Over 140 years ago, Thomas Edison produced the world’s first commercially viable electric light bulb. Since then, they have been making life and work easier and keeping us all safer on the streets.

Here we explore seven interesting concepts that might be the next step in the evolution of street lights.

Was the light bulb one of the greatest inventions of all time?
The invention of the lightbulb is widely considered as one of the most important inventions of all time. They allowed the working day to be extended well into the night in a safe and relatively cheap way.

Prior to their development, most artificial light sources were combustion-based. The fuels used included things like candle wax, kerosene, whale oil, and gaslighting. These were dirty, smelly and potentially dangerous as they could start building fires if left unattended or accidentally knocked over or damaged.

The light bulb was also safer as it immediately removed the potential for inhalation of toxic gases on a regular basis, especially carbon monoxide. Electrical artificial lighting also helped alleviate serious health and safety risks in the workplace related to bad lighting or the potential for explosions, in places like mines and factories.

But, whether or not one considers this as the greatest invention of all time, is something of a matter of opinion.

What impact did the lightbulb have on society?
We’ve already touched on this a little above, but the invention of the electric light bulb had an enormous impact on society. Almost overnight, artificial lighting became more efficient, longer-lasting, more reliable, and safer.

“More than 150 years ago, inventors began working on a bright idea that would have a dramatic impact on how we use energy in our homes and offices. This invention changed the way we design buildings, increased the length of the average workday, and jumpstarted new businesses. It also led to new energy breakthroughs — from power plants and electric transmission lines to home appliances and electric motors,” states

Read more: 7 Innovative Street Lighting Designs of the Future

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