Introduction: Build a Light Bulb

About: Jason Lindsey is an award-winning outreach science educator. Jason studied science and journalism at Western Kentucky University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. At WKU Jason focused on general …

Have you ever wanted to create your own light bulb?  You can and all you need are a few ingredients from around the house.

• Electrical Tape
• 8 “D” Batteries
• 0.7  mm Pencil Lead
• Mason Jar
• 2 Wires with Alligator Clips
• Toilet Paper Roll

STEP 1:  Use the electrical tape to secure all of the “D” batteries together in a series.    
STEP 2:  Use the electrical tape to secure the alligator clips to the sides of the toilet paper roll.  
STEP 3:  Place a 0.7 mm piece of pencil lead between the alligator clips at the top of the toilet paper roll. 
STEP 4:  Place the Mason jar over the toilet paper roll, alligator clips, and 0.7 mm piece of pencil lead.    
STEP 5:  Close the circuit by touching the ends of the alligator clips to the ends of the roll of batteries.    

The electrons from the battery flow through the alligator clips and pencil lead, which is actually graphite, creating a closed circuit.  The graphite or filament becomes so hot it glows and fills the Mason jar with smoke.  Go to for more experiments that might get you and your family “Hooked on Science.”

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