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There is natural light such as the illumination provided by the sun, but it is not enough to light up our whole day. That is why artificial lighting, such as lamps and light bulbs, are the most important inventions in the world. They can light not only our day but also our night.


The invention of artificial lighting enables us to see the world around us. It makes possible the safety of walking the streets and driving in the roads during the night, and also in providing illumination during office work.


Today, we use high-tech lighting fixtures to make our life easy. But did you know what lighting fixtures we used before these cutting-edge lighting fixtures we used today? Here is the history of home lighting that you should know.


The First Lamp Came into Existence


In 70,000 BC, people started using what historians considered as the first lamp. At the time, people used objects such as moss soaked in animal fats contained in a hollow rock or similar material to light their shelters.


As time goes by, people started incorporating wicks to regulate the burning rate of the flame of their lamps. Later on, Greeks introduced terracotta lamps for domestic and public use.


18th Century Oil Lamps

The significant improvement in the designs of earlier lamps came in the 1700s, at the time of the invention of the central burner. Lamps had metal enclosures to contain the source of the fuel, and there was a metal tube for the regulation of the light’s intensity.


Then there was an addition of small glass chimneys for the protection of the flame and adjustment of air flow to the flame. The use of the first lamp contained in a small glass chimney started in 1783. Ami Argand then utilized candle wick along with these small chimney lamp designs that utilize oil as fuel.


The Introduction of Gaslights


The discovery of gas as fuel came when William Murdoch was smoking one evening by the fire and unintentionally put some coal dust into it. Murdoch then used it to light his home and, after that, the use of gaslight became widespread.


The use of gas light was practical in lighting the streets of major cities in Europe and US. The only disadvantage of gas light was that it increases the release of greenhouse gases that are detrimental to the environment.

The Use of Electric Arc Lamps


The invention of the electric carbon arc lamp came when Sir Humphrey Davy discovered the technology. This type of lamp functions by attaching two ends of carbon rods to an electric source. By placing the two rods’ ends at the proper distance, the flow of the electric current will go through an arc which creates the light.

Electric Incandescent Lamps

The commercial use of incandescent lamps came around 1800s when Thomas Edison successfully received US Patent 223,898. This type of lighting is still used by some people nowadays despite the rampant use of LED lights.


Incandescent lamps work by using a filament inside a bulb to generate an electric flow which in turn creates light. The filament resists the flow of the current which produces a high-temperature heat.

Mercury Vapor Lamps

In 1901, Peter Cooper got the patent for mercury vapor lamp. Instead of using a carbonized filament, the arc lamp uses mercury vapor inside a glass bulb to generate light. This type of home lighting fixtures are the predecessors of fluorescent lights.

The Use of Fluorescent Lights

Three persons - Hans Spencer, Edmund Germer, and Friedrich Meyer - received the patent for the fluorescent lamp in 1927. Fluorescent lamps superseded mercury vapor lamps as a lighting fixture for home use.


Fluorescent lamps differ from mercury vapor lamps in the coating of the inside of the bulb.  The mercury vapor was too harmful to the health and the environment.

The Energy-Efficient Light-Emitting Diode


LEDs are the most widely-used lighting technology nowadays because of economic and environmental reasons. This type of lighting is energy-efficient, durable, and produces quality light than CFLs and incandescent bulbs.


Lighting fixtures help us to make our lives easier. For instance, they provide light that can aid us in our work and also for our safety. That is why it is essential that we know of their evolution for us to understand their history and how they work.


Author Bio:


Yassi Parrish is a freelance blogger who is interested in old and latest inventions. She likes to write just about anything writes related to invention and evolution. Yassi looks for lighting essentials in sites like Deal Wiki for her articles.