UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
How do you make a light bulb light up with a battery, a negative and a positive wire, and what kind of battery would you use?
Answer 1:

To light up a light bulb with a battery, you first must make sure you have the appropriate lightbulb. Different light bulbs will be designed for different voltage, and while the standard voltage from a battery is between 1.5 and 9 Volt (or sometimes with less common batteries, e.g. 12 Volt for car batteries), that from a power outlet is 110 Volt. So you won't be able to light up a typical household lightbulb with a typical battery. Assuming you have the right kind of battery for the right kind of light bulb, attaching the wires so that a current can flow can be tricky. You will hold the wires on tightly in four places (plus and minus poles on the battery, and the two appropriate places on the light bulb, typically on the very bottom and on the thread; at least you don't have to worry about where the plus and minus go on the light bulb, with a standard light bulb that does not matter). There are ways to make that easier, such as battery holders with wires attached (with a spring or the like to hold the battery in place and make electrical contact), or even electrically conducting glue. Otherwise you might want to get a second person to help you hold all those wires in place!



Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use