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Other Lamp Types

Our leading role in the development of all kinds of lighting technologies enables us to offer advanced, high performance solutions for specialised applications as diverse as film studios, rock concerts, airport runways and even fly traps! Following are our main areas of expertise:

Entertainment, Horticulture, Special applications. We are a leading supplier to the entertainment industry, with a range of lamp technologies sold under the SHOWBIZ® brand including incandescent, halogen, metal halide and low energy Compact Fluorescent. Our ranges encompass everything from low watt to 24 000W products with bases to fit most known fixtures, and are used in applications such as:

Film and broadcast (including studio and location) • Events and concert tours • Club and disco • Theatre • Specialist projection (e.g. photographic studio). Artificial photosynthesis lighting plays an important role in improving the yield and quality of greenhouse crops, and for controlling day-night lengths to suit the needs of particular flowering plants.  

Properly balanced blue and red to optimise growth • Improves the yield and quality of greenhouse crops • Optimum light and PAR (Photosynthetically  Active Radiation) output • More PAR on average compared to standard HPS • Wide range 250W to 750W with 230V and 400V options (operated on electronic ballast). We have a choice of lamp technologies – fluorescent/halogen, low/high watt, cap options – to meet the needs of a diverse range of special applications including:- Health & safety (bacterial destruction, shatter protection) • Insect control (e.g. fly traps in food preparation areas) • Industrial heating (radiant heat for applications such  as paint drying) • Airfields (lamps for runways and taxiway lighting)

The Evolution and Impact of Incandescent Light Bulbs in the United Kingdom

1. Introduction to Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent filaments produce light by heating to high temperatures. Any solid, including carbon, if heated sufficiently, undergoes what is termed "incandescence," emitting electromagnetic radiation. Incandescent lighting technology has been developed using a number of materials for the filament, including tantalum and osmium. The science of incandescence and the historical and modern technology of the manufacture and application of incandescent light sources are the subjects of this chapter. The successful collection of economic sparse data at the national and firm level using business history and the successful reduction of the dimension of the actual collective big collections with the "matrix model" developed by economic historians means this story is told differently than most industrial and economic histories that use firm level data but are unable to connect up the firm data with the firm's specific markets, industrial organization, and technology. With the light bulb industry invented in England, largely invented by mainly London-based innovative firms, and with the rest of this industry organized with subsidiary presences in the UK but with firms heavily invested in markets and full-scale firms engaged in cross-border foreign direct investment, trade, and cartel-joint-ventures, this is also a chapter in British business history.

2. Technological Development and Innovation

Research advances as of 1879 have been inspected from Rawlo's notes made in the early 1940s, which augment later published work. When that research was done, the essential primary records were relatively easily accessed and well understood because the work was conducted under those precise circumstances of incandescent lighting after it had been significantly developed. (i.e., the many difficulties and anomalies had been resolved). However, fifty plus years after it was introduced to the public, numerous myths were identified and dismissed, and the circumstances of several of the developments had their exact occurrence recalled. An accurate overall perspective was granted to such research immediately because fine detail could be added. Fifty years on, that precise perspective no longer exists, and aside from citations in numerous patent literature and biographic references, Rawlo's work on incandescent lamps predating 1879 had remained largely and unjustly overlooked.

British public experiments using massive electrical discharges are recorded from 1747. The production of continuous electrical illumination began in 1800, and a new intense illumination was achieved in 1844. In 1879, incandescent lighting was a startling development, and incandescent bulbs dazzled sight when introduced to the public.

Research advances

3. Environmental Impact and Regulations in the UK

Town Planning Regulations constraining greenhouse gas emissions into building energy ratings from 2008 compelled the owner of the household and landlord to install energy efficiency improvements.

All working and residential consumers in the UK can then make informed decisions on the take-up of incorporated energy-saving technologies, thereby reducing energy costs and contributing to carbon and other harmful gas emission reductions. The evolution of the electricity supply industry in the United Kingdom became an unstable moving target from 1990 until 2008, when the domestic, commercial, and industrial consumer realized this advantage with the inflation of the suppliers "fuel mix" charge as shown in Figure 6. Remember that "fuel mix" accounting for electricity supply companies corrupted the transparency of fossil fuel consumption as shown in Figure 6, so it became clear that the increase in costs was due to the operation of a complex and costly emissions trading scheme.

The predictability of regulated electricity costs is fundamental to both large and smaller-scale electricity consuming and generating entities. Electricity generating companies need to have a very clear understanding of all the fixed and marginal supply costs to select the most cost-effective generation plant mix after assessing risks. All sector commercial consumers, irrespective of location in the UK, and the non-domestic sector need a clear view of the regulated future prices for price planning, evaluating cost benefits for investment in both energy consuming and energy efficient office and industrial equipment and machinery, and future business planning.

This section refines the perspective of the two previous sections, showing greenhouse gas emission data and the regulatory changes that they face in the near future. This issue is significant to address the debates in the subsequent sections in relation to energy efficiency. Tables 3 and 4 show current and future UK greenhouse gas emissions and associated pollutants, respectively, from electricity generation.

The invention of the carbon filament light bulb and the tungsten filament light bulb by Thomas Edison and his research team in the United States in 1879 was a major breakthrough in electricity generation and utilization. The lighting industry became a significant part of electricity generation and demand, which it remains today. The long-term environmental impact of the light bulb is related to electricity generation and the materials it consumes. Each stage of the life of a light bulb has a direct or indirect effect on emissions, the environment, and human health, which is the foundation for government and societal regulation and influence.

4. Transition to Energy-Efficient Lighting Technologies

Today's energy-saving alternative to incandescent lamps is solid-state lighting. LEDs as light sources exploit the transistor or metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor electromagnetic principle, enabling not only convenient continuous changes to a supplied electric current, but also pulsed modulation. This allows independent control of an array of solid-state emitters for both color and intensity, making LEDs highly electrically effective and able to provide an outstanding color range. Ideal light quality, the narrow bandwidth, and precise light control throughout their life allow for exciting choices that were unthinkable with incandescent lamps.

Following the introduction of the Energy Efficiency Directive, there was a notable development of efficient alternative lighting technologies. Besides most forms of phosphor-coated fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) presently offer an ultra-efficient form of illumination. Electronic controls, which on the one hand prevent illumination from flickering and give linear varying control over the electric current presented to the source, and on the other lower the 50 or 60 Hz frequency of the supplied electricity, enable practical and reliable domestic use of CFLs. When the popular linear light pressure tetrodes, or rather electrified fireflies, offer typical light quality and color rendition, significant reductions in heat gain compensate for initial costs. Although technological developments continue to promise improvements in light output and color rendition, today's CFLs' proliferation highlights their competitive advantage over other light sources, even LED-based lights.

5. Conclusion and Future Prospects

The future for the industry may appear to be bleak, with an immediate decline expected following the introduction of compact fluorescent and light-emitting diode bulbs. However, as the historical evidence presented in this paper suggests, there are deep-rooted cultural and social reasons why people like these bulbs. Hence, it is unlikely that their disappearance will be as rapid as currently projected. First, light-emitting diode bulbs are simply too expensive; compact fluorescent bulbs simply flicker for too long before delivering adequate light; and both types of bulbs are not accurate enough in terms of delivering light that accurately matches the dimming needs of households. Second, customers do not like the fact that they contain mercury. Finally, the lighting industry has developed an important new concept: the 'magic of light'. Firms in the lighting industry argue that the magic and cultural value of light means that shoppers will once again search for affordable, reliable, quality light bulbs through attractive, innovative designs that are easy to produce, install, and maintain. It is these needs and preferences that the industry would do well to respect if they are to deliver efficient and cost-effective policy, in terms of both sustainable development and economic growth.

This paper investigates the subsequent evolution of the light bulb industry following the introduction of incandescent bulbs to the UK in 1881. The analysis offers an important insight into the post-introduction competition phase in an industry that offers little scope for the application of self-replacing characteristics for non-durable goods. Instead of the technological improvement of quality or a drop in price, competition was based on a plethora of advertising and marketing methods that were consistently discriminatory and to some extent likely to have been wasteful. The light bulb industry in both Europe and the US was innovative in brand development and the introduction of new techniques for the marketing of consumer goods, which were subsequently employed more widely by firms in all industries. The organization of firms was rapidly transformed from an era when light bulbs were publicly promoted as free market evolution goods through a series of restrictive practices to a pair of vertically integrated entities in Europe and the slightly less oligopolistic model in America. These duopolistic forms persisted for most of the twentieth century and were characterized by high levels of concentration, standardized products and pervasive product classification systems.