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A Brief History of Lighting

Imagine what life was like before lighting as we know it today. While many people woke in the morning with the sunrise and went to sleep as soon as the sun went down, others were determined to invent a source of artificial light. Take a look below to see how lighting began and the milestones that lead up to where we are today.

progression of light bulb innovation

As early as 70,000 BCE, humans were using fire to create light. Hollow rocks or shells were filled with moss or other items soaked in animal fat and lit on fire. It wasn’t until around 4500 BC when oil lamps made their first appearance.

Then in 3000 B, candles were invented and served as the primary source of light throughout the 17th Century. In 900 BC, a Persian scholar by the name of Muhammad ibn Zakariya Razi invented the first kerosene lamp which was followed by the modernization of the oil lamp in 1780. Improved oils were used to provide a flame inside of glass chimneys.

In 1854, Heinrich Gobel invented an incandescent lamp in Germany by passing an electrical current through a carbonized bamboo filament. Then, along came Thomas Edison with the carbon-thread incandescent lamp in 1879 followed by Nikola Tesla who used cordless low pressure gas discharge lamps to light his lab in 1893.

Tungsten wire was introduced in 1909 which made the “modern” incandescent lamp possible and after about 90 more years passed by, with lots of improvements spanning the gap, new breakthroughs in LED technology improved both light and color in 1999. This was the first year there were talks of LEDs potentially replacing the future of lighting – and they couldn’t have been more accurate!

Lon Lockwood Electric specializes in residential installation, repair, and maintenance of electrical work in Rochester, New York. As a locally owned company, we understand the pride of Rochester NY residents in our great city and the surrounding counties. Our electricians, well trained and experienced, possess a comprehensive knowledge of electrical systems. Rely on us for any kind of residential electrical services.