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Tesla plasma lamp and plasma globes
Tesla main page
Tesla inventions
Plasma lamps and plasma globes
Tesla was right in the end about so many things, it seems. Edison believed the filament bulb was the best method for generating light, while Tesla, the inventor of radio, advocated radio-frequency powered lamps.

Edison did not invent the first electric light bulb, but instead invented the first commercially practical incandescent light. Approximately 90% of the power consumed by an incandescent light bulb is emitted as heat, rather than as visible light. Overall luminous efficiency of modern incandescent light bulb is only 3%. Luminous efficiency of modern fluorescent tube is about 15% and efficiency of sodium lamps is about 25%.  

The 21st century has seen new lighting technologies emerge such as High Efficiency Plasma lighting. Plasma lamp has the highest luminary efficacy rating of any light fitting on the market. Plasma lamps are a type of electrode-less lamp energized by radio frequency (RF) power. Due to the lack of electrodes, they have long lifespan - between 65,000 and 100,000 hours – ten times longer than fluorescent tube and 100 times longer than Edison incandescent lamp.

Plasma lamp is twice as efficient and half the cost of any other available on the market. Plasma lamps typically have luminaire efficiencies exceeding 90%.  At around 140 lumens per watt, lamps in this class are the most energy-efficient light source, almost ten times more energy- efficient than Tom Edison’s incandescent bulb.

This promising technology is called new and revolutionary - the biggest revolution in the lighting industry since the invention of filament lamp.   But this new and revolutionary 21st century technology is in fact nineteenth century technology. Nikola Tesla demonstrated wired and wireless transfer of power to electrode-less plasma lamps in his lectures and articles in the 1890's, and subsequently patented a system of light and power distribution on those principles. The diagrams in Tesla's lectures and patents have a striking similarity to electrode-less lamps that are available currently on the market. 
Tesla 400 - street light
TESLA 400 - Modern High Efficiency Plasma street light
A statement by Tesla, published in “The World” (1929):
Tesla with his wireless plasma lamp.
Tesla with wireless RF powered plasma lamp
Surely, my system is more important than the incandescent lamp, which is but one of the known electric illuminating devices and admittedly not the best. Although greatly improved through chemical and metallurgical advances and skill of artisans it is still inefficient... In my opinion, it will soon be superseded by the electrode-less vacuum tube which I brought out thirty-eight years ago, a lamp much more economical and yielding a light of indescribable beauty and softness.
Eighty years since this Tesla statement Edison bulb, most inefficient invention in the history, is still alive. But finally, some governments have passed measures to prohibit the sale of Edison traditional filament, incandescent bulbs - Italy, Russia and the United Kingdom by 2011, Canada in 2012, the European Union by September 2009, and the U.S. between 2012 and 2014.  

A move toward high efficiency, environmentally friendly plasma lighting in the near future would be a wonderful addition to our "green" movement. The energy savings offered by this technology could make a significant contribution towards the European Union's and global efforts to cut carbon dioxide output. Tesla plasma lamp was reinvented in first decade of 21st century. But Tesla is still one step ahead; besides wired, he also demonstrated wireless plasma lamps.
Modern plasma lamps
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