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New Bulbs Provide More Light, Save Energy

Subjects

  • Science

  • --Physical Science
    ----Earth Science
    ----Physics

Grades

Grades 2-up

News Content

A new light bulb provides more light and saves energy.

Anticipation Guide

Before reading, ask students to agree or disagree with each of the statements below.

  • The incandescent light bulb was invented in the 1920s.
  • Light bulbs are an efficient use of electricity.
  • Light bulbs account for about 25 percent of all electricity used in the United States.
  • The common incandescent light bulb uses about 50 percent of its energy to create light.

    News Words

    Introduce these words before students read the article:

  • incandescent -- glowing with intense light and/or heat
  • LED -- an acronym for light-emitting diode, which is a material that emits light when an electrical current flows through it. LEDs don't give off much heat, so they could be embedded in plastic instead of in glass (as is the case with the incandescent light bulb).

    Read the News

    Click for a printable version of this week's news story New Bulbs Provide More Light, Save Energy.


    Reading the News

    You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

  • Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.
  • Students might first read the news story to themselves; then call on individual students to read the news aloud for the class.
  • Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write a note in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

  • More Facts to Share

    You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this week's news story.

  • LEDs are used in digital clocks, cell phones, car dashboards, traffic lights, and other places.
  • Red, yellow, and green LEDs have been used for quite a few years. A Japanese company produced the first blue LEDs in 1993. When mixed with red and green LEDs, the blue LEDs produced white light. Scientists are working to improve the quality of white LEDs.
  • Currently, white LEDs can be found in many flashlights and they are used to light the rotunda of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. White LEDs are not more widely used because they are much more expensive to produce than incandescent light bulbs. Scientists are working to improve the quality and bring down the price.
  • Since LEDs use far less energy than incandescent bulbs, they require less fossil fuel (which is the source of most electricity) to light them. Consequently, they add fewer pollutants to the air.
  • Experts say that lighting 100 building exit signs with LEDs can save thousands of dollars in electricity charges and reduce carbon emissions by 125,000 pounds per year. (That's equivalent to removing 46 cars from the road.) Over the life of the 100 signs, carbon emissions would be reduced by 625 tons.

    Comprehension Check

    Revisit the Anticipation Guide at the top of this lesson; ask students to respond again to the statements in it.

  • The incandescent light bulb was invented in the 1920s. (Some people credit Thomas Edison with its invention in 1879.)
  • Light bulbs are an efficient use of electricity. (They are a very inefficient use of energy.)
  • Light bulbs account for about 25 percent of all electricity used in the United States. (Yes, they account for about a quarter of our electricity use.)
  • The common incandescent light bulb uses about 50 percent of its energy to create light. (It uses about 5 percent of its energy to create light.)

    You might follow-up that activity with some of these questions:

    Recalling Detail

  • How much of their energy do LED bulbs use to create light? (nearly 100 percent of their energy)
  • How many hours does an average incandescent light bulb burn? (850 hours)
  • How many hours can an LED light bulb last? (Some experts say it can last up to 50,000 hours.)

    Talk About the News
    Discuss the Think About the News question that appears on the students' news page.

    Follow-Up Activities

    History. Thomas Edison is often credited with the invention of the light bulb, but he was not alone in experimenting with incandescent light. Project on the wall or provide for students a copy of The Invention of the Light Bulb: Davy, Swan and Edison. Have students work on their own or in small groups to produce a simple timeline about the invention of the light bulb based on that brief article.

    Math. In Denver, Colorado, red LEDs are now used in more than 17,000 stop lights and Don't Walk lights. Officials estimate that converting to LEDs saves the city about $20,000 each month in energy costs. At that rate, how much money is saved in one year? ($240,000)

    Science. To learn how the incandescent light bulb works, explore the Web page How Stuff Works: How Light Bulbs Work.

    Assessment

    Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News questions on the news story page or in the Comprehension Check section.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    National Standards

    National Standards

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    SCIENCE
    GRADES K - 4
    NS.K-4.2 Physical Science
    NS.K-4.5 Science and Technology
    NS.K-4.6 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
    NS.K-4.7 History and Nature of Science
    GRADES 5 - 8
    NS.5-8.2 Physical Science
    NS.5-8.5 Science and Technology
    NS.5-8.6 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
    NS.5-8.7 History and Nature of Science
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NS.9-12.2 Physical Science
    NS.9-12.5 Science and Technology
    NS.9-12.6 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
    NS.9-12.7 History and Nature of Science

    See more recent news stories in Education World's New Story of the Week Archive.

    Article by Gary Hopkins
    Education World®
    Copyright © 2005 Education World



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