The creation of usable artificial light can be considered one of man kind’s greatest achievements because it allowed us to be productive well beyond the time the sun went down. We were no longer bound by the constraints the sun placed upon us. Now we could explore the deepest, darkest recesses of the earth with the ability to see what’s around us. Artificial lighting is an ever evolving technology, so let’s take a look at what brought us here today, and where lighting is going in the future!
Before we talk about the future, let’s look to the past for a little insight into what caused lighting to evolve into what it is today. The creation of artificial light dates back thousands of years when our early ancestors used fire to illuminate the dark world around them.
This achievement allowed them to become more productive simply because they were no longer limited by the amount of time between sunrise and sunset. Both industrial revolutions happened in large part because workers could take shifts that went late into the night allowing us, as a whole, to manufacture more. Gas lighting made this possible merely because it permitted factories to illuminate large areas allowing workers to see much better.
The introduction of a reliable incandescent light bulb in 1879 by Thomas Edison took the lighting industry into a new era. Contrary to popular belief, Mr. Edison didn’t invent the incandescent light bulb, but rather improved on the design and developed a system that would replace gas lamps but still utilize the already present gas piping to carry the electricity to the light bulb. He developed the infrastructure that produced and carried electricity to the light bulb, and not much has changed in this process over 100 years later. What has changed is the way in which light is produced and the concern for its overall efficiency.