Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Uncategorized.
Been a long time since we lit the bulb!
Zoinks! Its me Dr. Z! Light bulbs are never a static technology but in the next few year s we will be seeing a jump in lighting technology like never before! So as the incandescent falls by the wayside I figured it would be good to have a tribute to this old war horse and brief history lesson to boot!
AT A GLANCE:
The modern world is an electrified world. The light bulb, in particular, profoundly changed human existence by illuminating the night and making it hospitable to a wide range of human activity. The electric light, one of the everyday conveniences that most affects our lives, was invented in 1879 by Thomas Alva Edison. He was neither the first nor the only person trying to invent an incandescent light bulb. THE STORY
HOW IT WORKS
DID YOU KNOW?
Invention: electric light bulb in 1879
Definition: noun / electric light bulb / incandescent lamp
Function: An electric lamp in which a filament is heated to incandescence by an electric current. Today’s incandescent light bulbs use filaments made of tungsten rather than carbon of the 1880′s.
Patent: 223,898 (US) issued January 27, 1880
Inventor: Thomas Alva Edison
Criteria: First practical. Modern prototype. Entrepreneur.
Birth: February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio
Death: October 18, 1931 in West Orange, New Jersey
1850 Joseph W. Swan began working on a light bulb using carbonized paper filaments
1860 Swan obtained a UK patent covering a partial vacuum, carbon filament incandescent lamp
1877 Edward Weston forms Weston Dynamo Machine Company, in Newark, New Jersey.
1878 Thomas Edison founded the Edison Electric Light Company
1878 Hiram Maxim founded the United States Electric Lighting Company
1878 205,144 William Sawyer and Albon Man 6/18 for Improvements in Electric Lamps
1878 Swan receives a UK patent for an improved incandescent lamp in a vacuum tube
1879 Swan began installing light bulbs in homes and landmarks in England.
1880 223,898 Thomas Edison 1/27 for Electric Lamp and Manufacturing Process
1880 230,309 Hiram Maxim 7/20 for Process of Manufacturing Carbon Conductors
1880 230,310 Hiram Maxim 7/20 for Electrical Lamp
1880 230,953 Hiram Maxim 7/20 for Electrical Lamp
1880 233,445 Joseph Swan 10/19 for Electric Lamp
1880 234,345 Joseph Swan 11/9 for Electric Lamp
1880 Weston Dynamo Machine Company renamed Weston Electric Lighting Company
1880 Elihu Thomson and Edwin Houston form American Electric Company
1880 Charles F. Brush forms the Brush Electric Company
1881 Joseph W. Swan founded the Swan Electric Light Company
1881 237,198 Hiram Maxim 2/1 for Electrical Lamp assigned to U.S. Electric Lighting Company
1881 238,868 Thomas Edison 3/15 for Manufacture of Carbons for Incandescent Lamps
1881 247,097 Joseph Nichols and Lewis Latimer 9/13 for Electric Lamp
1881 251, 540 Thomas Edison 12/27 for Bamboo Carbons Filament for Incandescent Lamps
1882 252,386 Lewis Latimer 1/17 for Process of Manufacturing Carbons assigned to U.S. E. L. Co.
1882 Edison’s UK operation merged with Swan to form the Edison & Swan United Co. or “Edi-swan”
1882 Joesph Swan sold his United States patent rights to the Brush Electric Company
1883 American Electric Company renamed Thomson-Houston Electric Company
1884 Sawyer & Man Electric Co formed by Albon Man a year after William Edward Sawyer death
1886 George Westinghouse formed the Westinghouse Electric Company
1886 The National Carbon Co. was founded by the then Brush Electric Co. executive W. H. Lawrence
1888 United States Electric Lighting Co. was purchased by Westinghouse Electric Company
1886 Sawyer & Man Electric Co. was purchased by Thomson-Houston Electric Company
1889 Brush Electric Company merged into the Thomson-Houston Electric Company
1889 Edison Electric Light Company consolidated and renamed Edison General Electric Company.
1890 Edison, Thomson-Houston, and Westinghouse, the “Big 3″ of the American lighting industry.
1892 Edison Electric Light Co. and Thomson-Houston Electric Co. created General Electric Co.
light bulb, electric lamp, incandescent lamp, electric globe, Thomas Edison, Joseph Swan, Hiram Maxim, Humphrey Davy, James Joule, George Westinghouse, Charles Brush, William Coolidge, invention, history, inventor of, history of, who invented, invention of, fascinating facts.
By the time of Edison’s 1879 lamp invention, gas lighting was a mature, well-established industry. The gas infrastructure was in place, franchises had been granted, and manufacturing facilities for both gas and equipment were in profitable operation. Perhaps as important, people had grown accustomed to the idea of lighting with gas.
Incandescent lamps make light by using electricity to heat a thin strip of material (called a filament) until it gets hot enough to glow. Many inventors had tried to perfect incandescent lamps to “sub-divide” electric light or make it smaller and weaker than it was in the existing electric arc lamps, which were too bright to be used for small spaces such as the rooms of a house.
Edison was neither the first nor the only person trying to invent an incandescent electric lamp. Many inventors had tried and failed some were discouraged and went on to invent other devices. Among those inventors who made a step forward in understanding the eclectic light were Sir Humphrey Davy, Warren De la Rue, James Bowman Lindsay, James Prescott Joule, Frederick de Moleyns and Heinrich Göbel.
Between the years 1878 and 1892 the electric light industry was growing in terms of installed lights but shrinking in terms of company competition as both Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse determined to control the industry and its advancement. They even formed the Board of Patent Control, a joint arrangement between General Electric and the Westinghouse Company to defend the patents of the two companies in litigation. This proved to be a wise decision as over 600 lawsuits for patent infringement were filed.
The easiest way to understand those turbulent times in the early lighting industry is to follow the company’s involved. Of the hundreds of companies in the business, we only cover the major players. We show the flow of inventor’s patents and inventor’s companies and how the industry ended up monopolized by GE and Westinghouse. Company names listed in GREEN ultimately became part of General Electric. Company names listed in RED ultimately became part of Westinghouse.
American Electric Company.
In the late 1870′s high school teachers Elihu Thomson and Edwin Houston began experimenting with and patenting improvements on existing arc lamp and dynamo designs. In 1880 after being approached by a group of businessmen from New Britain CT, They all agreed to the formation of a company that would engage in the commercial manufacture of lighting systems (both arc and incandescent) based on their own patents. This was the American Electric Company which existed until 1883 when it was reorganized and was renamed the Thomson-Houston Electric Company.
Brush Electric Company
In 1880, Charles F. Brush forms the Brush Electric Company. That same year he installs the first complete eclectic arc-lighting system in Wabash, Indiana. Wabash was the first American city to be lit solely by electricity and to own its own municipal power plant (that small dynamo driven by a threshing machine engine). The installation in Cleveland the year before had been a demonstration, but Cleveland would soon begin lighting its streets with arc lamps as well. In 1876 Charles F. Brush invented a new type of simple, reliable, self-regulating arc lamp, as well as a new dynamo designed to power it. Earlier attempts at self regulation had often depended on complex clockwork mechanisms that, among other things, could not automatically re-strike an arc if there were an interruption in power. The simpler Brush design for a lamp/dynamo system made central station lighting a possibility for the first time. Joseph Swan sold his United States patent rights to the Brush Electric Company in June 1882. In 1889, Brush Electric Company merged into the Thomson-Houston Electric Company.
Edison Electric Light Company
In the period from 1878 to 1880 Edison and his associates worked on at least three thousand different theories to develop an efficient incandescent lamp.
Edison’s lamp would consist of a filament housed in a glass vacuum bulb. He had his own glass blowing shed where the fragile bulbs were carefully crafted for his experiments. Edison was trying to come up with a high resistance system that would require far less electrical power than was used for the arc lamps. This could eventually mean small electric lights suitable for home use.
By January 1879, at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, Edison had built his first high resistance, incandescent electric light. It worked by passing electricity through a thin platinum filament in the glass vacuum bulb, which delayed the filament from melting. Still, the lamp only burned for a few short hours. In order to improve the bulb, Edison needed all the persistence he had learned years before in his basement laboratory. He tested thousands and thousands of other materials to use for the filament. He even thought about using tungsten, which is the metal used for light bulb filaments now, but he couldn’t work with it given the tools available at that time.
He tested the carbonized filaments of every plant imaginable, including bay wood, boxwood, hickory, cedar, flax, and bamboo. He even contacted biologists who sent him plant fibers from places in the tropics. Edison acknowledged that the work was tedious and very demanding, especially on his workers helping with the experiments. He always recognized the importance of hard work and determination. “Before I got through,” he recalled, “I tested no fewer than 6,000 vegetable growths, and ransacked the world for the most suitable filament material.”
Edison decided to try a carbonized cotton thread filament. When voltage was applied to the completed bulb, it began to radiate a soft orange glow. Just about fifteen hours later, the filament finally burned out. Further experimentation produced filaments that could burn longer and longer with each test. By the end of 1880, he had produced a 16-watt bulb that could last for 1500 hours and he began to market his new invention.
In Britain, Swan took Edison to court for patent infringement. Edison lost and as part of the settlement, Edison was forced to take Swan in as a partner in his British electric works. The company was called the Edison and Swan United Electric Company (later known as Ediswan which was then incorporated into Thorn Lighting Ltd). Eventually, Edison acquired all of Swan’s interest in the company. Swan sold his United States patent rights to the Brush Electric Company in June 1882.
In 1889 the Edison Electric Light Company merged with several other Edison companies to become the Edison General Electric Company. When the Edison General Electric Company merged with Thomson-Houston in 1892, a bitter struggle developed, Edison’s name was dropped, and Edison himself had no more involvement with the newly formed General Eclectic Company beyond defending his patents.
In 1903 Willis Whitnew invented a filament that would not blacken the inside of a light bulb. It was a metal-coated carbon filament. In 1906, the General Electric Company was the first to patent a method of making tungsten filaments for use in incandescent light bulbs. The filaments were costly, but by 1910 William David Coolidge had invented an improved method of making tungsten filaments. The tungsten filament outlasted all other types of filaments and Coolidge made the costs practical.
Edison & Swan United Electric Company
In Britain, Joseph Swan took Edison to court for patent infringement. Edison lost and as part of the settlement, Edison was forced to take Swan in as a partner in his British electric works. The company was called the Edison and Swan United Electric Company (later known as Ediswan). Eventually, Edison acquired all of Swan’s interest in the company.
General Electric Company
In 1892, a merger of Edison General Electric Company and Thomson-Houston Electric Company created General Electric Company. General Electric, GE is the only company listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Index today that was also included in the original index in 1896.
Sawyer & Man Electric Company
William Sawyer and Albon Man are issued Patent No, 205,144 on June 18, 1878 for Improvements in Electric Lamps. In 1884, Albon Man formed the Sawyer & Man Electric Co for the purpose of protecting the Sawyer-Man electric lamp patent. William Sawyer had died the previous year. In 1886, the Thomson-Houston Electric Company purchased the Sawyer & Man Electric Company and began making incandescent lamps under the Sawyer-Man patents.
Swan Electric Light Company
Joseph Wilson Swan (1828-1914) was a physicist and chemist born in Sunderland, England. Swan was the first to construct an electric light bulb, but he had trouble maintaining a vacuum in his bulb. In 1850 he began working on a light bulb using carbonized paper filaments in an evacuated glass bulb. By 1860 he was able to demonstrate a working device, and obtained a UK patent covering a partial vacuum, carbon filament incandescent lamp. However, the lack of good vacuum and an adequate electric source resulted in a short lifetime for the bulb and an inefficient light.
Fifteen years later, in 1875, Swan returned to consider the problem of the light bulb and, with the aid of a better vacuum and a carbonized thread as a filament. The most significant feature of Swan’s lamp was that there was little residual oxygen in the vacuum tube to ignite the filament, thus allowing the filament to glow almost white-hot without catching fire. Swan received a British patent for his device in 1878
Swan had reported success to the Newcastle Chemical Society and at a lecture in Newcastle in February 1879 he demonstrated a working lamp. Starting that year he began installing light bulbs in homes and landmarks in England. In 1880, Swan gave the world’s first large-scale public exhibition of electric lamps at Newcastle upon Tyne England. In 1881 he had started his own company, The Swan Electric Light Company, and started commercial production.
Swan took Edison to court in Britain for patent infringement. Edison lost and as part of the settlement, Edison was forced to take Swan in as a partner in his British electric works. The company was called the Edison and Swan United Electric Company (later known as Ediswan). Eventually, Edison acquired all of Swan’s interest in the company. Also in 1882 Joseph Swan sold his United States patent rights to the Brush Electric Company, a successful “arc” street light manufacture.
Thomson-Houston Electric Company
In the late 1870′s high school teachers Elihu Thomson, a teacher of physics and chemistry, and Edwin Houston, a science teacher, began experimenting with and patenting improvements on existing arc lamp and dynamo designs. In 1880 after being approached by a group of businessmen from New Britain CT, Thomson & Houston agreed to the formation of a company that would engage in the commercial manufacture of lighting systems (both arc and incandescent) based on their own patents. This was the American Electric Company which existed until 1883 when it was reorganized and was renamed the Thomson-Houston Electric Company. .
The company became quite successful and diversified into other electrical markets. In 1886 they purchased the Sawyer & Man Electric Co. and began making incandescent lamps under the Sawyer-Man patents. In 1889 in an attempt to avoid patent disputes over a double-carbon arc lamp design, Thomson-Houston negotiated the purchase of a controlling interest in the Brush company. The Swan Incandescent Light Company was part of the Brush plant so it was included in the takeover. In 1892 Thomson-Houston merged with the Edison companies to form the giant General Electric Company.
United States Electric Lighting Company
Founded in 1878 by the prolific inventor Hiram Maxim, the United States Electric Lighting soon established itself as Thomas Edison’s chief rival in the field of incandescent lighting. The company made some of the earliest installations of this new technology using Maxim’s patent on a carbon-filament lamp, which was similar to that invented by Edison in 1879. When Maxim left USEL in 1881 to pursue other lines of invention, the company purchased the Weston Electric Lighting Company in Newark, NJ, and the services of its founder Edward Weston. The inventor of a successful “arc” lighting system, Weston, as works manager and chief designer of USEL, developed a comprehensive arc and incandescent system which the USEL began to market in 1882. In January 1882, Lewis Latimer, an employee of USEL, received a patent for the “Process of Manufacturing Carbons,” an improved method for the production of light bulb filaments which yielded longer lasting bulbs than Edison’s technique. In 1888, United States Electric Lighting Co. was purchased by Westinghouse Electric Company.
Westinghouse Electric Company
In 1886, George Westinghouse formed the Westinghouse Electric Company. The main function of the Electric & Manufacturing Company was to develop and produce “apparatus for the generation, transmission and application of alternating current electricity.” The company also produced electric railway motors, producing approximately 75,000 by 1905.
Weston Electric Lighting Company
Founded in New Jersey by Edward Weston in 1880, the company’s innovations included the Weston standard cell, the first accurate portable voltmeters and ammeters, the first portable light meter, and many other electrical developments. In 1881, the United States Electric Lighting Company purchased the Weston Electric Lighting Company, and the services of its founder Edward Weston. The inventor of a successful “arc” lighting system, Weston, as works manager and chief designer of USEL, developed a comprehensive arc and incandescent system which the USEL began to market in 1882.
Woodward and Evans Light
On July 24, 1874 a Canadian patent was filed for the Woodward and Evans Light by a Toronto medical electrician named Henry Woodward and a colleague Mathew Evans, who was described in the patent as a “Gentleman” but in reality a hotel keeper. They built their lamp with a shaped rod of carbon held between electrodes in a glass globe filled with nitrogen. Woodward and Evans found it impossible to raise financial support for the development of their invention and in 1875 Woodward sold a share of their Canadian patent to Thomas Edison.
The Edison Vision
The economic effect of electric lighting went far beyond increasing the workday. Profits generated by the electric lamp, in effect, paid for a network of generators and wires. This infrastructure then became available for a whole new class of inventions: appliances and equipment that by the 1930s had transformed the home and the workplace.
Edison didn’t just invent a light bulb, either. He put together what he knew about electricity with what he knew about gas lights and invented a whole system of electric lighting. This meant light bulbs, electricity generators, wires to get the electricity from the power station to the homes, fixtures (lamps, sockets, switches) for the light bulbs, and more. It was like a big jigsaw puzzle–and Edison made up the pieces as well as fitted them together. He did it his way.
Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, compact fluorescent, List Article.
Tags: cash in your pocket, cfl, compact fluorescent, compact fluorescent light bulb, compact fluorescent shape, Energy saving, energy saving bulb, energy saving compact light bulb, energy saving light bulb, energy saving lighting, fluorescent, fluorescent light bulb, fluorescent lighting, fluorescent tube, incandescent light bulb, incandescent lightbulb, incandescent lightbulb ban, led lighting, light, light bulb, light bulbs, lightbulb
Beware the energy vampires! Some light bulbs are drink to deeply from your pocket books!
Energy Costs Generating Light-Bulb Solutions
GadZooks! Its been a couple days or so since my last posting and it seems that the world of light bulbs never lets me rest! The labratory has been going full tilt for some wonderful new surprises! Anyways I hope to have the video of Mr. Y and I(Dr Z) Great Weeny Roast Experiment posted for you all soon. Until then I have included a wonderful article from the post on energy efficient lighting cutting down your household and business energy costs!! Abra-CaZABRah!
By Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 25, 2009; Page C01
They don’t have the sex appeal of windmills or the cool factor of solar panels but cost a fraction of the price. In fact, their methods can be as low-tech as plugging a leaky air duct.
Governments and utility companies across the Washington region are starting to roll out new “energy-efficiency” campaigns with the potential to lower bills, carbon emissions and the area’s dependence on foreign oil without building a single coal or nuclear plant. Energy experts say that they can reap large benefits by encouraging people to retrofit homes with changes as simple as new shower heads, light bulbs and refrigerators.
Efficiency programs were popular in the 1980s and early 1990s but receded to the background during the more recent era of deregulation. Now, concerns about global warming, rising fuel prices and price tags in the billions of dollars for new power plants have prompted new interest. States from California to Massachusetts are mandating that utilities offer subsidies on home energy audits, discounts on energy-saving light bulbs and appliances, and rebates or low-interest loans to homeowners who install insulation, replacement windows or weatherstripping along the sides of a doorway. And the federal government would increase spending on efficiency programs under President Obama’s stimulus plan.
With some of the country’s most aggressive efficiency standards for devices from washing machines to traffic signals, Maryland is helping to lead the way. Proceeds from emissions-permit sales to power plant owners are allowing the state to provide millions of dollars to help low-income homeowners conserve energy. Last month, state regulators ordered Pepco, Baltimore Gas & Electric and three other utility companies to offer their residential and business customers a suite of energy-saving strategies this year, including a $40 home audit whose cost can be waived if the customer agrees to have energy-saving light bulbs installed throughout the house.
Maryland won’t pay for you to save energy. All customers will bear the cost of the new programs with a monthly surcharge of up to $2.50 on their monthly electric bill, according to preliminary estimates — even if they do nothing.
Skeptics say it’s not clear that the programs will make a real dent in the region’s energy use, and many homeowners would not see significant savings unless they invest thousands of dollars. Still, experts predict that the investments eventually will pay for themselves and then some, helping depress Maryland’s demand for power by the equivalent of three coal-fired plants.
“You’ll break even or make money if you do nothing more than screw in a few fluorescent light bulbs,” said Douglas Nazarian, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission.
The District is adding and beefing up similar programs. And in Virginia, where Dominion Virginia Power says it has sold 2.4 million low-energy bulbs and received tens of thousands of hits on its Web site section of energy-saving tips, the General Assembly is considering several bills that would require utilities to come up with efficiency programs. Like leaders in Maryland and the District, Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has pledged to reduce the state’s carbon footprint, setting aggressive goals of a 19 percent reduction by 2025. Both states and the District also have pledged to tap into alternative power sources and offer high-tech devices that cycle down thermostats and air conditioners when demand peaks.
“No, you’re not going to invite all the neighbors over to show off your insulation,” said Steve Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. “But the savings can be considerable.”
D.C. resident Elizabeth Fox said she was thrilled to take advantage of an existing city program to get a lengthy, free audit of her 100-year-old leaky home in Northwest after she received a flier in the mail. “We got a written report we kept referring back to” while renovating the home’s third floor, she said. She added new insulation and a super-efficient washer, dryer and hot-water heater, and air conditioner. Her heating bill last month was well over $500, “so I can’t say we’ve stopped the leaky air,” she said. But with the third floor in use for the first time, “Our energy bills have stayed the same, so that’s a savings.”
At least 12 states have mandated energy-efficiency programs since 2006, among them three New England states that have adopted rules requiring that utilities show they have pursued such strategies before they are allowed to build new power plants, Nadel said.
Obama’s stimulus plan would help retrofit 2 million homes and three-quarters of federal buildings to be more efficient, saving low-income homeowners $350 a year in utility costs, on average. Former president George W. Bush’s fund to bail out the financial industry revived a little-known federal tax credit of $500 for efficiency investments that had expired in 2007.
During the period when Maryland, the District and many other areas deregulated, energy companies cut costs to prepare for competition and pledged to let the free market take care of energy efficiency. That competition never materialized, leaving some Maryland customers with rate increases of more than 70 percent.
Advocates of energy-efficiency programs say today’s strategies are more refined because of new technology. The twisty, low-energy light bulbs, which use one-third of the power of conventional ones, didn’t exist a decade ago. Hot-water heaters, stoves and other appliances burn far less power now than they used to.
“What was energy efficient 10 years ago is not energy efficient today,” said Malcolm Woolf, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s top energy adviser. O’Malley (D) led the General Assembly to adopt one of the country’s toughest conservation goals last year, calling for a reduction in energy demand of 15 percent by 2015.
Today’s programs are being marketed more aggressively and offer homeowners more incentives. Still, it’s not clear how many will participate.
“The only sure thing is that everybody pays a surcharge, but how we make sure everybody benefits is something we struggled with,” Nazarian said.
In Maryland, the PSC initially rejected a program devised by BGE, saying its projected $130 million in marketing and administrative costs was excessive. The plan approved last month cut those costs by almost 45 percent.
Marketing will matter, though. Allegheny Power sent unsolicited energy-saving light bulbs to tens of thousands of customers in Western Maryland in 2007, then charged their bills under a plan approved by regulators. The commission and lawmakers were deluged by furious customers, and the utility was forced to apologize and offer refunds.
When Maryland’s five utilities have their programs up and running, they will have invested about $1 billion through 2015. Pepco, which serves 750,000 residential customers in Maryland and the District, plans to subsidize a higher-end audit in both jurisdictions that will cost homeowners $100. Officials predict that at a minimum, Maryland customers could save $20 a year by replacing six conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. By replacing 12 bulbs and a leaky heat pump, the savings could shoot to $700.