a lightbulb. In the early 1880s he had started his company. In 1881, the Savoy Theatre in the City of Westminster, London was lit by Swan incandescent lightbulbs, which was the first theatre, and the first public building in the world, to be lit entirely by electricity. The first street in the world to be lit by an incandescent lightbulb was Mosley Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. It was lit by Joseph Swan's incandescent lamp on 3 February 1879.
Albon Man, a New York lawyer, started Electro-Dynamic Light Company in 1878 to exploit his patents and those of William Sawyer. Weeks later the United States Electric Lighting Company was organized. This company did not make their first commercial installation of incandescent lamps until the fall of 1880 at the Mercantile Safe Deposit Company in New York City, about six months after the Edison incandescent lamps had been installed on the Columbia. Hiram S. Maxim was the chief engineer at the United States Electric Lighting Company. After the great success in the United States, the incandescent light bulb patented by Edison also began to gain widespread popularity in Europe as well; among other places, the first Edison light bulbs in the Nordic countries were installed at the weaving hall of the Finlayson's textile factory in Tampere, Finland in March 1882.
The United States Patent Office gave a ruling 8 October 1883, that Edison's patents were based on the prior art of William Sawyer and were invalid. Litigation continued for a number of years. Eventually on 6 October 1889, a judge ruled that Edison's electric light improvement claim for \"a filament of carbon of high resistance\" was valid.
On 13 December 1904, Hungarian Sándor Just and Croatian Franjo Hanaman were granted a Hungarian patent (No. 34541) for a tungsten filament lamp that lasted longer and gave brighter light than the carbon filament. Tungsten filament lamps were first marketed by the Hungari