How Do Light Bulbs Create Light – Simple & Quick Answer [2023]

Without them, it is practically impossible to imagine the world, and yet even today most people do not know how do light bulbs create light. This perhaps trivial question often remains unknown because we do not question the working principle of the bulb.

Since light bulbs make our daily lives, it would be helpful to find out some information about their creation of light.

How do light bulbs create light?

We are so used to the importance of light bulbs that we don’t think about them except when we need to change them. Bulbs are one of the greatest inventions and we use them constantly without knowing how do light bulbs create light.

Before we learn how light bulbs create light we can’t help but mention the creator of the incandescent bulb, Thomas Alva Edison. That happened in January 1879 so we have not known the world without this essence for a long time.

Every incandescent bulb uses a filament (typically a tungsten filament because it has an extremely high melting point) that is placed inside the bulb. An electric current passes through that same filament thus making the filament heat up. That’s the phase when the filament becomes red or white-hot and the light is created. Wallah!

Now you know how do light bulbs create light. When we talk about bulbs creating a light, we are typically referring to the incandescent light bulb. In order to understand this topic better, we must realize that the term incandescence stands for light generated by heat. This tells us how it is necessary to create heat in order to get light as a result.

How does a light bulb work step by step?

A light bulb has only a few parts. There’s a metal base that has two metal contacts. Those metal contacts are connected to the ends of an electrical circuit. They are connecting two stiff wires and then they connect to a fine metal filament.

In the middle of the light bulb is the filament. It’s the thin wire that holds the glass mount up. The filament is the thin wire you see in the middle of the light bulb, held up by a glass mount. It’s very important for the oxygen to not come through

In the moment of connecting a light bulb with an electrical power supply, an electrical current will travel from one metal contact to another. That motion will cause the filament to heat up and eventually emit photons that are light particles. 

What makes a light bulb glow?

A high temperature is responsible for the glowing of the light bulb.

More precisely, the high temperature will make the filament heat up and the heated filament will disperse visible light particles as a product.

In more detail, light bulbs create light with the help of electricity using a combination of heat and motion. Heat causes electrons to move which creates electricity. Electricity then turns into light and the bulb will glow. In a typical bulb, the photons are created by heating a filament inside the bulb.

Tungsten becomes a superconductor at high temperatures, allowing electricity to pass through it without resistance. It’s that super-conductivity that allows the electrons to travel around the circuit. 

Check out our list of best warm light bulbs for your home


We came to the conclusion that there aren’t many materials or components required in order to create a light, and we have learned how do light bulbs create light. Although the light bulb has only a few parts all the above conditions must be met to get light.

As always, we advise you to be careful with the electricity and heat produced by light bulbs.

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