According to US media reports, there are 55 million street lights on American roads today, providing lighting for 250 million vehicles. The emergence of lighting has brought great changes to human beings.

So, do you know the development history of road lighting? What were the ancient streets used for lighting? Below, let us introduce the development history of street lighting through 10 iconic events!

1. In ancient Rome, rich people used vegetable oil lamps to light their doorways. There are special slaves who are responsible for lighting, extinguishing and watching the lamps.

In 2.1417, the mayor of London ordered that all families must hang lanterns outdoors on winter nights. This is the first public street lighting organized by the government.

3. In 1802, Scottish inventor William Murdoch launched a movement toward more efficient street lighting. His gas lamps illuminate the exterior of the Soho Foundry for display to the public. Five years later, London had its first gas-lit street.

4. In 1816, Baltimore became the first city in the United States to install street lighting with gas lights. In 1820, Paris followed.

5. In 1878, Paris installed the world’s first arc street lamp. Three years later, 4,000 arc street lights were installed, effectively replacing gas lamps mounted on lampposts.

6. In 1879, Edison successfully made an incandescent light bulb with carbon fiber as a filament, which changed the world and promoted the development of light bulbs for street lamps.

7. The low-pressure sodium lamp was invented in Europe in the 1930s. These lamps consist of a removable housing and a vacuum insulation, and emit light using a low-pressure sodium vapor discharge.

8. American Nick Holonyak Jr. developed the first practical visible light-emitting diode (LED) in 1962.

9. In 1965, GE Company of the United States launched the high-pressure sodium lamp (HID), which has superior color and efficiency compared with low-pressure sodium lamps. Currently, HID lights are still the most common type of street lights on the planet.

10. Today’s LEDs last longer, produce better light, and use less energy than HID lights. Although LEDs made up only a fraction of U.S. streetlights a few years ago, the pace of adoption is advancing by leaps and bounds.

We’ve come a long way since the days of ancient Rome. Moreover, due to the rapid rise of LEDs, HID street lights may soon disappear like those lights before them.

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