The History of the US Light Market Between Bulbs and Illumination

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Business book series (BRIEFSBUSINESS)


This chapter combines a historical case study with the ST-map which aims at describing the evolution of the main U.S. light systems over the last two centuries. The use of the ST-map helps to track the evolution of new technologies—and their networks of innovators, and it helps to position such networks in respect to the relevant business models and the dominant political discourses. The analysis represents how the dominancy of specific light systems has been intertwined with the development of networks of innovators that could seize value from the value of new urban energy infrastructures first, and later from the growing importance of the energy/environmental question in the political discourse about light. The ST-map represents a simplified way to present the dynamics of dominant systems over long time, so it may be used to convey important dynamics—in a synthetic way—overcoming a limitation of typical historical descriptive case studies. This chapter also addresses the limitations encountered by the usage of ST-map in historical case studies, especially when the focus is on narrow socio-technical systems.


Lighting Socio-technical system Business model Political discourse Network of innovators Socio-technical map 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DiSEAUniversity of SassariSassariItaly
  2. 2.DICEAUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly
  3. 3.DIEMUniversity of GenovaGenoaItaly

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