Technological innovation: lighting


Innovation is the only way to create wealth over the medium term. One of the most important innovations of men’s history is the electrical light bulb that generates new social changes. Before electrical light bulbs, houses and streets were lighted candles elements, but they had some disadvantages. That radical innovation made possible to develop man activities.

Key words: Industry, History of bulb, Lighting, Radical innovation.


Innovation is hot topic. Innovation is the only way to create wealth over the medium term. In the short-run, companies can cut costs with some techniques like outsourcing and off-shoring; they can capture the affectivity, efficient, etic and aesthetic gains from industry consolidation and growing up the share price via stock buy backs. But at longer, there are no substitutes for the innovation. Innovation is not important just to hold good profits, productivity and/or improve competitiveness from products and enterprises but it is also guaranty to grow the style life of a society over economical and no economical aspects.

One of the most important innovations of men’s history is the electrical light bulb. The electrical light bulb generates new social changes, mainly because it opened the possibility to light houses, inside, and outside streets. Before the electrical light bulb, houses and streets were lighted with tallow candles, torches and, in the more development cities, gas lamps and street lamps. But, they had, between other disadvantages, the next: inside houses they were dangerous due to the possibility of fires, furthermore they generates smoke and, in the particular case of tallow candles, smells; on the street, existed the possibility of explosions because the gas street lamps, and also the possibility of fires.

This radical innovation made possible to develop night activities, on a safety way without the incommodity of the light candles, and with the continuous lighting of the bulb. Now people could walk on streets relatively safer. Moreover it increase the productivity due to factories, stores and medical insurance centers, could be opened longer and extend their service times. The electrical light bulb changed the dynamic of the entire world society.


Antón-Radigale, M. (2009), Hagace la luz!, Cient. Dent., Vol. 6, Núm. 3.

Hamel, G. (2008), Management Innovation, Leadership Excellence, Vol. 25, No. 12.

Lim, L.P.L., Garnsey, E. y Gregory, M. (2006), Product and process innovation in biopharmaceuticals: a new perspective on development, R&D Management Vol. 36, No. 1, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Pulido, A. (2005), La innovación en el siglo XXI, Centro de Predicción Económica (CEPREDE), Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Solivérez, C.E.  (2009) Análisis de un Objeto Tecnológico: Lámpara Eléctrica Incandescente,, disponible en [].

Tuomi, I. (2000) Internet, Innovation, and Open Source: Actors in the Network, The Finnish National Fund for Research and Development.

Villalta Maietta, H. (2005), Comparación de parámetros fotométricos y eléctricos para iluminación residencial, Escuela de Ingeniería Eléctrica, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Costa Rica.

[a]Profesor Investigador de la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo <<