How the light bulb works
By: Sydney B. 2011

Have you ever stopped and thought about how important the light bulb really is?
Parts of a Light Bulb
The light bulb doesn’t have air in it so that the filament inside of it doesn’t burn when the bulb is connected to a power source. Instead argon gas is the substance that is in the bulb; this gas replaces the air. Argon gas doesn’t burn the filament like air does.
What powers a Light Bulb?
A light bulb is typically 60 watts but a light bulb can have 25- 250 watts. 25 watts is 1/10 of an amp. 250 watts is one amp. Ampere is the power passing through a point giving it more or less energy. For example the amp passes through the wires up to the filament to light it up.
Who invented the Light Bulb?
Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, but he wasn’t the only one who has ideas about creating a light source. Two men, Humphrey Davy and Joseph Swan gave him a head start on the path to how he started his theory. When an electric current passes through a compact florescent lamp, a mercury vapor inside the tube releases invisible rays, and the coating on the inside of the bulb converts them into visible light.
How did the Light Bulb change our lives?
When the light bulb was invented, it created a huge leap for mankind. Have you ever thought of what it would be like if we didn’t have electric light in our lives? We couldn’t do homework past 8 o’clock. We wouldn’t be able to see cars on the road in the dark. We would have candles, but electric lights make daily activities much easier.
This is what Edison's Theory started out for what we think. I had started out with an idea and ended up with a source of light. This diagram shows what he did, if you have any questions you can look in my glossaryfor a definition.

Edison’s Theory
Thomas Edison’s theory started out with a simple idea. He started with a jar and a lid. Connected to the lid were two wires holding a filament. Two wires then came out of those two wires and were connected to a battery. He first put the jar onto the lid and screwed it on. He powered the light by connecting the two wires to the battery and the filament burned out because there was still air in the jar. He decided to put a candle into the jar before he turned on the light. The candle fed on air and burnt out when there was no more air in the jar. When the candle had burnt out in the jar, he connected the wires on the lid to the battery and the light bulb worked better than before. But today we usually plug our light bulbs into outlets in our walls and floors instead of using a battery.
Interesting Facts
Did you know that if you put a light bulb in the microwave and turn the microwave on the light bulb will start to light up?
This is a light bulb that we usually use. There are many parts of the light bulb which might seem complicated but it is really easy to learn after a while.
This is a compact fluorescent lamp which is environmentally friendly. It is different from a normal light bulb but has the same concept at the same time.

Improvements on the Light Bulb

Lately, scientists have changed light bulbs to make them brighter and more environmentally friendly. The Compact Fluorescent Lamp is one of the newest earth friendly lighting sources.

About Light
The filament is the thin wire that spreads across the two wires in the light bulb. It is what is making the light. First, when a light bulb heats up it starts out looking red, then turns orange then gradually turns to a yellow that gets brighter and brighter till it turns into what we call LIGHT!
The Arc Light
The earliest light bulb was the arc light, made by Humphrey Davy. It consisted of two carbon rods, called electrodes. They end a short distance apart from each other. When these electrodes are connected to a high voltage supply, a very bright spark or arc forms between the electrodes. Modern arc lights are used in movie projectors and searchlights. Thomas Edison wanted to find a way to produce light without the filament burning up.

This is a picture of Thomas Edison with the light bulb. It looks a little complicated put it got smaller as the years went on.
This is a picture of Thomas Edison. He is the one who invented the light bulb.

Introducing Physics
Peter Lewis Editor
The Brown Reference Group Ltd.2010.Print
Data Base:
Light Technologies. Prod. Colgren Communications. Colgren Communications, 1993. Discovery Education. Web. 22 September 2011. <>.
Lansing State Journal 1992 “How does the Light Bulb work?” How does the light bulb work? June 7, 1992. Web. September 18.
Filament- The thin wire inside a light bulb that makes the light
Watts- The power of an electrical machine is measured in watts. The unit of power, also equal to a circuit.
Amp- formally defined to be a constant current. (Amp is shortened the word ampere.)
Electric Current- The time rate of flow electric charge (Measured in amps.)
Fluorescent lamp- A light bulb more Environmental than a regular light BULB (diagram.)
Mercury Vapor- a gas or vapor inside the light bulb, also known as unreactive gas
Convert- To change something into another form or property
Outlets- Power sources in the wall that lets you plug in for electricity
Electrod- are the two metal poles that produce light in a fluorescent lamp