Advances In Energy Conservation by Paloma Carden

By Paloma Carden

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Neon lamps The next step in gas-based lighting took advantage of the luminescent qualities of neon, an inert gas that had been discovered in 1898 by isolation from the atmosphere. Neon glowed a brilliant red when used in Geissler tubes. By 1910, Georges Claude, a Frenchman who had developed a technology and a successful business for air liquefaction, was obtaining enough neon as a byproduct to support a neon lighting industry. While neon lighting was used around 1930 in France for general illumination, it was no more energy-efficient than conventional incandescent lighting.

GE also had filed a patent application in 1936 in Inman’s name to cover the “improvements” wrought by his group. In 1939 GE decided that the claim of Meyer, Spanner, and Germer had some merit, and that in any event a long interference procedure was not in their best interest. They therefore dropped the Buttolph claim and paid $180,000 to acquire the Meyer, et al. application, which at that point was owned by a firm known as Electrons, Inc. The patent was duly awarded in December 1939. , which claimed infringement on patents that it held.

In East and Southeast Asia it is very rare to see incandescent bulbs in buildings anywhere. Some countries are encouraging the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs and substitution of incandescent lamps with fluorescent lamps or other types of energyefficient lamps. The newest fluorescent lamps can be used to grow indoor plants to maturity. These lamps are marketed as High-Output T5 Fluorescents. The T8 and T12 predecessors can be used to rear seedlings, but are not powerful enough for mature plant growth.

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