Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lights Out for Edison's Bulb?

Clamors for the phase out of the ubiquitous lightbulb in ten years is underway in the United States and Europe. With the demand for energy increasing, dumping the electricity-hungry incandescent may be a good idea. Of the energy released by an incandescent bulb, only five percent goes to light. The other ninety five percent is in the form of heat. While this energy distribution is useful for incubating chicken eggs in a home, it eats up to ten percent of the electricity distributed in the US alone. This equates to $10 billion a year.

Bulb manufacturers like General Electric says that a total phase out is unnecessary since they expect to have incandescent bulbs twice as efficient as those of today by 2010. By 2012, they expect one that's four times as efficient.

Thomas Edison's light bulb is already 128 years old and much of the technology it uses cannot be improved to a great extent if new materials are not available. In experiments with the first light bulb, Edison used materials like sewing thread for the filament. The photo is from

No comments: