Will LED Lighting Become One of the Most Important Ways of Conserving Electricity?
Long gone are the days that we leave all the lights on in our homes, never giving a thought to how much energy they are consuming, or how much heat they are producing. soft white vs daylight of led lights
Today we are asking if LED lighting will become one of the most important ways of conserving electricity. Is it really possible that such a small change in the way we do things could have such a huge impact on our National Energy Consumption?
First, a brief history of the light bulb.
Naturally, we equate 1879 and Thomas Alva Edison with inventing the light bulb, but in fact it was 1802 and Humphry Davy who first produced electric lighting. His first invention was an electric battery, and to this he connected a piece of carbon. The carbon did glow, tho not for long, and it was too bright to be practical. His invention was called the Electric Arc Lamp. For the next 70 years, many inventors worked on the electric light concept, using various configurations of different metals. In 1840 Warren de la Rue, a British scientist, fashioned a bulb from platinum filament in a vacuum tube; when he ran electricity through the filament, he produced a quality light, but the cost of platinum prohibited this from being practical for commercial production.
Several other scientists and inventors worked on the light bulb concept using various filaments, gasses, and glass enclosures. Blackening of the glass was a major problem that took many years to rectify. Finally in 1874, Canadians Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans filed for a patent on their electric lamp, but attempts to commercialize it was not successful. In 1879 they sold their patent to Edison. Even though historians say that over 20 inventors worked on perfecting the incandescent lamp, it was not until Edison started working on it that it became a commercial success. The three major hurtles were finding an effective incandescent material, being able to hold the high vacuum necessary inside the bulb, and finally the high resistance in the power transmission lines which made it too expensive to distribute the electric current from a central power plant.
In late 1879, Edison made the discovery that a carbonized bamboo filament could last for over 1,200 hours. This single discovery allowed him to establish the Edison Electric Light Company in 1880, where he began to manufacture and sell his light bulbs.
There are several famous light bulbs, ones which have been burning continuously for decades. Most notable is the Centennial Light, which is located in Livermore, California, and maintained by the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department. It is said to be over 110 years old. Ironically, the reason that these very old bulbs are still burning is that they are never turned off. It’s the heat/cold fluctuation on the filaments which causes their early demise. The dilemma is, however, that leaving an incandescent bulb burning continuously uses a huge amount of electricity, and 90% of energy use is wasted in heat and not light.