how does the light bulb work?
18th December 2017
Look up in the room you are sitting right now and you will see a light bulb. You turn it on and it lights up the room! How does it work?
Have you ever seen a heater or a electric stove, the one with a coil. You must have noticed that when it is really hot it looks RED or the gas stove that burns blue.
If you have seen logs burning in a fireplace also you will see that it has a glow and gives some light.
This is the same way that a light bulb works. There is a metal wire inside the glass bulb that glows when it is heated up.
When we turn the switch on, electricity passes though the wire making it very HOT and it becomes so hot that it gives off light.
Now why is the light white? How does it stay hot for such a long time without burning out like firewood? The answer to that is the glass bulb around the wire.
The glass bulb protects the wire by keeping air away from it. It is filled with a special gas called Argon that allows the wire to become HOT without burning up!
These bulbs used to use up a lot of electricity to stay hot for long periods of time.
Now we have CFLs or compact fluorescent lights. CFLs are filled with gases and chemicals instead of a wire that burns up and gives light.
Different gases glow with a different color. That is how we have orange, green even pink florescent lights.
These don’t use too much electricity and save energy.
FUN FACT: Thomas Edision is credited with the invention of the first electric bulb with contributions from a lot of other people.
How does a light bulb work?
- Watch this video explaining how a light bulb works.
- Watch a more advanced video from sciencekidz to see how light bulbs work.
- Light a bulb with a balloon.
- Lots of light activity for kids.