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The Dancer at the Lightbulb Factory. The Art of working in a Lightbulb Factory. July 31, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, Light bulbs in pop culture, Weird Bulb News.
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Zoinks! Here is a great article on a lightbulb factory in China. These people take their jobs to whole new level!
Dr. Z
Getting Down At the Light Bulb Factory

Getting Down At the Light Bulb Factory

Have you ever seen a lightbulb being made? It is a long, fast dance of glittering, breakable parts: legs of glass and filament arms shuttled around shakily, doll versions of Charlie Chaplin in the gears, finally tested and transformed into dazzling, glowing, blinking landscapes thrown back at their heavy-metal creators. The ballet mecanique of the lightbulb can’t help but be nostalgic for an American audience. Where have our factories gone? To China, of course—where Cao Fei’s video Whose Utopia is set in a real lightbulb factory. The first part of the 20-minute video portrays the creation of a lightbulb from start to finish, and this abstract and gorgeous scenario lasts until about halfway through, when hopelessly soft human parts appear: slender female fingers pricked while sorting through tiny heaps of sharp metal bits, shoulders slumped, eyesight going. The bulb bodies take their toll on the flesh ones—an old story—but that’s not the end of it. The flesh fights back. Cao directed real workers to express themselves inside the factory: a ballerina twirling slowly within a canyon of boxes stacked to the factory ceiling, a man soft-shoeing under a sky of fluorescents, a dancer wearing angel wings working alongside everyone else at the long assembly bench. Each moment is a little protest by a still-hopeful member of China’s rapidly developing economy in the Pearl River Delta region, where Cao was commissioned by Siemens to create this video at the Osram factory—a subsidiary of Siemens. Whose Utopia is an unusually direct yet poetic study of the interlock of art and economics in contemporary China, where Cao’s father is a sculptor for the state and Cao’s awareness of her censors, both governmental and corporate, is built into her process from the start. My Future Is Not a Dream is the name of a rock band formed by a handful of the young workers, individuals who have left their hometowns and come to this industrial zone with big dreams. Their lyrics accompany the final section of Whose Utopia, in which the factory moves while individual workers stand still for portraits in work clothes, as in August Sander’s early-20th-century photographs of German workers. “Part of your life had waned and waned,” their song goes in slightly broken English. “And to whom do you beautifully belong?” Cao enlisted the workers as coauthors instead of mere subjects to empower them: “The conditions that these workers live under is generally highly invisible to a broader public,” she told the Vancouver, B.C.–based magazine Fillip. “What this project does is release the workers from a standardized notion of productivity. What we are doing is production, but a type of production that connects back to the personal. I am like a social worker. They don’t regard me as an artist. They think I’m an event organizer.” Maybe so, but what makes the video so moving is its hopelessness to those of us on the other end of rapid industrialization. This is not going to work out, we think. And the art is, in some sense, playing along by offering the carrot of a fleeting transcendence. Resistance is futile—or fatal. This is the China in which so-called “cutting-edge” contemporary artists (such as Cai Guo-Qiang of the “exploding cars” at Seattle Art Museum) produce Olympics spectacles. This is China, post–Tiananmen Square. And without being too nationalistic, it is necessary to point out that we helped to create it. In February 1989, just months before the government executed a still-unknown number of student protesters at Tiananmen Square, a large exhibition called China/Avant-Garde opened at the National Gallery in Beijing. Authorities shut it down shortly after it opened (because of a performance including gunshots), then allowed it to reopen and shut it down again, twice. It ran for only two weeks, but it marked the culmination of a movement that had been taking place throughout the 1980s in China, informed as much by Mao’s Cultural Revolution as by Russian kitsch art and American Pop. Early Pop was really invented by two fountainheads: Robert Rauschenberg, whose ROCI (Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange, pronounced “Rocky” after his pet turtle) Project visited and influenced Beijing in 1985, and Jasper Johns, whose 20 years of depicting the lightbulb (1957–76) is the subject of a small exhibition on the floor below Cao’s video at the Henry Art Gallery. Jasper Johns: Light Bulb, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, is a nerdacious little universe of experimentation you could disappear into—but its coincidental appearance here with Cao’s study of a lightbulb factory pulls it into a broader context of economic and social history. Cao, born in 1978, is a generation beyond what Art in America termed the “Children of Mao and Coca-Cola,” and maybe not even aware of Johns’s lightbulb works, but the connections are natural. Both Cao and Johns undercut the cliché that art is something that appears magically, like a lightbulb above the head. Cao depicts light as nothing more than a commercial product (and key to a surveillance system); Johns’s lightbulbs are simply devoid of light. Made in bronze, plaster, or lead, Johns’s lightbulbs are heavy, dark, and solid: the anti-lightbulbs. In lithographs, they cast shadows rather than light. They wear the stamps of their manufacturers rather than the artist’s signature, in the classic Pop move of replacing the artist with the machine. Just as light is the product of certain systems, so are artistic ideas. The artist is a manufacturer, too; now: of what? And Johns is also a case of the co-opted critique. The most laconic of the Pop artists, his work is nevertheless today affordable only to the extremely rich. His idea-objects have been elevated to the status of the magical and the rare, an ultimate reversal of the multiple and the banal nature of his subjects: lightbulbs, maps, flags, targets, numbers. Every lightbulb has its price.

Dancing and singing Light bulb. Reddy Killowatt sings! July 22, 2009

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Zoinks! Reddy Killowatt sings a snappy tune!

Dr. Z



Here is a short commercial message about how electricity powers your nice suburban 1950s home featuring the character Reddy Kilowatt. Note the artist’s rendering of a Philco Predicta TV set in the background.

The Lighting Engineer Who Thought Outside the Box June 25, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, light bulb, Light Fixtures, Weird Bulb News.
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Dr. Yoon and two of his "girlfriends"

Dr. Yoon and two of his "girlfriends"

Zoinks! Its me Dr. Z, Pharoah of the Fluorescent and Lord of Light! Here is a great article on Dr. Yoon Jae-dong who developed a reflective socket for recessed lighting, which offering more light for less power. Dr Yoon is  a lot like me. In his words :in . “These days, all I ever look at are light bulbs wherever I go,” Yoon says. “It’s as if they are my girlfriends.” Zoinks ! and Mr. Y says I’m a nerd!

listen learn and read on

Dr. Z




Dr. Yoon Jae-dong of JCI Display has developed a reflective socket for recessed lighting, a so-called troffer, that may look like plastic but is greatly more effective than the standard product, thus offering more light for less power.

Dr. Yoon Jae-dong of JCI Display

“Low-carbon, green growth is the focus of attention these days, and it makes me happy to have developed a method of radically lowering electricity use and carbon dioxide emissions simply by replacing troffers,” Yoon says. He cited 236 housing units in an apartment complex in Cheongju. “In three rooms at each of those apartments, we removed one 36 W bulb, eliminating a total of 708 bulbs. If you consider each of those bulbs being used five hours a day, we estimate around 46,000 KW of electricity saved each year and a reduction of 20,800 kg of carbon dioxide emissions.” 

Based on this estimate, removing three light bulbs in 6.88 million households across Korea would end up saving around W1.35 million MW of electricity — the equivalent of saving 1.3 times the amount of electricity generated by the Seoul Thermal Power Plant, which produced around 900,000 MW in 2008. That would also lead to a 610,000 ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Adding commercial lighting, the amount of electricity saved would be astronomical, Yoon says.

For a long time, Yoon questioned the traditional belief that turning off the lights saves electricity. Working as a researcher for LG Electronics, he became curious about the energy-saving effects of reflecting the light that seeps out from the backs of lamps. He realized that all of the sheets used to reflect backlight in LG’s LCD TVs were made in Japan and felt it would be useful to develop Korean-made versions and use them to reflect light from light bulbs.

In June 2006, Yoon went to the University of Toronto in Canada to take a post-doc program, and there he found the answer to his quest in polypropylene, a cheap and environmentally friendly material. He returned to Korea in 2007, opened his own company and began developing prototypes. He experimented 500 times over the course of a year and was eventually able to develop a PP sheet with a 99 percent reflection rate called “Reflect All.” He received a patent for that product in Korea in March last year and set up mass production facilities after making modifications. He recently applied for patents in eight countries, including the United States and Japan. “These days, all I ever look at are light bulbs wherever I go,” Yoon says. “It’s as if they are my girlfriends.”

‘Lightbulb’ molecule has a bright future June 23, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in LED Lights, light bulb, List Article.
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The discovery of the light bulb particle

The discovery of the light bulb particle

Gadzooks! Its me Dr.Z here to spread the gospel of good lighting. LEDs are in the news again. Its seems the “lightbulb” molecule may have been discovered and could possibly revolutionize the lighting industry.

Listen Learn Read ON

Dr. Z




A single molecule that reliably emits white light could speed the development of low-energy LEDs for the next generation of light sources and displays, say chemists. Energy-efficient LEDs are widely tipped to become the predominant lighting source of the next decade and beyond, replacing the fast-disappearing incandescent bulb, as well as the compact fluorescent lights that are replacing them. Tipped to become the standard in this area are organic LEDs – thin films made from organic polymers that can be coated onto large areas at low cost. But generating white light from OLEDs is difficult as organic compounds within the films generate light only at very specific colours. Making white involves mixing two or more compounds to create a white light balance, and that drives up the price. Jekyll and Hyde Soo-Young Park at Seoul National University, South Korea, and colleagues at the University of Valencia in Spain, have created a molecule able to behave like two separate light-producing molecules. When stimulated with a voltage it produces orange and blue light that mix to create white. Previous attempts using the same basic concept involved linking together two separate molecules into one. But, because energy is able to flow between the two molecular sub-units, one unit typically emits more light than the other, resulting in an unwanted tint. The new molecule does not suffer that problem, and only contains one light-emitting chemical group. When connected to a voltage, this group switches to a high-energy form that emits blue light as it reverts to its original state. Roughly half the time, though, the high-energy form picks up extra oxygen and hydrogen atoms, becoming a short-lived form that produces orange light before reverting to the original state. A large population of the molecules reliably produces equal quantities of orange and blue light that mix to produce an even white. Efficiency boost “This allows us to create white emission in much the same way as creating white light from independent [lights],” says Park, potentially saving money and increasing efficiency. “The science is excellent and very impressive,” says Colin Humphreys who works on LEDs at the University of Cambridge in the UK. But, he adds, it needs an efficiency boost before it can be used in commercial lighting and displays. Currently, the molecule converts electrons into photons at least 30 times less efficiently than commercial LEDs. Park responds that the study was more about proof of principle and that the efficiency figures will rise as the method is optimised.

Zo you think you can dance? Zbulbs dance contest!WIN A IPOD CLASSIC! June 2, 2009

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Zoinks! Its me Dr. Z! Would you believe that I now have my own dance contest? Zbulbs has decided to create a competition based on my “Dance of the 7 Spirals!”  You can win an IPOD CLASSIC!




Zbulbs Dance of the Seven Spirals.

The “Dance of the Seven Spirals” Contest (“Contest”) is designed to encourage our customers and potential customers to become more involved in Zbulbs.com as an online provider of lighting products. Prizes will be awarded to those who submit the most creative and inspiring videos. Each video should appeal to Zbulbs audience, and each winner will be determined by the judges in their sole discretion, and in accordance with these Official Rules.

Winners selected monthly.

THE SUBMISSION: Create a video that is approximately 1 to 3 minutes in length. You may submit multiple Entries, so long as each Entry meets all requirements. Each Entry should be original, creative, and appeal to Zbulbs.com audience. Be creative! To enter you must register at www.zbulbs.com To do this you will need to register with YouTube. YouTube registration is free. Once you have completed the registration process and have created your video, upload it to your YouTube account, marking it as PUBLIC.

Go here full registration info:


Light Bulbs -Journey to the OuterHouse May 28, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, Weird Bulb News.
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Gadzooks! We just recieved this youtube video where a satisfied zbulbs customer explains why zbulbs are zbest. Light bulbs, Compact fluorescent, country living and a very long extenstion cord.
Get Lit and Stay Lit with www.zbulbs.com
We have Compact Fluorescents, LEDs, and the light bulb lightbulbs!

New Dr Z Videos! The Dance of the Seven Spirals and a Carnival Shoot! May 21, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in light bulb, Light bulbs in pop culture, Weird Bulb News.
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Zoinks! Its me! Dr. Z! Boy oh boy we have a treat for you all now. Two brand new video’s of my adventures in and out of Lighthouse Labratories. See me perform my most mysterious Dance of the Seven Spirals! See Mr. Y learn his lesson when he mixes guns and bad lighting decisions! Watch and Enjoy!


Dr. Z



Just for Fun: Light Bulbs in Ancient Egypt part III May 18, 2009

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ancient egyptian pillars of light

ancient egyptian pillars of light

Zowie! The continued interested in ancient Egyptian Lightbulbs has inspired me (Dr. Z) to post yet another fact filled article on this mysterious subject.

Dr Z



The Denderah “Lightbulb”

Beneath the Temple of Hathor at Dendera there are inscriptions depicting a bulb-like object which some have suggested is reminiscent of a “Crookes tube” (an early lightbulb). Inside the “bulbs” a snake forms a wavy line from a lotus flower (the socket of the bulb). A “wire” leads to a small box on which the air god is kneeling. Beside the bulb stands a two-armed djed pillar, which is connected to the snake, and a baboon bearing two knives. In “The Eyes of the Sphinx”, Erich Von Daniken suggested that the snake represented the filament, the djed pillar was an insulator, and the tube was in fact an ancient electric light bulb. The baboon was apparently a warning that the device could be dangerous if not used correctly.



The crypts are generally considered to be store-rooms, and only a few are decorated. At the southern end of the temple there are five subterranean crypts. They were thought to house the most valuable of the temple statues and objects including the “ba” of Hathor, used during ritual processions at New Year. A gold statuette of Hathor sat within a large kiosk formed by four gold posts, a gold base and roof. Fine linen hung from copper rails between the posts, so that the goddess remained hidden. According to the texts written on the walls, we know that the kiosk consisted of a gold base surmounted by a gold roof supported by four gold posts, covered on all four sides by linen curtains hung from copper rods. The strange inscriptions are in the easternmost of the small chambers.

The temple is constructed of sandstone, but a large block of limestone had been installed in the wall as the surface for the carving. This indicates that the architects went to some effort to allow the production of fine quality carving.

We do not know the exact origin of the Djed pillar, but its hieroglyphic meaning (“enduring” or “stability” and sometimes “column”) is not doubted. There is no apparent connection between the concept of “enduring” and the process of insulating, but even if there was, the Djed wouldn´t work as an insulator. In a light bulb, the glass bulb itself insulates the filament, and no extra component is required.

The “cable” is described in the text beside the depiction as a symbolic sun barge moving across the sky (in a form which is by no means unique to these carvings). It seems to be a bit of a stretch to describe this as a cable, although I suppose you could argue that the movement of the sun mirrored the movement of electricity. However, the “cable” is attached to what proponents describe as a “socket”, but is in fact a lotus flower. This flower appears in this form all over Egypt, and is always a lotus flower. Furthermore, the text beside the depiction confirms that it is a lotus flower.

Unfortunately, it seems that modern eyes have seen what they want to see in an ancient scene without considering the text provided by the ancient people to explain exactly what they were doing.

In the carvings, Harsamtawy (a form of Horus known as Horus who joins the two lands), son of Hathor, takes the form of a serpent (although he also appears as a hawk). According to one myth, Horus sprung into existence out of a lotus flower which blossomed in the watery abyss of Nun at dawn at the beginning of every year. The “light-bulbs” are in fact lotus flower bulbs, mythologically giving birth to the snake. Another panel shows the bulb opening into a lotus blossom and the snake standing erect in the centre as a representation of the god Horus. On the southern wall of the last room, a falcon, preceded by a snake emerges from a lotus blossom within a boat.

Daumas has suggested that the sacred procession which was held on the eve of the first day of the New Year, began in these rooms. Thus the inscriptions represented the myth which was being celebrated. Of course, the myths have nothing to say regarding lightbulbs, and there is no evidence to substantiate their use from Egyptian remains or text. This is fairly damning as the building of huge stone monuments required the maintenance of detailed and thorough accounts, yet there is no record of any electric devices or the movement of raw materials to create them.

Some are still unwilling to entirely give up on the idea. Instead of claiming that the Egyptians used light bulbs under normal conditions, they suggest that the priests performed a ritual which created a small amount of light during the New Year celebrations. Proponents claim that the reliefs describe a three stage process; first the “bulb” is supported by a kneeling figure making three “waves” emanate from the serpent, then the “bulb” is supported by a Djed pillar making four “waves” emanate from the serpent, finally the “bulb” is placed against a vertical Djed pillar causing five “waves” to emanate from the serpents body. The waves are thought to be evidence of a vibratory process increasing in frequency as the scenes progress.

This is certainly a more creative theory which neatly avoids the lack of any supporting evidence by claiming that the ceremony was ritual and secret. The problem remains that all of the elements are known to have specific meanings from numerous other sources, and the text confirms those meanings. However, it is still possible that the priests encoded a deeper meaning in the text and images.

Another Light Bulb Magic Trick! April 24, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in light bulb, Light bulbs in pop culture, Weird Bulb News.
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Zoinks! Here is an amazing video of light and levitation! and to beautiful ladies to boot!


Dr. Z



light bulbs and ladies are Mr. Y's favorite things in life

light bulbs and ladies are Mr. Y's favorite things in life

Just for fun: More info on Ancient Egyptian Light Bulbs! April 14, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in light bulb, Light bulbs in pop culture, Weird Bulb News.
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Gadzooks! Its me Dr. Z. The videos on ancient Egyptian light bulbs have been so popular that I have included an article below by one of the leading experts on the subject! Pics included! Zoinks!

Dr. Z



Electric Lights in Egypt?
by Frank Dörnenburg

It is a widespread belief in alternative science that our forefathers possessed a much greater technological knowledge than our schoolbook science is willing to accept. Many of those theories are lacking serious foundation and are often based on overdrawn speculations [ like the Manna machine ].


In the temple of Hathor at Dendera, several dozens of kilometers
north of Luxor, there are reliefs interpreted by some “experts” as lamps.

But the theory that electricity was known and used in antiquity seems to rest on a much more stable foundation. The key to the whole theory lies a few hundred kilometers east of Egypt, in today’s Iraq. There some strange pots were found. Some contained watertight copper cylinders, glued into the opening with asphalt. In the middle of the cylinder was an iron rod, held in place also with asphalt. The excavator who found the first of these pots in 1936 was sure: this is a galvanic element, a primitive battery. Reconstructions did indeed show that it was possible to create electricity with it.

Another key element for the electro-thesis is actually something that is missing.
It’s a riddle where schoolbook science is capitulating. Soot. In none of the many thousands of subterranean tombs and pyramid shafts was found a single trace of soot, as we are told by the authors of the electro-thesis, although many of these tombs are full of often colourful paintings. But the primitive light sources the Egyptians knew (candles, oil lamps etc.) are always leaving soot and are using oxygen. So how DID the Egyptians get their light? Some rationalists are arguing with mirrors, but the quality of the copper plates the Egyptians used as mirrors were not good enough for that.


Temple of Hathor in Dendera

In this temple in Dendera, several dozens of kilometers north of Luxor, some experts found the light. A Norwegian electrical engineer noticed that the object shown on the relief on top of this page could work as a lamp. An Austrian colleague was able to construct a working model, and two well known authors in the AAS, Peter Krassa and Rainer Habeck, could even work out a real theory based on it. What we see is without question a form of bulb, with two arms reaching into it near its thick end, and a sort of cable at the other end, from where a snake is leaping out to touch the arms on the other side. The whole ensemble really looks like a lamp.


Another picture from the crypts of Dendera:
Eastern relief on south wall

Is this the proof? Did the Egyptians know and use electric lights? If so, where did they get the principle from? Was it from their own invention, or did they have help?


Soot and Lamps
Before I go into the details of Dendera, I will examine some of the circumstantial evidence. That’s because some points several authors use to prepare the “light mystery” are in contrast to what I have seen personally. Here are two of many quotes:

“Krassa and Habeck are telling us, that torches, oil lamps or candles are emitting soot on a large scale, which must be detecteable on walls and ceilings. But that is not the case.”[ 1 ]


“In the Roman and Greek world torches and oil lamps were used to light the buildings. Wherever places are left where such devices were positioned, we can find traces of soot on the walls and ceilings. But in ancient Egypt … we can find these combustion traces nowhere.”[ 2 ]

Well, I have been in Egypt several times now, and I never had a problem to detect soot in pyramids and tombs. As an example here the soot covered burial chamber walls of the Red Pyramid of Dahschur:


Soot in burial chamber

This chamber is completely above ground, built by Snofru, father of the builder of the Great Pyramid, Khufu. The soot seems to be millimeters thick, and if one goes through the pyramid passages in Egypt a look at the ceiling is enough to find soot in abundance.

The oldest comment known to me about soot in the Great Pyramid is from John Greaves, in a book from 1638!![ 3 ]

The passages and chambers in Egyptian pyramids were built with a few exceptions in open ditches like the example of Abu Roasch below. A large dugout was furnished with several layers of floor- and wall blocks, the sarcophagus was lowered into the open chamber, ornamented wall parts, finished outside, were lifted down and put in place, the roof was positioned, and then the ditch was refilled. The whole construction process took place in broad daylight.

The great chambers of the red pyramid, and the passages in the great Pyramid, also were built in full daylight. The whole time, until the last ceiling block was positioned years after the chamber was begun, all tasks like polishing and furnishing the walls and roof beams could be done in daylight. Why should there be soot in such constructions? In the pyramid age only very few construction projects needed artificial light, like the Djoser-labyrinth and the underground passage and chamber in Khufu’s pyramid.

It’s the same with the decorated chambers of the pyramids of the 5th and 6th dynasty. All decorations could be put to the wall blocks in broad daylight which were then covered afterwards. Even most of the private mastaba tombs could be finished with no artificial light. So missing soot in all these constructions would be no mystery at all.

Well, but what IS funny: In all these buildings which did not need any artificial lighting, soot can be found. Even the walls of the crypts where those supposed light bulb reliefs were found are covered with soot, as this picture shows::

Dendera – Soot on lamp relief

The original white color of the lime stone can be seen on the edges of the re-set block…

The book quotes from above have now been falsified twice. For one, many of the passages needed no artificial lighting, and second they also contain lots of soot.

The source of the soot is pretty clear: almost all buildings have been opened in antiquity and were tourist attractions through the centuries, even millenia. For example: Greek writings were found in the subterran chamber of the Great Pyramid.

There were thousands of visitors in them, and every single one of them, until the beginning of the 20th century, had to use oil lamps, candles or open flame torches to get light. And all those people spent a much larger amount of time in those buildings than the original builders.

Preliminary evaluation

One of the major foundational arguments for the lamp idea has disappeared. We now see that that the “no soot” argument is definitively untrue, as even buildings which did not need light during construction time have soot in them. A bad situation which can even get worse… Let’s take a look at

Smoking lamps

This was my first lesson in how slow riddles are dying in alternative science. Because the first time I discussed this topic was even before I had connection to Usenet: in 1989!

I hadn’t written anything critical about Dendera or even Daeniken yet – that was still five years in the future. But Daenikens new book “In den Augen der Sphinx” had just been published, and the passage I quoted on top of the page was discussed in one group of the so called “Maus-Netz”.

Well, if Daeniken was right, then all churches, houses and palaces before the invention of electric light must have been soot holes, because they all had candles or oil lamps as primary light sources. I hadn’t noticed that, so there was a chance, that Daeniken was wrong. So I concluded that an experiment was necessary here.

I took an ash tray, filled it with olive oil, formed a wick out of cotton wool, and soaked it with oil. Then I put the wick onto the side of the bowl so that it stuck out about 5 mm over the rim. I lit it – and it produced a steady, smokeless flame. Only an extremely long wick lead to an emission of soot.

I put a white dish over the flame, about 50 cm high, but I was unable to detect any trace of soot even after a long time. And it was nice to find out after some years that even experts like the famous material experts Clarke/Engelbach shared my opinion:

“Many visitors to the monuments express surprise that the painting could have been carried out in the darkness of the tombs and in the dim light of the temples. The Egyptian lamp was of the simplest type, merely a wick floating in oil. It is not infrequently represented in the scenes in the tombs, where it usually takes the form of an open receptacle mounted on a tall foot which, in the smaller examples, can be grasped in the hand. In the pictures, there arise from the receptacle what we may assume to be wicks or flames, always curved over the top as if blown by a current of air. Stand lamps in limestone have been found in the pyramid of El-Lahun, and representations of them in stone in the ‘Labrinth’ at Hawara. In Egyptian houses, small dishes were also used as lamps. They usually have their rims pinched into a spout …

The absence of smoke-blackening in the tombs of the kings is also no difficult explanation. If olive-oil is used, there is very little smoke, and a suitable covering over the lamp, for which various methods readily suggest themselves, would very easily prevent carbon being deposited on the ceiling.”[ 4 ]

And even from the region where artificial light was most necessary we have notes from the Egyptians themselves: The many 100 m long tombs in the Valley of the Kings were definitively lighted with oil lamps and wicks, since we have protocols about wicks and lamps handed out to the workers each day from the Valley of the Kings – where it was carefully documented how many wicks of what length, and how much oil was given to each worker – there is no mystery at all how these tombs were illuminated. There is no place for pharaonic flash lights.[ 5 ]

After I posted my results to the “Maus” I made first contact with the wide spread unwillingness in alternative science to accept unpleasant results. “Bullsh*t”, “nonsense”, “I don’t believe you”, were the comments to my sootless lamps. I wrote back “People, you mustn’t believe me, just try it out for yourselves.”. Again I drew a blank: “I don’t need to try it out, I know what happens and it’s not what you are posting here” was the only reaction.

Yes, and THAT is precisely the reason why the “mystery of the soot” is still part of every new publication and of at least one “mystery park”….


Well, as Mr. Spock would say. “Fascinating”. None of the premises of the soot fans are correct. There is soot, although the Egyptian lamps were almost sootless and even buildings in no need of artificial illumination contain soot. This whole argument is as wrong as an argument can be. But just because we are sure that the soot comes from non-Egyptian sources it is still no evidence that can be used to propose alternative lighting methods.

BTW: It is possible to reduce soot from oil lamps by putting salt into the oil. I didn’t try it out because I couldn’t get soot even without salt in the oil…

for more on this wackiness go here