The histoy of lighting

Approximately 400 thousand years ago had the man acquainted himself with fire. At that time fire had several functions: it kept you warm, you could cook with it and it gave you light. After a while – slowly, but steadily – making a fire started to develop. Around 640 BC people started using lenses made of mountain chrystal, which helped ignite the fire. The sole disadvantage of this device was that it could onl be used when the Sun was up. Shortly after this, then Romans started developing lighting devices for their houses and used various oils that burnt for a while.

Int he fifth century BC oil lamps started to develop. Int he beginning, those oil lanpions were open, and had a floating wick in them. The body of the lampion itself was made of copper, brass or stone. Later, people started to cover them with tops, which became the element of beauty, and more importantly it made the lampions much safer. From there on the wick was put through the lid, thus it could fulfil the function of a lantern. The oil wouldn’t get spilled, burning accidents decreased. One might look at it as a predescessor of a torch. After a while, people reasoned about the purpose of waiting for the flame to disappear, and instead thought of re-filling the lampion with oil, in order to achieve a longer duration. So on the newer editions of lampions they started making a placket, through which they could re-fill the lampion. This discovery made it possible to start poducing chandeliers. A number of wicks came out of a central body of a lampion and hun it from the ceiling. This was followed by another upgrade: an additional container automatically refilled the used up oil, thus it was no longer necessary increased attention at all times.

The invention of the candle dates back to about 400 A.D., perhaps somewhat earlier. Relatively few candles were used in the home until about the 14th Century, they were mainly used during religous ceremonies. They were an important symbol of the Christian religion. The best candles were made of beeswax and were used chiefly in church rituals because the bee was regarded as a symbol of purity. But because beeswax was expensive, crude tallow candles had to be used by the common people. Tallow was smelly and smoky. The candles dripped badly and generally gave a feeble light. But you can find a lot in common with today\'s well designed lights.

In 1260 an English monk by the name of Roger Bacon concluded that in order to light something one needs two things: a combustible material and oxygen int he air. The chemical reaction between those two allow anything to burn, hence shed light on something. If there’s no oxygen, there’s no fire. He tested this in a closed bowl. Up until this moment people thought of fire as a separate element. In 1669, thanks to a German phisycist Henning Brand phosphorus was discovered, that had it’s own dimly light, once it was illuminated with sufficient light.

In 1808 this industry has evolved tremendously, since then was the electic light first invented. Until this moment people used fire, oil lanterns or flambeau to light their rooms, but not too much has been achieved on this topic. In 1809, Sir Humphrey Davy first demonstrated the electric carbon arc at the Royal Institution in London. The electric arc was also used for lighting at the Paris Opera. At that time and until about 1860, the only source of electrical power came from batteries. After the electric generator developed sufficiently, there was a surge of activity from 1878 onwards.

From 1832 more and more kerosene lanterns were used instead of candles, which last much longer, and more importantly much safer. In 1836, John Irinyi, a renowned Hungaian phisycist patented the noiseless and non-explosive match (int he head of the match, the phosphorus wasn’t mixed with potassium chlorate, but with lead dioxide).

In 1840, british phisycist Robert Grove invents a vacuumised incandescent lamp, in which a platinum spiral is lighting.

In 1846 a glass-blowing machinery is invented, which will play a key-role in the mass-production of light bulbs.

In 1862 the first lighthouse is set up ont he shores of England, which works with electric lighting.

In 1868 as advised by John Peake Knight an experiment was conducted in London, when a gaslight was set up at a busy crossroads near the Palace of Westminster. The colours used would’ve been the commonly known red and green combination. The experiment proved to be unsuscessful, therefore the idea was dropped.

In 1880, thanks to the rapid the development of technology, researsh had it’s own boost as an effect. The three-phase system, which is able to generate electicity away from reach.

Charles Fritts was the first one to have invented the solar cell, and used it in 1885. This type of lighting is used to this day. He placed a selenium thin layer on a plate and a semi-transparent gold film was involved in the experiment, and it could produce electricity. They couldn’t explain what happened, for they were not aware of the structure of the Suns’s total energy spectre.

In 1913 the first tungsrem filament was created, which resulted int he bulb’s endurance to improve.

The crpton bulb was introduced at the Budapest Industrial Fair in 1936. This type of lighting is now able to povide adeqaute ligh for a long period of time. The mushoom shape of the bulb hasn’t changed since.

Teh first time xenon light was used happened in 1958. The colour temperature is similar to the Sun’s, also the amount of light it gives is satisfactory.

The mass poduction of sun batteries started it 1963, and from 1994 they appeared on pivate houses and homes. It is environmentally friendly and one of the best alternative energy sources. One might also use it in their garden.

Since 2010 traditional light bulbs are being pulled out of sirculation, their places are taken by energy saving bulbs. Only those bulbs arer allowed on the market, of which the domestic consuption of eletricity in stand-by mode doesn’t exceed 1 Watt. Fom 2013, this value will be decreased to 0,5 Watt.

Reading about the histoy of lighting shows us the long road humanity had to conquer to achieve today’s variety of lightings, however we often return to the fist-ever lighting device – fire. Although, it’s role shifted from lihgting to cooking with it, but one can see that the 4 basic elements of our planet – water, firre, air and earth – will never disappear from our lives, no matte what direction technology will evolve in.