The Invention of the Light Bulb Did Not Conquer the Night

A Museum Exhibit Explores How Painters Depicted Darkness Even as the World Embraced Artificial Light

For many of us in the modern world, light at the flick of a switch feels so natural that it’s difficult to imagine a time when even the meager flame of a candle was hard won and too precious to waste. But until the late 18th century, the means for lighting up our surroundings had changed little since the Pleistocene Era, when limestone vessels with their nubs of tallow and wicks of moss illuminated the walls of the cave of Lascaux. Almost all lamps, fueled with animal or vegetable oil, …

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Are Electric Companies Facing Extinction?

Solar Panels and Smart Meters Are Threatening an Industry That Doesn't Know How to Innovate

When the Supreme Court upheld the EPA’s right to regulate carbon and other emissions from power plants, it set off another round of complaint from the utility industry. Sure, this …

A Future Awash in LED Light

The Unexpected Rise of This Bright, Energy-Efficient Lighting Technology Spells the End for Edison’s Incandescent Lamp

The Nobel Prize in Physics just awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura for their work on blue light-emitting diodes—LEDs as they are commonly known—reveals the extent to …