Thursday, June 4, 2009

Incandescent Bulb Dies at Age 129

OBITUARY: Born to Thomas Edison in 1880, Incandescent Bulb was killed in its sleep May 1st, 2009 by its godfather, General Electric. Incandescent leaves an illuminating legacy through his two children: CFL and LED. After over a century of inefficiency, and shamed by the cost-savings of his children, he was no longer welcome in most American homes or even in a Wal-Mart.

GE finally pulled the plug on all development of incandescent bulbs. They will focus all research on light emitting diode (LED) bulbs and the organic light emitting diode (OLED), which use a small fraction of the energy of an old-school incandescent.

OLEDs typically emit less light per area than inorganic solid-state based LEDs which are usually designed for use as point-light sources.

A significant benefit of OLED displays over traditional liquid crystal displays (LCDs) is that OLEDs do not require a backlight to function. Thus they draw far less power and, when powered from a battery, can operate longer on the same charge. Because there is no need for a backlight, an OLED display can be much thinner than an LCD panel. Rapid degradation of OLED materials has limited their use so far.

In 129 years the incandescent bulb hadn’t changed much. Recently, many began referring to them as “heaters” rather than “light bulbs” since 95% of the their energy consumption was converted to heat and only 5% remained for light.

Thanks to Matt @ for most of this information, presented here for educational purposes.

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