The History of Lights and how much they’ve developed over the years

festive lights

Festive lights got in touch to share some interesting facts about lighting and how it all started. I thought it was really interesting and wanted to share it.  Festive Lights created this video which displays the clear journey behind the history of lighting.

This informative video presents you all kinds of different uses and how much we’ve developed lighting over the years. Where would we be without the power of light? It’s our day to day dependency and we’ve travelled through some incredible lighting transformations over the years.

Narrowing down how we’ve progressed over the years, coming from our first source of light: the sun. Then came one of humankind’s earliest discoveries: fire at around 125,000BC.

festive lights

We follow the video through the dramatic changes over the years. Here are some examples:

Gaslight 1807

In 1807 the first gaslight was imported and made known by Albert Winsor. In London, Pall Mall was the first street to be lit up. Mr Winsor was a German inventor, one of the first pioneers of gas lighting in the UK and France.

Electric Street light 1878

The first electric street lights were established in Paris in 1878 to celebrate the opening of the Paris Universal Exposition. Within the same year, the light bulb was developed by Thomas Edison. Mr Edison essentially improved original developments by Italian inventor Alessandro Voltaic who developed the first way to produce generating light.

First electric lamp 1802

The established ways and worthiness saw out during the entire 1800s, there were vast improvements and breakthroughs with lighting. After introducing the first battery to the world, the first electric lamp in 1802 was introduced by Humphry Davy. This allowed Mr Davy to detach a series of substances for the first time, with the thanks to Mr Voltaic for his innovative contributions, breakthroughs in this area soon followed.

Although a success, it was difficult to generate any full room lighting from Davy’s arc lamp. It burned out quickly and was much too bright to use in a home or work area. However the idea behind Davy’s arc light were used throughout the 1800s which succeeded with developments of many other electric lamps and bulbs.

Neon lamp 1902, 1907 Yellow light and 1910 neon gas lamp

Georges Claude, a French engineer and inventor popularised the neon lamp in 1902. In 1907, Henry Joseph discovered a yellow light being formed by 10 voltages being applied to carborundum. We can see the combinations start to develop as the first neon gas lamp was introduced in 1910, showed to the public in Paris.

1927 first light publishing text, 1962 first Laser of LED and 1972 first yellow, red and orange LEDs

Henry Joseph then went on to publish a text on the first light emitting diode in 1927. In 1962 the American engineer Nick Holonyak Jr advanced with the first practical laser of LED – light emitting diode which emitted visible red light instead of infrared light. Ten years later, M. George Craford invented the first yellow, red and orange LEDs.

1976 bright LED for telecommunications and 1979 first blue LED

Invention of a high-efficiency and enormously bright LED came in for telecommunications with the use of fibre optics in 1976 by Thomas P. Pearsall. A few years later Shuji Nakamura an electronic engineer made the first blue LED in 1979. However it was too expensive for commercial usage so they made them available in various colours.

1990 first LED light beams

The 90s saw the development of the first blue LED light beam consisting of three contributors; Shuji Nakamura, Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Armano. In 2014 Australia, the world’s largest Christmas light display showed 1.2 million LED lights which used a staggering 75 miles long of cable.

The history of lighting is a fascinating topic, viewing all the exciting art and science behind it. This video makes it fun and easy for everyone to understand clearly our history. A great way to introduce a bit of history to our children too.



  1. May 4, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    Oh that looks great, and fab to show children. I’m not great at remembering things so it’ll be handy for me as well!!

  2. May 4, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    oh my days I hardly knew any of this haha. really informative x

  3. May 5, 2017 / 4:07 pm

    I love love love good lighting. MY favourite kind is natural light but when the nights come around i need to have a well lit home. IT literally makes me feel eurrrgghh unless the house has good lighting lol. x

  4. May 6, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    Fab post and I really had no idea about any of this. Really informative x

  5. May 6, 2017 / 9:28 pm

    Its amazing how far we have come in the last 200 years! Xx

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