Light bulbs are one of the most significant inventions that we will see in our lifetimes. We would still be using candles and lanterns once the sun went down if it weren’t for the development of the light bulb. Fortunately for us, millions of homes had light bulbs in their homes by the early 1900s.
You might be surprised to learn that the light bulb is actually a very simple invention. It has not changed much over the years either. First, you need to know that the basic unit of light is also called a photon. Atoms release these photons when their electrons are excited. As a result, it emits light. Every source of light must excite these atoms. That is where the parts of the light bulb come in.
Light bulbs have a base. This base has two metal pieces called contacts. They connect the electrical circuit and are also attached to wires and then a thin filament. The filament, made out of metal, is held up with glass. All of these pieces sit inside the bulb, which is also made out of glass. Do not let looks deceive you. Light bulbs are not empty. They are actually filled with gas, usually argon.
When you plug a light bulb into a power source, an electric current flows through the contacts and to the filament. Electrons move freely, bumping into each other. As vibration occurs, the atoms heat up and light is emitted from the bulb. You hardly even notice the process as you turn on your light switch.
Did you know that the type of light bulb you use can make a significant difference in how much you pay on your next electric bill? The amount of energy used by your light bulb is measured in kilowatt hours. To find out how many kilowatt hours of power your light bulbs are using, multiply the number of watts used by the bulb and the amount of time it was used. You multiply the answer by your units, which are kilowatts. This is how electricity companies measure out your bills for the month.
Your family can save money by purchasing light bulbs that use less energy than others. You are charged for each kilowatt, meaning you should aim for bulbs that use fewer watts.