From Limestone Lamps to LEDs... How Artificial Light Has Changed Our World

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Could we live in a world without the lightbulb? Imagine having to wait for a full moon to travel at night. Or being locked in your house from sunset until sunrise, so the government could prevent crime and chaos in the streets.


Jane Brox, author of the new book, “Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light,” joins us to talk about the history of our relationship with artificial light, and how our ability to have light any time, anywhere has changed our lives and culture. Brox says that light is often associated with with wealth. Historically, light is connected to opportunity. In the 1930s it was proven that when farm children got light, they did better in school. In America today, light is more democratically distributed than it used to be; rich and poor neighborhoods have good access to light. However, a third of the world still isn't tied to electrical grids.