Thomas Edison began serious research into developing a practical incandescent lamp in 1878. Edison filed his first patent application for “Improvement In Electric Lights” on 14 October 1878. After many experiments, first with carbon in the early 1880s and then with platinum and other metals, in the end Edison returned to a carbon filament. The first successful test was on 22 October 1879, and lasted 13.5 hours. Edison continued to improve this design and by 4 November 1879, filed for a US patent for an electric lamp using “a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected … to platina contact wires”. Currently it is quite difficult to find a typical light bulb for a new home, especially in wattages over 40.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was designed to implement sweeping changes to energy policies in the United States. The stated mission of the act is “to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government, and for other purposes.”
These are some of the major changes related to lighting:
During the phase-in period between 2012 and 2014, a 25% increase in efficiency was required for all light bulbs. This serves to effectively ban most incandescent bulbs. Bulbs under 40 watts, three way bulbs, appliance bulbs, and a few other specialty types have been exempted.
By 2020, a 200% increase in efficiency is required for all light bulbs.
One of the ways used to create the efficiency is to use newer developed technology such as the CFL( compact florescent lighting) as well as halogen and LED lighting. The patent for a version of the first compact florescent was applied for in the mid 70’s by Jan Hasker and was called the “Recombinant Structure Lamp”. This modern bulb technology was difficult to produce and was too expensive for the average customer. Also at about the same time another inventor was working on a “Spiral Lamp” with a different process but it too was difficult to mass product. Not until the mid-90’s did the CFL bulb become more main stream.
Another common replacement for the incandescent light bulb for new homes is the LED bulb. It uses less power and lasts much longer. The prices are becoming more reasonable on these types of high efficiency products that eventually they will be used most always.
Much of this information was gathered from the Smithsonian web site “Lighting a Revolution”. Thank you for checking out my new home blog, Matt Lancia Signature Homes.