We’ve given advice, told stories, and answered several questions about lighting and electricity.
In our research, we have come across a collection of curiously interesting facts about light bulbs and energy.
1. In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. The average desktop computer idles at 80 watts, while the average laptop idles at 20 watts. A Sony PlayStation 3 (the “slim” version) uses about 200 watts and nearly as much when idling.
2. The electric eel (a type of knifefish) can deliver a shock of up to 600 volts, for hunting or self-defence.
3. You may have watched a gecko climb what looks to be a smooth surface. This ability is due in part to the electrostatic forces on the gecko’s toe pads. The difference in charge between its feet and the surface help it “stick” to the wall.
4. Electricity was introduced to Ethiopia in 1896 after Emperor Menelik II ordered two newly invented electric chairs as a form of humane capital punishment and realised they were useless in his country without electricity.
5. The first four common domestic items to be powered by electricity were the sewing machine, fan, kettle and toaster.
7. Only 10% of energy in an incandescent light bulb is used to create light. The other 90% of a light bulb’s energy creates heat. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), on the other hand, use about 80% less electricity than conventional bulbs and last up to 12 times as long.
8. The first light bulbs to shine on Niagara Falls were installed in 1879, using lights with illumination equivalent to 32,000 candles. Today there are 21 xenon spotlights, 4,000 watts each, at the Falls which are equivalent to about 8.2 billion candles.
9. Electricity travels at the speed of light, about 300,000 kilometres per second.
10. The average taser emits 50,000 volts.