Amazing Lighting Facts

Collage of light switch, child with toy oven, hayride, woolly bear, tiki torch, well-lit kitchen, pumpkin and leaves.

When was the first man-made attempt at lighting? How do toy ovens actually bake up those tasty treats? We've searched high and low to bring you some interesting tidbits about lighting. Share your insight and instantly become the most interesting person in the room.

A person's finger about to press a light switch.         Close up of a tiki torch light.

The first attempt at man-made lighting occurred about 70,000 years ago. Hollow rocks, shells or other non-flammable objects were filled with moss, dried grass or other combustible material soaked in animal fat (the original lighter fluid), then ignited. Flipping a switch is much easier and less messy, no?.


The word “lamp” is derived from the Greek word lampas, meaning torch. Place a few tiki torch lights on your patio for cool fall nights, then impress your friends and family with your word origin knowledge.

Kitchen island with pendant lights and fall centerpiece.         A light bulb with fall leaves in the background.

Next time you clean or redecorate (maybe a little fall décor update is in order?), take a look at the number of light sockets you have. A typical American home has an average of 44 sockets for light bulbs!


Energy efficient lighting uses up to 75% less energy. But, according to ENERGY STAR®, around 70% of light sockets in the U.S. still contain inefficient light bulbs. As the leaves start to change, maybe it's time for you to change to energy efficient lighting.

Three children on a tractor going on a hayride.         A little girl playing with toy cook wear.

You could save $1,600 when you upgrade 20 inefficient bulbs to GE LED light bulbs. That's enough money for around 320 average sized pumpkins, or 200 potted mums, or 228 hayrides and fun farm outings.

Electricity savings based on using twenty 11-watt LED bulbs for 3 hours per day at 11¢/kWh for its 15,000 hour rated life in place of a 60-watt incandescent. Provides nearly the same light output (800 vs. 840 lumens).


Until recently, toy baking ovens reached the hotness of a conventional oven by using a common incandescent bulb, between 60 and 100 watts, as the oven's energy source!

Bonus Fall Fun Facts

If you really want to up your game and pack your brain with trivia, keep reading…

Close up of several large pumpkins.         Woman's hands holding a woolly bear.

Do you plan to carve and illuminate pumpkins this fall? Did you know pumpkins are not a vegetable, but a fruit? So are melons, squash, and gourds.


Those little brown and orange woolly bear caterpillars know how to hustle. They crawl at the speed of .05 miles an hour, or about a mile a day. Go woolly, go!