Island 6 Energy Efficiency-Is The Bulb Too Bright?

Most spaces are overly lit which wastes energy. Students will learn about how to use the lumen level of a light bulb to pick more energy efficient and useful light bulbs for POPCS and home.

Energy Efficiency-Is The Bulb Too Bright?

The Challenge:

Determine the wattage and lumen level of the bulbs in the SmartLab and around POPCS using a light sensor. Then, decide if the bulbs maximize energy efficiency and support student learning. Students will create a presentation to share what they learned.


Types of Bulbs

There are a few different types of light bulbs that you may see in your house and in your school. Compact fluorescent (CFL) and light emitting diode (LED) bulbs fit most light sockets and are the most energy efficient. Fluorescent bulbs are shaped like tubes and are filled with mercury gas that shines when electricity is added. They use less energy than the incandescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are also called standard bulbs. They are still common in our homes and use a filament that glows inside to generate light. They do not last as long as CFL and LED bulbs, and they are the least energy efficient. Halogen bulbs are similar to incandescent bulbs because they have a filament inside which heats and glows, but they also have halogen gas, which makes them last longer and use less energy than an incandescent bulb.


What are Watts, Volts and Lumens?

When talking about light bulbs, there are a few different words people use to describe them. Watts is the wattage, or the amount of power (energy during a certain amount of time) that a light bulb uses. Volts is the voltage, or the amount of electrical pressure that goes into the bulb from the electrical outlet. It is important for safety and efficiency that your light bulb matches the voltage requirements for the light fixture. Lumens is the brightness, or the amount of light you see from the bulb when it is lit. The most efficient bulbs generate more lumens and use fewer watts.


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