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BRITISH chemist Humphrey Davy, inventor of the miners" safety lamp, kicked off man-made electrical lighting with an arc light in 1810.

By 1860, Joseph Swan had a UK patent for a carbon filament incandescent lamp - claimed by some as the world's first electric light bulb.

He demonstrated an improved bulb in 1878 - a year before Thomas Edison tested his in America - which lit for 13 and a half hours.

By 1880, Edison's bamboo filament was inside a 16watt bulb which lasted up to 1,500 hours.

By around 1906, Edison's General Electric Company was producing filaments using tungsten, and with improvements lighting began to be widely available.

In today's energy efficient bulbs, the current is passed through gas in a tube, making its coating glow brightly.

They burn cooler, at lower temperatures, meaning a smaller percentage of energy is given off as light rather than wasted heat as with tungsten.
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Dec 21, 2008
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