Learn Together With This Science Project About GE Light Bulbs! Bringing Choices to Light and Save Energy #GELighting #CBias

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Have you purchased light bulbs lately?  Used to be pretty easy, now it’s a challenge.  There are so many shapes, sizes and types to choose from!  Perfect opportunity for a learning project!  (Which is what I tell my daughter when I have no clue myself.)

Tip #1:  Choose a brand and then look at the options offered by that company.

As part of my partnership with GE, I received coupons for my GE light bulbs.  GE is a brand we trust so I started out by limiting our choices to that brand – eliminates a ton of confusion right there!  For over 100 years they have been researching and developing revolutionary lighting products.  All opinions posted about my GE Lighting experience are my own.

Tip #2:  Understand the basics before you shop.

Here’s a glossary of the different types of lighting.  It helps to know a bit about it before you go to the store and are confronted with the displays and package descriptions.

  • Incandescent

This is your grandma’s light bulb.  It’s the old-fashioned kind with the filaments inside.  An incandescent light bulb works by passing electricity through the filament which heats, glows and emits light.  That is why they are also the most inefficient lighting choice.  Only 10% of the energy goes to light and 90% generates heat.  Wait! –  “light-bulb-moment” – perfect for a science project theme!  More to come later….

  • Fluorescent

We typically associate fluorescent lighting with offices, hospitals, and retail stores.  A fluorescent light is a glass tube containing mercury vapor.  When electricity passes through the vapor, it produces light.  The amount of light from a unit of electricity is very high compared to incandescent, making it more energy efficient.

  • CFL or Compact fluorescent lights

Compact fluorescent lights work in a similar way to traditional fluorescent, but they are shaped to fit in traditional lamps and fixtures.  The tubes are much smaller and shorter.  They are the most energy efficient choice.

  • Halogen
Halogen bulbs work with a combination of halogen gas and a tungsten filament.  Remember a long time ago when light bulbs used to turn black?  By replacing the inert gas inside a traditional incandescent bulb with halogen gas, the black deposits are eliminated.
  • CFL with Halogen

GE Lighting offers a product combining CFL and Halogen.  One of the downsides of CFL is that it takes a second to “warm up” to the top brightness when first switching on.  These bulbs feature a halogen capsule that provides light instantly and then the CFL takes over for top energy efficiency.

  • LED
The incandescent bulb produced light in an inert gas or vacuum.  The CFL produces light through mercury gas, the halogen through halogen gas.  LED light is different in that, instead of a gas, the LED emits light from a piece of solid matter.  The current downside of LED lights is the initial cost of the bulb.

New legislative changes in January, 2013 will change what light bulbs can be manufactured and sold.  GE energy-efficient soft white light bulbs will be the closest available alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. They are an energy saving alternative to CFLs.

Between 2012 and 2014, standard 40- and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs must use 30% less energy to meet minimum efficient standards. What does it all mean?

  • You are not required to throw out your existing bulbs.
  • Manufacturers simply can’t manufacture certain bulbs as time goes on.
  • There is a range of specialty incandescent bulbs that are exceptions, including 3-ways, reflectors, appliance bulbs and some decorative options.
  • Moving forward, you’ll choose from better technology like energy-efficient soft white, CFL and LED options.

Okay!  Now we have a basic understanding of the different types.  We are ready to start planning our science project!

Hypothesis:  CFLs produce less heat than other types and therefore waste less energy and are more energy efficient.

Science Goal:  Observe, use numbers, collect data, graph, communicate, see cause and effect.


Light socket

Story boards

Sample of each type of light bulb



1.  Create a story board with a description of each type of light bulb and the pros and cons of choosing them.   Notice size, shape, and design.

2.  Create a comparison chart to record temperatures.

3.  Put each bulb into the light socket and use the thermometer to measure the heat around the bulb.  (Make sure each measurement is the same distance away from the test bulb.)

4.  Learn and laugh!

Rosie and I will be doing this project in the coming weeks.  Join us to see how it turns out!

Watch this funny video and see what happens when you save energy!

For more information:

To see more pictures from our shopping trip to Walmart for the materials we need for the science project, check out my Google Plus Album, Bringing Choices to Light.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  All opinions are my own.  I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and GE Lighting #CBias #SocialFabric.


  1. 1

    Love your explanations of each bulb. I had looked at the savings for different types but never bothered to learn about how they worked!
    Can’t wait for your experiment!

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