Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New flykiller bulb and the world's oldest lightbulb

Trying to work my way through the pile of French jobs to do tonight I dismanted the electric fly killer I brought back from France.

In the kitchen of our holiday home there's a UV fly killer and whilst I was over at the Gite last month I noticed it had started flickering so needed a new bulb.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any matching FUL10T6BL bulbs on ebay so it was down to Google to find me a supplier. Ended up costing me about £6 just for the bulb, not all that much cheaper than buying a whole new UV light from on ebay.

Whilst searching I came across the Livermore Centennial light which is a lightbulb that was installed in the Livermore (California) fire station in 1901, was moved to another fire station in 1976, and has been burning continuously for 104 years!

The bulb was handblown with a carbon filament by the Shelby Electric Company, is approximately 3 watts in power, and has been left burning continuously in the firehouse as a nightlight over the fire trucks. Since the bulb is always left on it's not subject to the surges and stress of electricity; this and the low power have doubtless helped the bulb to survive.

Apparently it's only been off when there were power cuts and for 23 minutes when it was moved in 1976. The Guinness Book of World Records has certified the age and authenticity.

The new fly killer bulb is only certified for 10,000 hours - not quite as long as the Livermore ...


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