How to Make a Lightbulb Light Up With a Battery

By Stephen Benham
a simple experiment, a battery, a light bulb
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Batteries are used to operate flashlights, LED rope lights or other low-voltage lighting. If you want to do a safe and educational electrical experiment with your children to introduce them to basic electrical circuits, then a simple and interesting way is to make a light bulb light up using a battery. To get the best results, make sure the battery voltage and light bulb voltage are similar otherwise your bulb may blow or won’t be very bright.

Step 1

Get a strip of thin wire; something like AWG 18 is fine. Cut the wire strip into two equal 12 inch lengths using a knife. The wire connects to the battery and light bulb so it lights up.

Step 2

Remove about ¼ inch of plastic off the ends of the two wire strips. Use wire strippers, if you have them, or a small knife does the job just as well. Make a cut around the plastic covering ¼ inch from each end. Then, pull off the plastic using your fingers. You'll see the inner metal core that conducts the electricity from the battery to the light bulb.

Step 3

Cut three strips of electrical insulating tape using a knife. The strips only need to be about 2 inches long.

Step 4

Place the end of the one of the wire strips on one of the light bulb terminals; it doesn’t matter which terminal. Put a strip of tape over the wire and terminal so it stays in position. Repeat the process by attaching one end of the second wire strip onto the other light bulb terminal using the tape as before to hold it in place.

Step 5

Attach the opposite end of one of the strips of wire onto one of the battery terminals using tape. Again, it doesn’t matter which terminal.

Step 6

Place the opposite end of the second wire strip onto the remaining battery terminal using your fingers to hold it in place. Watch your light bulb illuminate. Lift the wire from the terminal and the light turns off. If you want the light to remain on, simply attach another strip of tape to the wire and battery terminal.

About the Author

Stephen Benham has been writing since 1999. His current articles appear on various websites. Benham has worked as an insurance research writer for Axco Services, producing reports in many countries. He has been an underwriting member at Lloyd's of London and a director of three companies. Benham has a diploma in business studies from South Essex College, U.K.