Le Blog – Serge Mouille Lighting

A Short History of Lighting


standing floor lampToday we take modern lighting design for granted because it is all we have known; we never knew a time when oil lamps and candles were the primary ways people lit a room when the sun went down. But it was far different from even that hundreds and thousands of years ago.

Around 70,000 BCE, early man hollowed out a piece of rock or shell, placed moss or other flammable material into it, soaked it in animal fat and ignited it with fire. It was not be until around 4,500 BCE when oil lamps were invented and became common use. During this time period, red pottery oil lamps were used.

Candles would not be invented until around 300 BCE in China. They used wax from insects and seeds. Despite the invention of candles, lamps fueled by oil or kerosene were still the preferred method to light an area.

It was not until Thomas Edison’s incandescent lamp, introduced in 1880, that the world would see lighting reach a global scale. Powered by electricity, lamps became a very affordable way for people to light their homes without relying on candles and traditional lamps. From that point on, lights would flood the streets of the modern world as well as its homes.

For more on modern light fixtures, contact Gueridon today.

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