Lemon Batteries: Lighting an LED With Lemons

127,284

231

24

Introduction: Lemon Batteries: Lighting an LED With Lemons

Did you know you can light an LED using fruits and vegetables?

For this experiment, you will need the following materials:

  • 4 lemons or potatoes
  • 4 galvanized nails
  • 4 U. S. copper pennies (minted before 1982 due to the change in copper content) or 4 copper wires
  • an LED light
  • a knife
  • 5 alligator test leads

Step 1: Creating the Batteries

  1. Using the knife, slice a penny-sized slit on the right side of your lemon.
  2. Push the penny far into the lemon, leaving a small area to hook your alligator jumper to. This will be your positive terminal.
  3. Now, create the negative terminal for your battery. Stick one of the galvanized nails into the left side of the lemon, about 2 inches away from the penny. It is important to have the nail and penny separated. If they touch, it will cause a short.
  4. Repeat this process until you have 4 complete batteries.

Step 2: Adding the Jumpers

  1. Make sure the lemons are aligned parallel to one another.
  2. Attach one of the alligator clips to the nail (negative terminal) on your first lemon.
  3. Then, run the second jumper wire from the penny (positive terminal) of the first lemon to the nail (negative terminal) in the second lemon. Add the rest of the clips, alternating positive an negative, until all the lemons are attached.

Step 3: Lighting the LED

  1. Connect the first jumper wire from the nail to the negative connection on the LED. The negative connection on the LED is the shorter wire nearest the base.
  2. Then, clip the jumper wire from the penny of the last lemon in your chain to the positive connection on the LED. When you complete your circuit, the LED will light up!
  3. Experiment with different fruits and vegetables to see which one produce the most volts! The higher the voltage, the brighter the light. The average lemon produces just under 1 volt. We need at least 3.5 volts to light up an LED. This is why we need 4 lemon batteries.

2 People Made This Project!

Recommendations

  • Battery Powered Contest

    Battery Powered Contest
  • Plywood Challenge

    Plywood Challenge
  • Plastic Contest

    Plastic Contest

24 Discussions

0
queen10984
queen10984

Tip 4 weeks ago

you forgot to put roll lemon

0
JJ78
JJ78

Question 1 year ago

What is a galvanized nail

0
queen10984
queen10984

Answer 4 weeks ago

is a nail that has been coated in steel

0
kbeulah8184
kbeulah8184

Answer 1 year ago

It is a type of nail that is powerful

0
kbeulah8184
kbeulah8184

1 year ago

how is fun to do this stuff

0
Najn_arte
Najn_arte

5 years ago

Can I eat the lemons or potatoes after I am done using them as batteries?

0
js07198
js07198

Reply 1 year ago

no

0
OnlineO
OnlineO

Reply 4 years ago

Lol

0
js07198
js07198

1 year ago

this did not work what how many watts do you need to power it with 5 lemons

1
jedininja89
jedininja89

3 years ago

This will be a great STEM activity with kids, thanks!

0
shomas
shomas

5 years ago

Any idea how many amps 1 lemon can produce with a nail and penny? I imagine it will depend on surface area.

0
An Zhigang
An Zhigang

Reply 4 years ago

Also the distance between nail and penny

0
Mamahabu
Mamahabu

Reply 5 years ago

It says at the end... "The average lemon produces just under 1 volt. We need at least 3.5 volts to light up an LED. This is why we need 4 lemon batteries." But doesn't mention Amps anywhere.

0
AndrewG47
AndrewG47

5 years ago

How long will it power the LED for?

0
SiddR1
SiddR1

5 years ago

It's important the nails are galvanized. Non-galvanized nails will not work. "Galvanized" means that the nails are covered with a protective layer of zinc.

0
Phil_S
Phil_S

5 years ago

A bit of an old trick, but the LED gives it a modern twist.You could light up your gin and tonic, then use the leftovers, but maybe not, health and safety. UK sneakily devalued the copper coinage so it's now copper-plated steel - only use is as washers.

0
Ajax4Hire
Ajax4Hire

5 years ago

Also use a Potato (or Potatoe).

0
PhilippeG1
PhilippeG1

5 years ago

educational purposes should connect only two rooms and two nails and remove one of the two, measuring each time the power connection and then continue by adding lemons but by measuring each time made the extra energy. A good way to test more connected in series or in parallel of two series of lemons.

0
PhilippeG1
PhilippeG1

5 years ago

dans un but éducatif il faudrait connecter seulment deux pièces et deux clous puis enlever l'un des deux, mesurer à chaque fois la puissance et continuer ensuite le branchement en rajoutant des citrons mais en mesurant à chaque fois l'énergie supplémentaire apportée. Un bon moyen en plus de tester branchement en série ou en parallèle de deux séries de citrons.

0
Mary Suu
Mary Suu

5 years ago

no more electric! :D

Good Job... Cheers!