World's Longest Burning Light Bulb Out... But Only Overnight

What was thought to be the end of an era for the world-famous Centennial Bulb was a false alarm when the bulb flickered back to life this morning.

Screenshot of the light bulb via bulb cam at 5:49 a.m.
Screenshot of the light bulb via bulb cam at 5:49 a.m.
By Autumn Johnson

Last night was the night the light went out in Livermore. Or so everyone thought... for about seven hours. The Centennial Bulb, the most well-known light in town... in the Bay Area, appeared to have finally burnt out after over 111 years, fire officials said early this morning.

The loss of light was noticed late last night on the "bulb cam" located at Fire Station 6. The camera monitoring the bulb refreshes the photo every 30 seconds.

At 6:13 a.m. Battalion Chief Jack Neiman-Kimel confirmed that the light bulb is out. 

"An electrician is coming this morning to confirm," Neiman-Kimel said. "I can't believe happened on my watch."

At 6:17 a.m. the bulb came back on.

Neiman-Kimel told Patch by phone at 6:26 a.m. that the uninterrupted power supply had failed and that light bulb was back on.

"We removed the back-up power and ran an extension cord," he said.

On June 18, 2011, the City of Livermore threw a birthday bash celebrating the bulb's turning 110.

The bulb has garnered attention from the world and was the focus of numerous news reports, television shows, movies, books and tourists. It was given recognition from dignitaries throughout the United States.

The Centennial Bulb was in the Guinness Book of World Records twice, first in 2007 and again 2013, and is listed as the oldest running light bulb. The Discovery Channel's Mysterbusters show, which films in Alameda County, visited the bulb in 2006.

In 2009, it Huell Howser stopped by the fire house during one of his shows. Watch that clip here.

Juliette Goodrich, an Emmy award winning journalist for KPIX CBS 5 and Tri-Valley local, wrote a children's book called "The Little Light Shines Bright" about the bulb.

The Centennial Bulb has a Facebook page with over 6400 likes.

Bulb enthusiasts noticing the lack of warm glow on the bulb cam starting posting comments on the Facebook page late last night.

Frederick V. Goodwin O no! It appears to be burned out! That CAN'T happen!!
Jesse Unger Noooooooo it's out :(
Andrew Beck God speed little bulb.
Korey Lewis IT'S OUT! http://www.centennialbulb.org/cam.htm 6 hours ago
Cindy Beck Someone check the breaker box... quick! It can't be out for real...5 hours ago
Juliette Goodrich I'm sad ....there must be a reason ...!!5 hours ago
Jul de Loxley Nooooooooooo !1 · 4 hours ago
Emilie-Anne Nichols is it out? looks dark...7 hours 
Robert 'Bob' Greigg The little bulb is no more?39 minutes ago

Reports that the bulb had burnt out surfaced last year but were untrue. Read the full story here.


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