The Invention of Light Bulb

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People live in an electrified society today and we should be grateful to all the great minds who contributed towards trying this invention even before it finally became successful in 1879. The electric bulb, in particular, had a profound change to human existence by lightening the night and making it a secure environment to various human activities. After series of trials, Thomas Alva Edison eventually invented the electric light in 1879; an invention that has made human life convenient in the current era. However, it is also important to add to the account that whereas Edison succeeded in coming up with electric bulb, he was neither the first nor the only person trying to make this discovery.

The Era of Gas Lighting

At the time when the renowned American entrepreneur was making this discovery, people depended on gas lighting, which was apparently a well-established and mature industry. The gas franchises had been granted, the infrastructure was in place, and the facilities for manufacturing both equipment and gas were in profitable operation. With everything thought to be working perfectly, people were already used to lighting with gas. Other than gas lighting, many people also depended on candle lamps, especially those who could not afford the cost for gas. Apart from being dim, candles contributed to frequent challenges of burning houses, an issue that came to a halt with the discovery of electric bulb. Even so, it is important to note that whereas Edison came up with an idea that saved the society, it also had negative impacts.

Positive Impact of the Electric Bulb

First, the entry of electric bulb brought a lot of comfort and convenience to the society. With sunlight during the day and electricity well-lit at night, people could freely move without having to worry about their safety. Besides, the stress of buying a candle or refiling gas every time came to an end. Before this invention, there were several reported cases of houses burning down because of a candle, which would melt and burn the house. Many people lost their properties and several lives were also lost due to fire tragedies. However, this trend changed significantly with the introduction of bulbs. The invention of the light bulb also contributed to the growth of the economy, which improved the lives of people in the society. Of course, with extended working hours, the rate of production increased, which indubitably boosted the economy.

Negative Impact of the Electric Bulb

With all said and done, it is also worth noting that the existence of the light bulb also created new problems that the society never had before. For instance, factories would run for longer hours into the night. Ostensibly, this meant longer working hours for the workers. Moreover, this invention also contributed to light pollution, which many people had to adjust and get used to. The first light bulbs to be invented needed mercury, which was harmful both to the environment and to humans. If a light bulb would break by then, it would emit mercury, which if inhaled, poisoned the respiratory system of animals and people.


Concisely, it is justifiable to reaffirm that whereas the invention of the light bulb brought a significant improvement in people's lives; it also came with some few challenges, which directly impacted on them. This discovery did not only make the society a safe environment but also aided in improving the global economy.

November 24, 2023




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