lighting: The Incandescent Lamp

The Incandescent Lamp

The incandescent electric lamp, in which an electric current passing through a resistance filament (e.g., one of carbon and tungsten) enclosed in a vacuum tube heats the filament until it glows, was developed by the American electrician Moses G. Farmer in 1858–59 but was not practicable. Sir Joseph Swan in England and Thomas Edison in the United States, working independently, developed lamps of this kind; the lamp patented by Edison in 1879 was the first widely marketed incandescent lamp and was the forerunner of the modern Mazda lamp that utilizes a filament of drawn tungsten hermetically sealed in a glass envelope. A gas-filled incandescent lamp was invented by the American chemist Irving Langmuir in 1913. In the United States, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandated the sale of more energy-efficient incandescent (and other) lamps; the phase-in of the requirement for lamps that use 30% less energy began in 2012.

Sections in this article:

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Technology: Terms and Concepts