A light bulb consists of an electrical device that, from the use of electrical energy, can generate light.
The composition of a light bulb is quite simple. Mainly, it consists of the following parts.
Although only the parts that most bulbs have the most in common have been mentioned, in addition to being the most visible, the truth is that depending on the type of bulb, certain parts may vary. This is due to the technology with which light is generated since, even with the same form of energy (electrical), the structure can be modified from one type to another.
Origin of the bulb
Traditionally it is established that the American Thomas A. Edison was the absolute inventor of the light bulb, although this statement has its historical nuances.
In the first place, although it was Edison who managed to patent the invention in the United States after acquiring a patent from the Canadians Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans, pioneers in incandescent technology, this process was not straightforward, since another inventor, the German and American Heinrich Göbel, stated that in 1854 he managed to develop the technology that allowed him to create the first light bulb. However, this inventor's claim with the US patent office was dismissed for lack of evidence and Edison was able to register his patent in 1880.
On the other hand, it should be noted two other inventors who managed to patent the light bulb as an artifact before Edison. On the one hand, the Russian Aleksandr Lodygin, who patented his light bulb model in the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium and France in 1874. On the other hand, Joseph W. Swan, managed to patent a light bulb model in the United Kingdom in 1879, which it would be replicated more efficiently by Edison in the US.
In short, although there is a small shadow in the dispute over the invention of the light bulb by Göbel, the justice of the time did not see any indication that he was right. This does not mean that other inventors such as Lodygin or Swan managed to patent the light bulb before Edison in other countries, which is why the invention as such is usually attributed to Edison because, among other reasons, it is established that the patent and the most commercial and useful was Edison's.
Depending on the type of bulb, one class of technology or another will be used, which will give us a series of characteristics among the types that will be exposed below:
- Incandescent: They are the most popular bulbs worldwide, but also the most energy consuming of the four types that are exposed.
- Halogens: It is a type of bulb that has a useful life and efficiency somewhat higher than the incandescent type bulb.
- Fluorescent: This type of bulbs is usually used in large spaces or of a commercial nature, since the size and power is higher than that of incandescent and halogen ones. They are also somewhat more efficient than halogens.
- LED: They are the most efficient bulbs. They have a useful life and energy savings that can exceed that of a fluorescent by almost more than 20%.
The types of bulbs mentioned are ordered from least to most efficient. However, the most widely used bulbs worldwide are incandescent ones, which are going to be replaced by other types, among which LEDs stand out.