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ERIC Number: EJ937868
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
The "Green Lab": Power Consumption by Commercial Light Bulbs
Einsporn, James A.; Zhou, Andrew F.
Physics Teacher, v49 n6 p365-367 Sep 2011
Going "green" is a slogan that is very contemporary, both with industry and in the political arena. Choosing more energy-efficient devices is one way homeowners can "go green." A simple method is to change home lighting from hot incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). But do they really save energy? How do their illuminations compare? Even if the CFLs are more energy efficient, they still add to our pollution problem because of the mercury inside them. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) could be the answer, but they are not available at our local stores. Can LEDs be made to screw right into a standard socket? How expensive are they? What are the power consumptions of so-called "60-W" and "100-W" CFL and LED light bulbs? These are the questions that are answered during this lab activity. Students measure the voltage and current for each of the three types of bulbs, and then calculate the electrical power required by each. An optional experiment is to set the light outputs of each bulb so they are equal in intensity, and then determine the power consumed. While not practical in the home, this experiment gives students an understanding of value for their buck.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A