The Quest for Lumens per Watt

Ryan Kelley

Historically, the development of lighting has been driven by the need to get the brightest, most pleasing light possible at the lowest cost. Are we reaching the limits?

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In September 1991, two German tourists, traveling in the Ötztal Alps on the Austria–Italy border, discovered, frozen into the glacier, what turned out to be the mummified remains of a man who lived around 3400 B.C.E. Among other things, the mummy, nicknamed “Ötzi,” was found with flint, pyrite and tinder—the tools used to create fire and, with it, heat and light.

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