This upcoming Monday, Feb. 11 would be Thomas Edison’s 166th birthday. To honor him and the ground-breaking technology he provided to the world, we have composed a list, reminding you what it would be like without that handy electric bulb.
The first practical incandescent light bulb was invented in 1880 by American inventor Thomas Edison.* This small electric device has revolutionized human society, forever changing the way we live. Don’t believe me? See how different things would be in your home, workplace and during your leisure time:
Before the invention of the light bulb, candles and oil-based lamps were used to light homes. Not only are these devices dangerous fire hazards – which led to many yearly deaths – they also provide a much dimmer light than what we are accustomed to. Additionally, oil lamps can have harmful effects from breathing in kerosene.**
Imagine trying to do your job with only the dim light of a nearby candle flame. Not only would your productivity decrease, but so would your safety. Clearer, brighter bulb light in the workplace helped make it easier for laborers to see potential workplace hazards. While safety standards were admittedly poor in the late 1800s, the light bulb did help make moderate improvements.
Another notable impact of the light bulb in the workplace was that it made longer work hours possible. The up side? Increased nighttime productivity helped spur industrial advancements.
Love the night-life in your city? Well, if you lived in any major city in America prior to the late 1800’s, you wouldn’t even recognize this term “night-life.” Prior to the light bulb, a person’s night ended when the sun went down. With the light bulb, cities were able to illuminate the night with lighted signs and street lights, and many people found themselves enjoying leisure activities late into the night.
Since the invention of the incandescent light bulb, we have come a long way. From CFLs to LEDs, we are constantly finding ways to improve every-day light. According to the Department of Energy, LED lighting has the potential to more than double the efficiency of today’s lighting systems and could save more than $98 billion in energy costs over the next two decades.
Find a variety of light bulbs, fixtures and accessories on our light bulb page. For more information on LED lighting, visit our LED Light Bulb Topic Page. Plus, make sure to check out our selection of SWITCH™ LED light bulbs – the first true LED replacements for incandescents.
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