The History of Electrical Lighting


The history of lighting began with the first commercial light being created by Thomas Edison in 1879 which, when tested, lasted for 13.5 hours. This was the beginning of the first commercial incandescent bulb. In 1878, Edison formed the “Edison Electric Lighting Company” producing commercial bulbs. In Britain, the Edison and Swan companies merged into the Edison and Swan United Electric Company (later known as Ediswan, which was ultimately incorporated into Thorn Lighting Ltd).


As technical progression happened, by the mid nineteenth century the incandescent bulb with which we are all familiar with was developed. An incandescent light bulb, incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe is an electric light which produces light with a filament wire heated to a high temperature by an electric current which passes through it until it glows (see Incandescence). The hot filament is protected from oxidation with a glass bulb that is filled with inert gas (or evacuated). These traditionally were around the 10 / 15 lm / watt range. The lifespan is 750 ~ 1000 hours.

Compared to general-service incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer. A CFL has a higher purchase price than an incandescent lamp, but can save over five times its purchase price in electricity costs over the lamp's lifetime. Like all fluorescent lamps, CFLs contain mercury, which complicates their disposal. In many countries, governments have established recycling schemes for CFLs and glass generally. CFLs emit light from a mix of phosphors inside the bulb, each emitting one band of colour. Modern phosphor designs balance the emitted light colour, energy efficiency, and cost. Every extra phosphor added to the coating mix improves colour rendering but decreases efficiency and increases cost. Good quality consumer CFLs use three or four phosphors to achieve a "white" light with a colour rendering index (CRI) of about 80, where the maximum 100 represents the appearance of colours under daylight or a black-body (depending on the correlated colour temperature).


But 50 years ago, an American scientist, Nick Holonyak, invented the LED (light emitting diode) in 1962. His plan was to use the least amount of energy in lighting as possible: “the ultimate plan, that concept comes from 50 years ago, (is) the perfect conversion of electrical energy to optical energy” he said at the 50th anniversary seminar at the University of Illinois.


A basic LED is far more advanced than a compact fluorescent, and works in the following way: when a light-emitting diode is forward-biased (switched on), electrons are able to recombine with electron holes within the device, releasing energy in the form of photons. This effect is called electroluminescence and the colour of the light (corresponding to the energy of the photon) is determined by the energy gap of the semiconductor. An LED is often small in area (less than 1 mm2), and integrated optical components may be used to shape its radiation pattern. LEDs present many advantages over incandescent light sources including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved physical robustness, smaller size and faster switching.

In the past few years, there has been a new type of LED which has emerged, the COB (chip on board) LED. The greatest power densities utilizing the smallest space are often the basis for the unique selling points of various products on the market. Such criteria can be realized by the (Chip on Board ) COB LED’s technology. Direct contacting of the semiconductors (LEDs) on PCBs allows for optimal thermal management, high packaging density and thus long-lasting and high-performance COB LED modules. With this technology, the LED chips are in the form of a semiconductor chip, which is neither encased nor connected. The semiconductor chip is described as a "Die". This LED chip is processed by means of a special procedure which is called "Die Bonding". Here the individual chips are placed on the PCB and using the Wire Bonding method, connected to the contact surface of the PCB, which are described as "Pads". Gold wires in the micrometer range are used for contacting. The COB LED light technology allows for virtually limitless freedom of scope for the PCBs and thus serves as the basis for totally unique LED solutions.

At Cleanenviro we research the best products on the market, obtain the best quality products, with the maximum light efficiency so we know you have quality lighting for years to come.