Light Bulbs Then and Now

More than any other individual, Thomas Edison was credited with building the framework for modern technology and society in the age of electricity.

In 1878, Thomas Edison began serious research into developing a practical incandescent lamp and on October 14, 1878, Edison filed his first patent application for “Improvement In Electric Lights”. However, he continued to test several types of material for metal filaments to improve upon his original design and by Nov 4, 1879, he filed another U.S. patent for an electric lamp using “a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected … to platina contact wires.”

Although the patent described several ways of creating the carbon filament including using “cotton and linen thread, wood splints, papers coiled in various ways,” it was not until several months after the patent was granted that Edison and his team discovered that a carbonized bamboo filament could last over 1200 hours.

This discovery marked the beginning of commercially manufactured light bulbs and in 1880, Thomas Edison’s company, Edison Electric Light Company began marketing its new product.

It is to be noted that many other individuals were credited with improving the first light bulb for residential and onto more powerful versions for commercial use.

In 2018 you will find the traditional incandescent bulbs, as well as versions of “Smart” bulbs that work with wifi and/or Bluetooth and increasingly popular LED lights, range from $5.00 to $50.00 for a bulb. See below more on how watts and lumens translate.

Lumens to Watts:

How Many Lumens Do You Need?More Lumens = More Light
If you used to buy this in incandescent Look for this much light in lumens LED
(most efficient)
(more efficient)
(more efficient incandescent)
100 W 1600 up to 22 W up to 26 W up to 72 W
75 W 1100 up to 20 W up to 23 W up to 53 W
60 W 800 up to 12 W up to 15 W up to 43 W
40 W 450 up to 9 W up to 11 W up to 29 W
Lumens vs Watts: Output and wattages based on most common products available for each medium screw-based light bulb. Actual light output may vary by product.



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