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Timeline of lighting technology

Lighting through the ages (legend)

Daucus Pusillus (talk) 01:21, 20 April 2015 (UTC){| class="infobox" style="text-align: right;" |- | <timeline> Colors =

 id:lightgrey  value:rgb(0.975,0.975,0.975)

BackgroundColors = canvas:lightgrey ImageSize = width:240 height:1024 PlotArea = width:200 height:1000 left:40 bottom:20 DateFormat = yyyy Period = from:1780 till:2020 TimeAxis = orientation:vertical order:reverse ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:10 start:1780 ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:1 start:1780


 at:1780 text:"Oil lamp 
 at:1794 text:"Gas lamp"
 at:1820 text:"Vacuum tube lamp"
 at:1841 text:"Arc lamp"
 at:1854 text:"Bamboo filament"
 at:1867 text:"Fluorescent lamp"
 at:1875 text:"Electric light bulb"
 at:1880 text:"Long lasting filament"
 at:1893 text:"Gas-discharge lamp"
 at:1901 text:"Mercury-vapor lamp"
 at:1910 text:"Tungsten filament"
 at:1910 text:"Neon lighting"
 at:1926 text:"Fluorescent lamp"
 at:1962 text:"Red LED"
 at:1973 text:"Compact Fluorescent Lamp"
 at:1986 text:""White" SON"
 at:1988 text:"OLED"
 at:1991 text:"Magnetic induction lamp"
 at:1994 text:"Sulfur lamp"
 at:1996 text:"Blue LED"
 at:1998 text:"LED lamp"
 at:2009 text:"Phase-out of incandescent light bulbs"

</timeline> |-



Artificial lighting technology began to be developed tens of thousands of years ago, and continues to be refined in the present day.


18th century

  • 1780 Aimé Argand invents central draught fixed oil lamp
  • 1784 Argand adds glass chimney to central draught lamp
  • 1792 William Murdoch begins experimenting with gas lighting and probably produced the first gas light in this year.

19th century

20th century

  • 1962 Nick Holonyak Jr. develops the first practical visible-spectrum light-emitting diode
  • 1981 Philips sells their first Compact Fluorescent Energy Saving Lamps, with integrated conventional ballast
  • 1985 Osram answers with the first electronic Energy Saving Lamps to be very successful [3]
  • 1986 The "White" SON sodium vapor lamp is introduced.
  • 1991 Philips invents a fluorescent lightbulb that lasts 60,000 hours. The bulb uses magnetic induction.
  • 1992-94 a team at Nela Park, Cleveland, GE, with Jack Strok creates ceramic metal halide lamps (CMH). Philips follows under Kock and calls their versions CDM Ceramic Discharge Metal. Sales begin 1994. This technology improves to be a superior lighting technology with up to 150 lm/W with good color rendering and 20.000h life with very high lumen maintenance [3][4]
  • 1994 T5 lamps with cool tip are introduced to become the leading fluorescent lamps with up to 117 lm/W with good color rendering. These and almost all new fluorescent lamps are to be operated on electronic ballasts only.[3]
  • 1994 First commercial sulfur lamp.
  • 1995 Shuji Nakamura at Nichia labs invents first blue and, with additional Phosphor, white LED, and starts a LED boom.[3]

21st century

  • 2011 Philips wins L Prize for LED screw-in lamp equivalent to 60W incandescent A-lamp for general use.


  1. ^ Zayn Bilkadi (University of California, Berkeley), "The Oil Weapons", Saudi Aramco World, January–February 1995, pp. 20–27.
  2. ^ Fielding H. Garrison, History of Medicine
  3. ^ a b c d e f Dr.Thomas Klett, Geschichte der Lichttechnik/History of Lighting
  4. ^ a b Bernard Gorowitz Ed., The General Electric Story
  5. ^ W. Bernard Carlson, Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age, page 132
  6. ^ note: at St. Louis, Missouri, Tesla public demonstration called, "On Light and Other High Frequency Phenomena", (Journal of the Franklin Institute, Volume 136 By Persifor Frazer, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pa)
  7. ^ New York State, Division of Corporations, State Records