Countless as inventors are always re-inventing the lightbulb. However, did you know that US patent 6826983 was granted for a "Light Bulb Changer?"
The first lamps date back to 70,000 BC. Hollow rocks, shells and other natural objects were filled with moss or a similar material that was soaked with animal fat and ignited - lighting up the night. Photo: Morguefile
Sir Humphrey Davy invented the first electric lamp in 1801. Davy's invention was a carbon arc lamp. These type of lamps work by hooking two carbon rods to a source of electricity. With the other ends of the rods spaced at the right distance, electrical current will flow through an "arc" of vaporizing carbon creating an intense white light.
- Also See - History of the Incandescent Lightbulb
The Future - Light Minus the Bulb
The Group IV Semiconductor company is developing a new type of lightbulb for the mass market based on a revolutionary silicon thin-film process. Their goal is to develop a consumer lightbulb based on a solid-state lighting with a much higher efficiency than conventional lightbulbs, reducing energy consumption by as much as 80 percent. With the new lightbulbs, light is emitted using thin silicon-based films on a chip (the silicon emits light). The technology requires no vacuum or glass bulbs, which will mean less waste and dramatically cheaper production costs.
The Future of Lighting
LED developers are heading toward lower-price markets that aim to replace the filament-based lightbulb which loose 95 per cent of their energy as heat. According to a Toronto Star article by Tyler Hamilton, "Osram Sylvania launched a line of LED lighting products for the home -- desk, table and floor lamps -- that use 5 watts or less, are durable and last up to 20,000 hours."
Michael Bowers, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, was working with quantum dots, crystals the size of 33 or 34 pairs of atoms, when he discovered a potential new lighting source. When you apply electricity or light to quantom dots, they react by producing their own light, usually a strange blue color. However, Bowers had created a new smaller size of quantum dots and when he shined a laser beam on his dots, they reacted by glowing with an easy-on-the-eyes white light. Bowers is now experimenting with a quantom dot and polyurethane coating for LED bulbs.