Pre-1900 Electrical Innovations and Discoveries
The first documented account of electricity was by Thales of Miletus, a Greek philosopher, at around 600 B.C. He observed that amber, when rubbed, held a charge of static electricity.
The word "electricity" originates from the Greek word for amber (ēlektron), coined by William Gilbert in the early 1600s.
In the 1660s Otto von Guericke invented the first machine that generates static electricity. The machines produced static electricity by rubbing a rotating sulphur globe.
- 1729 Stephen Gray experimented with conductivity after noticing different materials carry static charges in different lengths.
- 1733 Charles François de Cisternay du Fay later discovered that electricity comes in two different forms, which is now called positive and negative.
- 1745 Ewald Georg von Kleist invented the Leyden Jar which stored static electricity, known to be the first electrical capacitor.
- 1750 Benjamin Franklin therorized that lightning bolts are electricity, and did indeed prove it correct with his kite experiment.
- 1786 Luigi Galvani correlated electricity and nerve impulses. He used static energy to twitch muscles in frogs.
- 1800 The first battery was made by Alessandro Volta, which were made from copper and zinc plates, with electrolyte in between them.
- 1820 Hans Christian Oersted confirmed the relationship between magnetism and electricity.
- 1821 Michael Faraday invents the first electrical motor
- 1839 Sir William Robert Grove invents the first fuel cell
- 1879 Thomas Edison displays his light bulb in New Jersey.
- 1888 Nikola Tesla invents the AC current alternator.
- 1897 J.J. Thomson discovers the electron particle
Benefits of LED Bulbs
- Life-span: LED bulbs last ten times longer than average fluorescent bulbs. Most LED bulbs will last over five years.
- Durablity: LED bulbs will not break under the same conditions than non-LED bulbs would break at. LED bulbs also do not have filaments making it less susceptible to impairing damage.
- No Heat: LED bulbs are literally cool and will not heat a room up like basic bulbs do.
- Efficiency: LED bulbs will produce brighter light using less than 10 watts, in contrast regular light bulbs will use over 60 watts.
- Environmentally Friendly: Less energy consumption combined with their long usage life is great for the environment. They are also mercury free.
Devices can "vampire" your electricity while not in use.
When you have a device plugged into your outlet such as a cell phone charger, even when not connected to a phone can still be using your electricity. These devices may not be active but they will still use your energy. This is called "vampire energy". A good way to tell if your device is a vampire device is if they are warm to the touch when you get home. Devices such as televisions and microwaves will actually use more energy in their pseudo-off phase over a period of time compared to when they are on and in use.
There are a few ways to solve this problem, such as simply unplugging your devices when not in use. A more convenient solution for larger devices would be smart powerstrips that shut down power to devices that go into standby mode.