The History of Light—in 60 Seconds

Updated: Feb 23, 2019



We're in a revolution—from electric light to electronic light. Watch the entire history of humanity's 127,000 year relationship with light light in just about a minute.


The History of Lighting Technology

Wood—127k years ago (campfire)

Animal fat—72k years ago (Paleolithic stone lamp)

Oil—6500 years ago (Ancient clay oil lamp)

Wax—5000 years ago (candle)

Gas—227 years ago (gas streetlight)

Electric arc—210 years ago (Arc w/ battery)

Incandescent bulb—184 years ago (incandescent)

Kerosene lamp—166 years ago (kerosene)

Fluorescent bulb—152 years ago (fluorescent mercury vapor)

Neon—109 years ago (neon)

First LED—92 years ago (LED-first)

First Laser—59 years ago (laser)

First Practical Red LED Indicator—57 years ago

First Yellow, Violet LED—47 years ago

First Compact Fluorescent—38 years ago

First OLED (“Organic”)—32 years ago

First Blue, White LED—24 years ago

Philips wins “L” prize for 60w replacement—8 years ago




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