The Evolution of Lighting Essays

The Evolution of Lighting Essays

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Lighting today is done by the flick of a switch, but it has not been this way forever. This essay takes a look at how things were, how they are and how they might be.

This essay is an assignment where I had to come up with the subject myself. The first subject I chose turned out to be too narrow in order to follow through with the assignment, a problem which I definitely overcompensated. The result is this, a paper that covers a lot of questions, but not particularly extensive. Please keep in mind that it was not my intention to write a scientific article about the subject, the purpose was rather to write an essay that looks like one.

The beginning

Bolt of lightning?
Evidence has been found that primates were using fire for almost 790 000 years ago. Fire was then the first technique used for illumination, and it also remained the only one until the 19th century when the electric light was introduced. It is believed that the first contact between fire and hominins was during a thunderstorm, when a bolt of lightning may have struck a tree which then caught on fire. The people were probably afraid at first, but maybe because of curiosity they learned to master the skill of keeping a fire quite like they might have kept cattle or pets.

Fuels used

Early fuels
• Wood
As we concluded in the previous section, wood was probably the first fuel used for illumination, most likely in campfires.
• Animal fat
Animal fat was used in simple oil lamps made of naturally bowl-shaped objects such as sea shells and hollow rocks which were filled with fat or oil and then fitted with some moss on top to act as a wick.
• Wax
Tallow and beeswax were used to make the first candles.

Later fuels
• Kerosene
The kerosene lamp was invented ca...

... middle of paper ...

...e future.
The most prominent reasons for LED being acclaimed are, amongst others:
• Efficiency
The LED technology can attain 150 lumens per watt (lpw), in contrast to CFL that gives about 60-70 lpw and the incandescent type which comes no closer than 30 lpw.
• Durability
The average incandescent light bulb will last for no more than 2 000 hours. The CFL can last for as long as 12 000 hours but the LED, on the other hand, has a life expectancy of up to 50 000 hours.
• Versatility
Since the LED itself is very small, it can be fitted in almost any imaginable position and object.

From the beginning of time, the humans have gone from using nothing else than daylight to using complex electronics in order to see their surroundings. I think it’s safe to say that the advanced technology is here to stay, but no one can say for sure what it will look like tomorrow.

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