Lesson 09 – Light Technology

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Read About Light Technology


Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.

Fluorescent lightbulbs are tubes filled with gas that produces ultraviolet light.

A halogen light bulb is a light bulb heated by electricity that burns brighter and is more expensive.

An incandescent light bulb is a light bulb that produces light by the glow of a wire heated by electricity.

Kerosene is a colourless, thin, flammable liquid.

An LED lightbulb has a special material that produces light when electricity passes through.

Ultraviolet light is short light waves produced by the sun that humans cannot see.

Visible light is light that we can see.

A wick is a loosely woven material that draws oil to the top of a candle or lamp for burning.

Light Technology

The Sun was the first light source used by people. Later in history, people started to burn fuels to make light. First they burned animal fat in hollow objects. Over time, people designed new containers for burning fats. They added wicks to make the fire in the lamps burn more evenly. They started to use other fuels such as olive oil, beeswax, fish oil, whale oil, and nut oils. In the 1700s and 1800s, new lamps were designed. These used fuels that came from the ground, such as kerosene and coal. But the world was still a dark place for many people. Good fuels and lamps were expensive. Gas street lamps lit up only the area around each lamp.

Antique kerosene lamps

Light Bulbs Today

Today most lighting depends on electricity. These are some different light sources used in homes, schools, and stores.

To learn more about lightbulbs, watch the video by BBC Earth Lab on Youtube.

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