One product that is particularly important to me as a consumer is a lightbulb. As miniscule as it seems, lightbulbs are an essential to everyday life in a developed nation because we would not be able to see the way we do without them. Although there are other methods of light such as fire, torches, candles, oil and gas lamps, the lightbulb proves to be a more effective method. It is the easiest way to provide light to spaces – you simply flip a switch.
Electric light was first developed by Sir Humphry Davy in 1802. He displayed how electric currents could heat thin strips of metal which then produced light. In 1879, a young inventor by the name of Thomas Edison ran his first test of a lamp. It ran for two days and 40 hours until it burned out. This experiment was revolutionary and paved the way for what we see now today as the modern lightbulb. Obviously, there are many different types of lightbulbs and different materials used to make them. A filament, glass bulb, base and assembly are all very important parts in construction of the typical lightbulb.
However, lightbulbs can have a negative impact on the environment and it is important to be aware of the types of products you are consuming. Through my research I discovered how important it is important for consumers to switch from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs, and I have personally decided to switch to fluorescent light bulbs because they use approximately less electricity when used. Fluorescent bulbs produce less heat compared to incandescent light bulbs and generation of heat is the loss of energy. Although they are a little more expensive, fluorescent bulbs are shown to be more cost effective because they have longer life spans and lower energy expenditure. At the end of its functional life, you simply just buy a new one and replace it. Because of fluorescent bulbs’ longer life span, you are not only saving money but helping the environment. Consumers can also lessen the environmental impact of lightbulbs by making sure they are turned off when not being used, so even less energy is released.
Aside from the environmental impact, many social impacts exist as well. Ever since the lightbulb was introduced into homes, people have a lot more flexibility in their lives and are able to be more present outside of daylight hours. It extended to other electrical products such as street lights and cars making the quality of life much better for people. Electrical light has also provided many jobs and networks for people, impacting the economy as well. It is truly a revolutionary product that has created so much opportunity for technology in the world to advance, paving the way for further innovations and bringing us to the highly technologized society we live in today.
I encourage everyone to do their own research and switch to fluorescent bulbs!
“Are Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Good for the Environment?” Fox News, FOX News Network, www.foxnews.com/story/2007/11/08/are-compact-fluorescent-light-bulbs- good-for-environment.html.
“Light Bulb.” How Products Are Made, www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Light-Bulb.html.