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Personal: Residential


The History of Lighting

Lighting has undergone dramatic changes since Canadians Henry Woodward and Matthew Evans patented a light bulb in 1875 and Thomas Edison flicked the switch with an improved and commercialized version of their invention four years later.

Today, there is such an array of lighting choices and so many artistic ways to display them that virtually any effect can be created – shadow-free lighting in the kitchen, flattering illumination in bathrooms, a soft chandelier glow for the dining room, mood and accent lighting for family and living rooms, and security lighting outdoors. And, with today's advanced technology, they can be done in environmentally protective and cost-effective ways.

In the past, "fluorescent" referred to flickering, buzzing tubes emitting ghostly green/blue hues. Today, fluorescents now come in slimmer tubes that fit standard light fixtures and are available in many shapes, sizes and wattages. Designers have also modified the colour-rendering qualities of energy-efficient lights to provide a wide spectrum of choice, including the warm white light typically associated with incandescents. Choosing a CFL no longer means sacrificing on light quality.

Savvy consumers are eagerly embracing the energy efficiency option. In a study conducted by the Lighting Research Center, 700 observers were presented with two identically built townhouses, one with energy-efficient lighting and one with a conventional system. A resounding 97 percent of those surveyed scored the energy-efficient townhouse higher in lighting comfort and attractiveness. They said they'd pay the higher initial price to install such a lighting system to get lower annual operating costs.