What is the life expectancy of a light bulb?
In our house, when they’re not slipping out of people’s hands and not flickering out of existence, it’s about a year or two. At the most. After that, we just get bored of them and change to a newer model.
But in a fire station in Livermore, California, there hangs a light bulb that has been burning continuously for 113 years now. Yes, you read that right. It was installed in 1901, and but for brief period of power outage during the 1970’s and a few other such maintenance events, it has been burning away for all these years. In total, it has glowed for close to 960,000 hours now.
It’s a sixty-watt bulb, and it glows with a 4-watt intensity, sources tell us. It doesn’t give out much light, so if you were a cynic, you would ask why it is still hanging from the roof, but the biggest miracle is that it is still glowing. Six more years and it will beat the longest-lived human at 122 years. Imagine that: a light bulb living longer than the longest human.
What is its secret? Nobody knows. There are some rumours that the filament has been designed by a scientist who had an interest in perpetual motion machines, that it was hand crafted with great care, and that it was built to last, but hardly anyone could have expected for it to last this long.
No one’s breaking it open to find out the truth, though. For now, they’re content to let it shine on, defying both age and time.


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