How An Incandescent Light Bulb Works

How a incandescent light bulb works and how its inefficient.

By: Fox Burton, Journalist

Incandescent light bulbs are a great engineering feat and in history they have helped the world in many different ways. An incandescent light bulb is a very simple circuit that produces light. The incandescent light bulb was invented in 1879 by Thomas Edison. It uses a tungsten filament because of the fact that tungsten’s melting point is very high at approximately 6191℉ (3,422℃). This allows for the light bulb to reach temperatures of 4,500℉ (2482.22℃). The filament in the incandescent light bulb is in a bulb with an airtight vacuum seal because if oxygen gets into the bulb, it will overheat or burn out. The incandescent light bulb makes an enclosed flame by an electrical current going through the filament. Every time a light bulb is turned on it is actually burning very small pieces of the filament. The average life of an incandescent light bulb before the filament has burned out is about 750 hours, or about 31 days. An incandescent light bulb produces 90 percent heat and 10 percent light. This is why incandescent light bulbs or traditional light bulbs are not a very efficient type of light bulb. While the incandescent light bulb was one of the most important inventions of the 18th century that changed the world, we have found more efficient ways to produce light. LED bulbs use far less energy because they produce more light than heat.



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