1959 – 2000: Halogens, Track Lighting and Controls
Elmer Fridrich and Emmett Wiley received a U.S. patent for a tungsten halogen lamp in 1959. The design improved onthe design of an incandescent bulb. In 1960, Frederick Moby, an engineer for General Electric, created a better version that could fit into a standard light bulb socket. GE continued to improve on the design throughout the early 1970s.
In the 1960s Lightolier, now a Philips brand, introduced the industry’s first track lighting system with a vertically integrated track designed by Anthony C. Donato.
In 1959, Joel S. Spira, who founded Lutron Electronics Co. in 1961, invented the first solid-state dimmer. The technology switches the electrical current on and off 120 times per second, a design that saves energy and allows the dimmer to be installed in a standard electrical wall box.
In 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced the Green Lights Program, a partnership program designed to promote efficient lighting systems in commercial and industrial buildings. The program was targeted for integration with the Energy Start program by the end of the decade. In 1995, the EPA launched Energy Star for buildings to help businesses increase environmental performance and merged Green Lights with this new program. Last year, Energy Star introduced new requirements for Energy Star lighting.