In 1809, an English chemist
by the name of Humphry Davy connected two wires to a battery and attached a
charcoal strip between the other ends of the wire. The electrified strip glowed,
making the first arc lamp. As it turned out, this would be the birth of the
incandescent light bulb. Thomas Edison would later perfect the light and lay
claim as the inventor of the modern day light bulb.
Modern incandescent light bulbs
use electricity to pass through a
filament, heating it until it produces light. The surrounding glass bulb
prevents air from reaching the hot metal fiber, which would otherwise be
destroyed by oxidation.
Incandescent lights come in
a wide range of sizes and handle all kinds of voltage. These lights are manufactured at a low cost and work well
with various types of current. As a result, incandescent lights became the
popular choice for most households and offices. You can also find these lights
in miners’ lamps, car headlights, flash lights, and even in a popular child’s
toy known as the Easy-Bake oven.
But as society moves
towards more cost efficient and longer lasting sources of light, the
incandescent bulb is slowly being fazed out. Compact
are the new wave of up-to-the-minute lighting. European bans on some types
of (75 and 100-watts bulbs) incandescent lights have been implemented. Eco
groups believe a transition to more energy efficient lights will eliminate some
30m tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Congress passed a bill in
2007 that will ban incandescent bulbs as well. The phase-out plan begins with
100-watt bulbs in 2010 and end in 2014 with the 40-watt.
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