How To Light A Bulb With A Lemon
Browse articles:
Auto Beauty Business Culture Dieting DIY Events Fashion Finance Food Freelancing Gardening Health Hobbies Home Internet Jobs Law Local Media Men's Health Mobile Nutrition Parenting Pets Pregnancy Products Psychology Real Estate Relationships Science Seniors Sports Technology Travel Wellness Women's Health
Browse companies:
Automotive Crafts, Hobbies & Gifts Department Stores Electronics & Wearables Fashion Food & Drink Health & Beauty Home & Garden Online Services & Software Sports & Outdoors Subscription Boxes Toys, Kids & Baby Travel & Events

How To Light A Bulb With A Lemon

A step by step guide to light a bulb with lemons.

Cast your mind back to your schooldays when you were first being taught about electricity. You may well recall that an electric current is nothing more than the flow of atomic particles called electrons. You may also remember that said electrons are miniscule things that need a helping hand to move - this can be done, say, by a battery!

Inside a battery are cells that are full of electrolyte (millions of positive and negative particles). The other part of the battery is the electrodes, which are simply two rods which are submerged in to the electrolyte. It is the chemical reaction between the electrodes and electrolyte helps to send the positive particles to one electrode and the negative particles to the other electrode. Add a wire to the electrodes and you will produce an electric current.

Is any of this coming back to you if you didn't already know it? Nevermind if it isn't. Moving on! Have you ever wondered whether it was possible to light a bulb with a lemon? Well now you are going to learn how to do so.

(Image Source)

What you need:

  • 3 large lemons
  • 3 x 2p coins
  • 3 x 5cm nails (galvanised)
  • 4 copper wire clip leads
  • 1 LED

 How to light a bulb with a lemon:

  1. First of all make a small slit at one end of one of the lemons and insert one of the 2p coins, remembering to leave enough of the coin protruding so as to clip on one of the copper wire leads.
  2. At the opposite side of the lemon make another small slit and insert one of the galvanised nails. (make sure you don't push the nail in too far that it touches the coin as the nail is the positive electrode and the coin is the negative electrode.
  3. Repeat steps one and two on the other two lemons.
  4.  Line up the three lemons negative to positive (in other words, line up your lemons so the nail of the first is touching the coin of the second and the nail of the second is touching the coin of the third lemon).
  5. Link the lemons (so they don't come apart) with two of your copper wire clip leads.
  6. Take your LED and connect (with one of your copper wire clips) the wire from the flat side of the LED to the  'negative' side of your lemons (the coin) and connect the other wire of the LED to the 'positive' side of your lemons (the nail).
  7. Now see the light!

It really couldn't be any easier than that. The acidic juice of the lemon is acting as the electrolyte and the copper 2p and the zinc galvanised nail are acting as the electrodes and you have just created your very own battery. Granted, it may just provide enough electricity to light a small LED but it does give a good insight in to how electricity works.

Additional resources:

Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
in Science on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Science?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (4)
Ranked #13 in Science

Great. I never thought this is possible.

Love this and can't wait to try it.

I wanted to vote this up, but after leaving a comment the possibility to vote had disappeared.

Ranked #7 in Science

A good show how a galvanic battery works.