Look no further than our own Bay Area fire station to find the world's oldest and longest burning light bulb. The 60 watt bulb has been recorded into the Guinness World Records by staying lit for 110 years. It still remains burning within the fire station's room. Since its installation in 1901, the light bulb dubbed The Centennial Bulb has been operating day and night running on 4 watts at the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department Station number 6 in Livermore, California.
According to Lynn Owens, a former chief for the Livermore Fire Department, the bulb's longevity may have been due to its low watt current usage. But how the bulb has continued to glow for over a century is still a burning unanswered question.
Nobody knows how it's possible. It's a 60-watt bulb and it's only turned on for about four watts, but nobody knows why it keeps burning ... We've had scientists from all over the country look at this light bulb, said Owens.
A member of the light bulb centennial committee, Steve Bunn, provided some history of how the light bulb cemented itself into the history books. Bunn explained that good engineering was the result of this phenomenon. The bulb was handmade in 1897 with a special design along with a coiled filament which allowed it to burn longer and provide a brighter glow. It did just that as the fire department station received the light bulb from a business man where it was installed in 1901.
Thomas Edison developed a lightbulb design that lasted 1,200 hours in 1879. He'd be proud to hear that the Centenial bulb has consistently remained lit, surviving both world wars, with world war I starting in 1914. Celebrations are underway to commemorate the bulb's 110th anniversary. Visitors can check out the bulb online through the Livermore Fire Department webcam, which refreshed every 10 seconds.