Who Invented The Lightbulb?

The lightbulb is often the first thing we look for as we wake up in the morning,  it assists us with our daily tasks and brightens even the dullest of days… but where did this idea come from? 

While the famous American inventor Thomas Edison is usually credited with inventing the lightbulb, he wasn’t the only person involved in the development of the revolutionary life-changing technology. There are several other significant individuals who deserve credit for their work with lamps, electric batteries, lamps, and the first incandescent bulbs.

Early research and development of the lightbulb 

Thomas Edison created the first commercially successful light bulb in 1979, but the story of the lightbulb begins long before this. In 1800, Alessandro Volta developed the first method of generating electricity which was known as the voltaic pile. This consisted of alternative discs of copper and zinc which was dispersed with cardboards soaked in saltwater; this connected electricity when copper wire was connected at either end. While Alessandro Volta holds fame for being the inventor of the modern battery, this glowing copper wire creation is considered one of the earliest exhibitions of incandescent lighting.

Following this, Humphry Davy, an English inventor and chemist, created and produced the first electric lamp. He did this by connecting voltaic piles to charcoal electrodes. This 1802 invention was known as an eclectic arc lamp. While Davy’s arc lamp was a step forward from Volta’s stand-alone piles, there were still a few issues that didn’t make it a practical source of lighting. The lamp burnt out very quickly and was a little too bright for use in a home or office space. However, the principles both Davy and Volta put in place made a significant impact in the 1800s in the development of other electric lamps and bulbs.

In 1940 there was a significant development, British scientist Warren de la Rue evolved an efficient functioning lightbulb using coiled platinum filament in the place of copper. The problem was, the high cost of this platinum held the bulb back from becoming a huge commercial success. The same problem arose in 1840 when William Statie improved the longevity of arc lamps by developing a mechanism that regulated and slowed down the carbon rods, which were before quick to erode.

Thomas Edison Vs Joseph Swan 

In 1850, English chemist Joseph Swan attempted to resolve the issues previous inventors had encountered in terms of cost-effectiveness. In 1860 he developed a light bulb that replaced expensive platinum with carbonised paper filaments. According to the Smithsonian Institution, in February 1879 Swan presented his working lamp in a lecture in Newcastle. Swan’s filaments were placed in a vacuum tube to minimise their exposure to oxygen, therefore expanding their lifespan. While the prototype worked well for demonstrative performance, it was impractical in actual use. 

Thomas Edison realised the problem with Swan’s design was the filament; a thin filament with high electrical resistance would make the lamp practical as it would require a little current to make it glow. Edison showcased his lightbulb in December 1979. Joseph Swan made changes to his light bulb and founded his own electrical company in England. Edison was not happy and attempted to sue Swan for patent infringement, however,  Swan had a strong case and it was eventually settled. Both inventors came together and joined forces to create Edison-Swan United, which quickly, according to the Museum of Unnatural Mystery, became one of the world’s largest manufacturers of light bulbs.

Edison Festival of Light

Thomas Edison earned global respect for his contributions in creating the modern world. His efforts and achievements are celebrated annually in Southwest Florida’s largest and longest-running festival; The Edison Festival. This festival honors Edison’s contribution to mankind, it seeks to improve and inspire the community by injecting the festival with activities and education related to the work and values of Thomas Edison. The latest festival took place in February and consisted of events such as The Edison Festival of Light 5K race, junior fun run, crafts on the river and the grand parade that brought the community together to celebrate the life and achievements of Edison.


LED Lights 

Light-emitting diodes (LED’s) have been considered the future of lighting due to their lower energy consumption, lower monthly price tag, and a longer lids than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Nick Holonyak, an American scientist at General Electric, accidentally invented the red LED light while trying to create a laser in the early 1960s. A few years later, yellow and green LEDs were also exposed and used in several applications including indicator lights, calculator displays, and traffic lights, according to the DOE. The blue LED was created in the early 1990s by a group of Japanese and American scientists; Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura.



How to change a lightbulb

Changing a lightbulb could be considered the easiest DIY job in the book, but if you’ve just moved into a new home or you’ve got some new light bulbs, here at Dusk Lighting, we’ve got you covered with the know-how.

  1. Turn off the power 

Before you do anything you need to ensure the power is switched off. 

  1. Let it cool 

Allow the bulb to cool before touching it. 

  1. Use a ladder 

Ensure you can safely reach the bulb without overstretching.

  1. Remove the bulb 

Take the lightbulb out of the socket. This will depend on the type of fitting; bayonet mount or a screw fitting. 

How to unscrew a lightbulb 

Bayonet Mount (two prongs – standard in the UK): 

Grasp the bulb lightly then firmly push upwards, gently turn anticlockwise until it is released from the socket. 

Screw Fitting (most common in Europe):

Keep gently twisting anticlockwise until the bulb comes loose from the socket.

  1. Replace the bulb 

Insert the replacement bulb into the socket. Turn it clockwise until it locks into place. 

  1. Restore power 

Once the bulb is firmly in place, turn the power back on and switch on the light. 

  1. Dispose of the old bulb 

The old bulb needs to be disposed of safely as the glass is fragile and very sharp. We suggest using the packaging from the new bulb to wrap the old one for safe disposal.

Tips for changing your lightbulb 

  • When changing your lightbulb ensure that you exchange it with a bulb of the same wattage. 
  • Dispose of the bulb well out of the reach of children to reduce the chances of injury. 
  • Don’t put your fingers in the exposed light socket. 

Your lighting arrangement is nothing without the right bulb. Here at Dusk Lighting,   we have an extensive range of light bulbs and accessories to suit a wide selection of light fittings. You’ll find everything, from vintage-style filament light bulbs to energy-saving LED light bulbs in various wattage levels and colour tones, including neutral white and warm white, to illuminate your home in style. If you’re wanting to add some luxury into your home you’ll absolutely love our range of XXL designer light bulbs and lamps that provide your home with a unique high-quality style.  


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