The History of Light

It’s hard to imagine a time when the world may as well have stopped spinning as soon as the sun went down. Lights out was a literal fact of life, and there wasn’t a magic switch to help devoid a space of its darkness. Kerosene was introduced in 1846, and with the long lasting, bright flame produced by the coal-based liquid, we were able to stay up a little later. But everything truly changed when the advent of the electric incandescent light bulb allowed society to stay up the whole night through.


We’ve come a long way since the beginning days of electric lighting, and in today’s ever-moving marketplaces, the ability to work 24/7/365 is nonnegotiable. Quality lighting is necessary for your commercial business, and the facility in which it operates.


While we’re best known for the LED signs that we make for Montgomery County, PA area businesses, we’re also fully capable of installing commercial lighting for your company. Get in touch to learn more and set up a plan. In the meantime, read on to discover a few facts about mankind’s journey to produce light:


The Early Days

Back in the days of yore, man was determined to produce light efficiently. During that long, dark period of trial, error and experimentation, we came up with some pretty bizarre solutions. One of the strangest examples takes us to the Shetland Islands in the Northern Isles off the coast of Scotland. An oily avian inhabitant resides there called the Storm Petrel. Before electric light was invented, people from Shetland would take deceased Storm Petrels, outfit them with wicks, and voila—a bird-based oil lamp was born!


The High Price of Keeping the Lights On

Thousands of years ago, artificial light was extremely expensive. A Yale economist named William Nordhaus set out to determine just how much it cost to keep their homes lit in ancient Babylon. His research concluded that their abilities to efficiently keep the lights on was dim. It would cost about a day’s worth of wages for an average Babylonian to run an oil lamp for 10 minutes.


Electric Lighting Changed the World

While many people credit Edison with inventing the electric light bulb, it turns out that bright idea wasn’t his, but rather, was perfected by he and his cohorts. The prototype for electric light actually stems all the way back to 1802. A determined chemist named Humphry Davy built an incandescent light using a massive battery to run an electrical current through a platinum plate. It was dim and inefficient, but set the framework for a generation of other scientists and inventors to try and perfect the idea.


We’ve come quite a way since the incandescent light was invented. For example, just look how much we can do with the LED signs that we supply to Bucks County, PA companies. Imagine what Edison, Davy, a Babylonian or a Storm Petrel-toting Shetlander would think of those!


All in all, we’re fortunate to have access to reliable light sources these days. Get in touch if you need your commercial space illuminated!