Five Memorable Ways That Lighting Has Forever Changed Our World

“With electric light, night lost its power to regulate Americans' lives,” the Saturday Evening Post once observed. As our very first push-button technology, lighting has forever changed our lives.

Woman wakes to a beautifully illuminated lamp.]    

Slumber time

Before light bulbs gave us options, the sun regulated people's sleeping patterns. They retired early and rose at dawn, sleeping an average of 10 hours per night. Today, we sleep up to three hours less per day. Let's do that math: Three hours more awake-time every day for one year adds up to 1,095 hours.

A well-illuminated hallway and bedroom guide your way.    

Guiding light

Imagine feeling your way, room to room in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. No lighting to guide the way, unless you light a candle or fire up a gaslight while you're half awake. Back in the day, home sweet home was a pretty dangerous place – no boogieman per se, but with the ability to simply flip a switch for light, there are far fewer midnight mishaps.

Brightly lit outdoor lights on a home keep everyone safe.    

Home security

It's no secret that darkness is a great ally to criminals. Indoor and outdoor lighting offers a great deterrent, since most burglars are looking for the path of least resistance. Even if you're on vacation, lighting gives the impression that someone is there – a smart way to keep your home safe and sound.

Car headlights blurred through the streets at night.    

Night drive

Think of the impact that nighttime driving has on our economy alone. Need a package sent over night? No problem. UPS alone ships 16.9 million packages and documents per day, and a lot of the magic happens while we're peacefully slumbering.

Open 24 Hours sign hangs in a store window    

Get to work

Think about how many business are open 24-hours per day. Diners, grocery stores, and factories of every kind maintain “always open” operations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, seven million people work evening or overnight shifts. And there's no nightlife without a little light, just ask the folks in Las Vegas.