Timeline of lighting technology
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
mark:(line,black) shift:(15,-5) 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" shift:(15,-10) at:1910 text:"Tungsten filament" shift:(15,5) at:1910 text:"Neon lighting" shift:(15,-5) 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"
Artificial lighting technology began to be developed tens of thousands of years ago, and continues to be refined in the present day.
- 70,000 BC A hollow rock, shell, or other natural found object was filled with moss or a similar material that was soaked in animal fat and ignited.
- c. 4500 BC oil lamps
- c. 3000 BC candles are invented.
- c. 900 AD Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi (Rhazes) invents kerosene lamp
- c. 1000 The first street lamps appear in Cordoba, Al-Andalus
- 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.
- 1800 French watchmaker Bernard Guillaume Carcel overcomes the disadvantages of the Argand-type lamps with his clockwork fed Carcel lamp.
- 1800-1803 Humphry Davy remarks first carbon arc when using Voltaic piles (battery) for his electrolysis experiments. First electric lamp, over 10000 lumens and thus 1000 times brighter than candles. Demonstrated to the public at the Royal Society 1809
- 1802 William Murdoch illuminated the exterior of the Soho Foundry with gas.
- 1805 Philips and Lee's Cotton Mill, Manchester was the first industrial factory to be fully lit by gas.
- 1813 National Heat and Light Company formed by Fredrich Winzer (Winsor)
- 1815 Humphry Davy invents the miner's safety lamp.
- 1835 James Bowman Lindsay demonstrates a light bulb based electric lighting system to the citizens of Dundee.
- 1840 modern kerosene lamps (oil lamps that burn fuel from petroleum)
- 1841 Arc-lighting used as experimental public lighting in Paris
- 1853 Ignacy Lukasiewicz invents kerosene lamp
- 1856 glassblower Heinrich Geissler confines the electric arc in a Geissler tube.
- 1867 A. E. Becquerel demonstrates the first fluorescent lamp
- 1875 Henry Woodward patents an electric light bulb.
- 1876 Pavel Yablochkov invents the Yablochkov candle, the first practical carbon arc lamp, for public street lighting in Paris.
- 1879 Thomas Edison and Joseph Wilson Swan patent the carbon-thread incandescent lamp. It lasted 40 hours.
- 1880 Edison produced a 16-watt lightbulb that lasts 1500 hours.
- c. 1889 Incandescent gas mantle invented, revolutionises gas lighting.
- 1893 GE introduces first commercial fully enclosed carbon arc lamp. Sealed in glass globes, it lasts 100h and therefore 10 times longer than hitherto carbon arc lamps 
- 1893 Nikola Tesla puts forward his ideas on high frequency and wireless electric lighting which included public demonstrations where he lit a Geissler tube wirelessly.
- 1894 D. McFarlane Moore creates the Moore tube, precursor of electric gas-discharge lamps.
- 1897 Walther Nernst invents and patents his incandescent lamp, based on solid state electrolytes.
- 1901 Peter Cooper Hewitt demonstrates the mercury-vapor lamp.
- 1910 Georges Claude demonstrates neon lighting at the Paris Motor Show.
- 1925 The first internal frosted lightbulbs were produced.
- 1926 Edmund Germer patents the fluorescent lamp.
- 1938 Lightolier, Artcraft Fluorescent Lighting Corporation, Globe, fluorescent fixture making.
- 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 
- 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 W.de 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 
- 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.
- 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.
- 2011 Philips wins L Prize for LED screw-in lamp equivalent to 60W incandescent A-lamp for general use.
- Zayn Bilkadi (University of California, Berkeley), "The Oil Weapons", Saudi Aramco World, January–February 1995, pp. 20–27.
- Fielding H. Garrison, History of Medicine
- Dr.Thomas Klett, Geschichte der Lichttechnik/History of Lighting
- Bernard Gorowitz Ed., The General Electric Story
- W. Bernard Carlson, Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age, page 132
- 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)
- New York State, Division of Corporations, State Records
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