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    Home / Science projects / Make a Light Bulb
    • Make a Light Bulb

      Make a Light Bulb

      Thomas Edison tried thousands of experiments when he was inventing the incandescent light bulb. You can experiment too and find out how a light bulb really works, by making your own! (Adult supervision recommended.)

      What You Need:

      What You Do:

      1. Cut the copper wire in half and strip at least one inch of insulation off the ends of each length of wire. Next, punch two holes in the jar lid. (You can use a nail for this.) Thread one end of the wire through each hole in the lid.
      2. Make a hook at the end of each wire (the end that will be inside the jar when you put the lid on). Twist two or three strands of the iron wire together, then twist the ends around the hooks in the copper wire. The iron wire will act as your filament.
      3. Place the lid (with the filament and wires attached) in the jar and carefully connect the free ends of the copper wire to the terminals on the 6-volt battery. Once both ends are connected to the battery, the current should start flowing, causing the filament to heat up and give off a bright orange glow.

       Your homemade light bulb is working! The light will last for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on your filament. (Note: once your filament is burned out, don't touch it right away - it will be very hot.)

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    By: john moore
    Date: Jul 18, 2017

    We need to reintroduce general science to our class rooms from the replies you get you people don’t
    have a clue about amps watts etc..I get people trying to run skill saws (15amp) on 150watt inverters. I
    find this all the time selling electric and electronic items and
    most people all ages don’t understand the difference between alkaline batteries and standard. There is
    vintage movie made in the 40’s starring Spencer Tracy that tells the story of Edison making a bulb
    and records and other things

    By: Juls
    Date: Jan 31, 2016

    Hey there,

    I recently did your experiment and did everything it said to do. It said to use a 6V battery but I didn’t have one so I used four 1.5V batteries (C’s) and It didn’t work. This might be an error on my part but doing the math 1.5 times 4 does equal 6V so it should have worked.

    Any Suggestions?


    By: Hunter
    Date: Jan 11, 2016

    great lightbulb, i am doing a science project and i happened to like Thomas Edison a lot, so i said why not build a lightbulb and this website helped me a lot, the cost of it was $7.59 so very cheap compared to other websites!

    By: Raghav
    Date: Aug 08, 2015

    Good a home made bulb

    By: Dianna
    Date: Apr 28, 2015

    It doesn’t work so I put pencil lid and stronger batteries

    By: arju
    Date: Mar 18, 2015

    I have very interast in syence.i want to make a light

    Date: Jan 15, 2015

    I tried alot but the filament didnt give a very bright light

    I used mechanical pencil leads on place of filament

    By: Matt Silvia
    Date: Jul 21, 2014

    Replace the oxygenated air in the jar with something non-combustible like CO2, helium, or a vacuum, and the filament will last a lot longer.

    By: Kaylena
    Date: Apr 29, 2014

    It’s does not work again all and I only used 1 strand of iron wire and it didn’t even get warm so it might just be the copper wire but it might not…. So