The humble lightbulb has been part of humanity since Thomas Edison invented the first practical lightbulb in 1879. This bulb and its derivatives made use of a glowing filament to produce light and remained a mainstay of light fixtures all over the world for many years. Unfortunately, a drawback of this lightbulb type is that it is very energy inefficient. Most of the energy consumed goes into heat rather than light resulting in about 14 lumens of light produced for each watt of energy used.
Since then, improvements in lightbulb technology have taken place with innovations like the Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL). This is as its name suggests – a smaller fluorescent bulb. It converts less energy into heat, producing 70 lumens for each watt. However, the light it produces is a harsh white light, which is unpleasant to some people. Possibly the most significant invention and improvement since Edison’s design is the LED bulb. It makes use of a light-emitting diode to produce electricity and is the most efficient – putting out 100 lumens for every watt consumed. The light from it is also the closest to natural sunlight, making it more acceptable to consumers.
However, with all these innovations, they also come at a higher cost with each new technological improvement. In the near future, the cost could potentially decrease as more and more consumers utilize them. This will not only benefit everyone but the environment as well, as humanity moves towards becoming more eco-friendly and sustainable.