How to Make a Potato-Powered Light Bulb

How to Make a Potato-Powered Light Bulb
••• JohnnyVillan/iStock/GettyImages

During a power outage, or when you need to brighten a dark area of your home, you can use a potato and light bulb with a few other elements to create light. When you put copper and zinc electrodes in a potato, phosphoric acid in the potato reacts with the electrodes to generate electricity needed to light the bulb. While a potato-powered light bulb won't generate much light for a long period of time, it's enough to gently brighten a dark area while waiting for the lights to come back on.

How to Wire the Potato

1. Halve the potato with the knife to expose the interior. Use the knife to cut a penny-sized slit in the middle of the potato half.

2. Wind a piece of copper wire around each penny. Press the wire-wrapped pennies into the slits created in each of the potato halves. Leave some of the wire hanging out of the potato.

3. Slide one nail into the end of each potato half. Wind copper wire around each nail.

4. Attach the loose copper wire from a penny to the copper wire on the nail attached to the opposite potato. Do not connect the nail and penny wires in the same potato.

5. Connect the two loose wires from the remaining penny and nail, to the light bulb. When the wires touch the bulb, it lights up.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Potato
  • Two pennies
  • Two zinc-galvanized nails
  • Copper wire
  • Small light bulb

Tips

  • If the nail and a penny touch, the experiment will not work.

    Peeling the potato or soaking it in Gatorade sometimes helps conduct the electricity.

Warnings

  • Use caution with the wires once it becomes an electric conduit.

Related Articles

How to Make a Potato Lamp
Simple Electrical Projects
How to Make a Simple Circuit
How to Power a Lightbulb Using a Potato
How to Produce Electricity From an Apple
How to Light a Flashlight Bulb Using Potatoes
How to Make Electricity for a Science Fair Project...
Potato Light Bulb Experiment for Kids
How to Make a Potato Lightbulb for a Science Project
How to Make a Saltwater Battery for a Science Project
How to Light a Lightbulb With Saltwater
How Can You Make a Potato Flashlight Project?
Science Project on Electricity in a Potato
Polarity Projects Using a Potato
How to Build a Buzzer for a Science Project
How to Reverse the Poles on a Magnet
How Do Fruit Batteries Power an LED Light?
Fruit Battery Science Projects: Making Light With Fruit
How to Make a Windmill for a School Project
How to Make Electricity Using an Orange

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!