Incandescent Bulb Essay

analytical Essay
2221 words
2221 words

Since its adoption in the late 19th century, Edison’s incandescent light bulb has seen remarkably little change and development. In comparison to other technologies, its growth has been almost non-existent. In fact, today’s bulbs operate under the very same principle that Edison’s did: incandescence. Incandescence is the basic principle that heated objects, like the tungsten filament of a light bulb, radiate light. While it is often the simplest solution that is the most successful, it is not always likely to be the most efficient. Traditional incandescent bulbs waste nearly all the energy they consume as heat, leaving very little to be used in the production of light making them one of the least efficient technologies we use every day. Despite this, incandescent bulbs dominate residential lighting with a large role in commercial lighting as well. Americans have always prided themselves on being leaders of technologic advancements and are responsible for some very impressive technology. The semiconductor industry for example, has grown over a million times more efficient in just the past fifty years [CITE]. This reputation makes it surprising that an American technology so radical at the time of its development and so widely adopted in our society has remained so static in time. This paper’s focus is the attributes of this technology that have resulted in such stagnant growth and to investigate other technologies, specifically compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs), which could finally bring this market into the 21st century. Additionally, it looks at policies implemented by the government whose intention is to speed up the adoption of this technology and what the growth of this industry might look lik... ... middle of paper ... be replaced by an LED bulb today, another bulb would not need to be purchased for another twenty to forty years when the LEDs reach the end of their lifespan. If incandescent bulb manufacturers are not able to quickly adapt to this new technology before the lighting market becomes saturated with it, they may miss the opportunity to participate in this new and exciting market. This brings up another interesting point and that is that LEDs create such vast improvements in the longevity of light bulbs that it could inhibit their own long term growth. The lifespan of an LED bulb is defined by the amount of time the bulb lasts before it is only able to produce 70% of the light it could when first purchased [CITE]. So, it is entirely possible that even after twenty to forty years when an LED has reached this point, the average consumer would continue to use this bulb.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that edison's incandescent light bulb has seen remarkably little change and development since its adoption in the late 19th century.
  • Explains that edison's bulb has seen no technical improvements since its introduction in 1880. halogen light bulbs have slowed the deterioration of tungsten filaments, while sodium discharge bulbs mimic higher efficiency by targeting wavelengths of light most sensitive to the human eye.
  • Analyzes how the lighting industry's stagnant growth indicates a lack of incentive for firms to invest in innovation.
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