Parts of the Light Bulb

By Jennifer Burdett; Updated April 24, 2017

Despite Thomas Edison not inventing the first light bulb, he did invent the first household light bulb. There is a small rumor that he was afraid of the dark. Thanks to Thomas Edison, everyone today is able to continue their daily tasks into the night without a problem, but what part of the light bulb creates light?

The Globe

The outer glass shell of the light bulb is called the globe. The globe is made from a fine layer of glass to ensure maximum light efficiency and yet is strong enough to support the other parts of the light bulb. The shape of the light bulb is one of a plant bulb because the rays of light from the filament are much more effective with its current shape.

The Filament

The filament inside the light bulb is shaped as a coil to allow the required length of tungsten within its small environment to the display the correct wavelength of light. Tungsten is a natural solid metal and a chemical element which when used raw is found to be brittle but in its purer form is quite strong. As the coiled tungsten heats up light is naturally formed from the tungsten material.

Wires and a Stem

Within the inner center of the light bulb there is a centralized stem made from glass, which supports the filament in its place. The connecting wires ensure the steady flow of electricity through the components of the light bulb, according to Ohm's law. Similar to the way the human heart works when blood travels to and from the heart, there is a wire that takes the electricity from the base of the light bulb and another wire that returns the used electricity back to the base.

Invisible Gases

Unseen within the light bulb are inert gases usually formed of argon and/or nitrogen. These low-pressured gases prevent the filament within a light bulb from burning out and support the light bulb's airless environment from compression.

The base

The base of the light bulb has four main responsibilities. The first job is to securely support the light bulb within an electrical source unit, like a lamp or a light fitting. The second job of the base is to transfer the electricity from the main electrical source unit to the inner side of the light bulb itself. Another responsibility of the base is to protect the inner insulation which prevents electricity from backfiring into the unit's main electrical source, such as a lamp. The last job is to secure the globe and all of its components into the bulb itself, creating a reliable and natural light source.

Ohm's Law of Electricity

George Ohm first published his mathematical equation for the correct use of electricity in the making of electrical circuits in 1827. Ohm's law calculates the correct voltage of electricty used with the electric current and resistance for the making of any particular electric circuit. Ohm's law was devised 27 years after the first light bulb was invented by Humphry Davy and 52 years before the American inventor, Thomas Edison, invented the first household light bulb.

About the Author

Based in Spain, Jennifer Burdett has been writing alternative medicine and health-related articles since 2007. Her work has appeared in "Inland Magazine" and in newspapers such as “Euro Weekly,” “Round Town News” and the “Sol Times.” Burdett received the Holistic Back Practitioner Asset Award in 2008 and qualified as a holistic back practitioner at StoneBridge College, U.K.