Although American inventor Thomas Edison is widely credited as being the person who invented the light bulb, he actually improved upon previous inventions to create the first commercially efficient, widely used light bulb. The creation of the light bulb is thought to have begun in 1800 with Italian inventor Alessandro Volta’s invention of the voltaic wire, which provided the first electrical current. That same year, English scientist Humphrey Davy created the first electric light. Throughout the next several decades, it is estimated that as many as 20 inventors worked on inventing a long-lasting incandescent light bulb. In 1879, Edison became the first to succeed. His bulb could burn for about 1,500 hours, compared with previous versions that lasted only minutes.
More about the light bulb:
- Former Edison associate Nikola Tesla invented alternating current (AC) technology, which uses electricity flow from multiple directions. Tesla's invention paved the way for more powerful and widespread electricity and light over longer distances.
- In 1882, the first set of incandescent string lights was used by an associate of Thomas Edison‘s to decorate a Christmas tree.
- An incandescent light bulb converts only about 10% of the energy it uses into light, making it very inefficient. In 2005, Brazil and Venezuela became the first countries to implement a phase-out of the bulbs. The European Union and the United States have since done the same.