Saturday, February 11, 2012

About Incandescent Light Bulbs

A two century old piece of technology is still very much in use today-the incandescent light bulb. According to historians there were about 22 inventors who developed similar designs of incandescent light bulbs prior to Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan. More than two thirds of the world uses this type of lighting equipment. To better understand the reasons behind the preferred use of incandescent light bulbs, let us consider the facts and cost-effective ratio.

The evolution of the light bulb can be traced back to as early as the 1800s; Sir Humphry Davy of the Royal Institution of Great Britain used a platinum filament for his designs. The search for a more efficient design was followed by several inventors all the way through the early 20th century, where William David Coolidge developed his innovative tungsten filament-vacuum tube alterations.

Incandescent light bulbs operate with the use of electrical currents passing through negative and positive wire terminals to light up the tungsten filament. This will elevate the temperature of the filament until it is hot enough to produce a glow, and with the vacuum glass seal, it prevents the filament from evaporating.

Cost-Effective Ratio
According to experts the maximum luminous efficiency of an ideal monochromatic 555 nm (green) source light bulb is 100%. Which is the peak sensitivity of the human eye also, and the price cost difference between a light bulb and a fluorescent light is around $10-$15. However, the average lifespan of an incandescent light bulb is 2,000 hours more or less, opposite to the fluorescent lamp that can last up to 7,000-24,000 hours. This makes the incandescent light bulb the ideal choice for most people and indeed first impressions lasts, because most people go out to buy stuff that has a cheaper price tag.

Basic Design Flaw and Future Upgrades
About 90% of the energy consumed by light bulbs is converted to heat which made a negative impression on environmentally concerned people. Brazil has recently banned the use of incandescent light bulbs, because the government deemed it “unfit” for the need of energy-efficient lighting. The European Union is planning to phase it out in the years to come and the United States has officially announced to discontinue the use of incandescent light bulbs by the
year 2014. Fortunately, General Electric (GE) and other manufacturers are coming up with future designs that are said to be highly efficient. GE announced a “high efficiency incandescent” (HEI) that is currently being worked on in their R&D project. They also indicated that the new HEIs will break the efficiency record of current incandescent by as much as four times in energy-efficiency.


  1. Incandescent light bulb really has a great history that needs to retain in every individual’s mind. Scientist really gave their time to make this more efficient for humans. This article is great! It is indeed an additional knowledge to everybody.

  2. This is exactly realistic. People would really prefer to purchase things which are cheaper as long as it is durable as well. And incandescent light bulb is one of them and we must be grateful to the people who were able to invent it. However, it's quiet sad to hear that some countries already banned this light bulb but, we don't need to since the government is also doing their best to make a better one compared to the recent one.