Light, Sound and Waves

Survey: lighting at home

Classroom Activity for 5-11 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

This activity helps to make the link between studies of light at school and lighting in the home. It will provides lots of points of discussion relating to the pros and cons of different kinds of bulbs.

What to Prepare

  • devise a tabulated starter support sheet that will get your class off on the right lines, if necessary

You might include, as headings:

  • room
  • light function
  • light fitting
  • bulb
  • colour
  • power
  • direct/indirect lighting

What Happens During this Activity

This homework activity involves the pupils in making a survey of the lighting in their home. You will need to provide the class with a table in which they can record their findings.

Clarify with the class what each of the headings means – their descriptions should be simple enough for the rest of the class to understand.

Room: what is the room used for?

Light fitting: the kind of fitting, e.g. chandelier, reading lamp, strip light

Type of bulb: filament, fluorescent, energy-saver, halogen

Colour: most will be white

Power (in watts): If electrical power has been covered in lessons on electricity this exercise will provide a useful link. Otherwise introduce the idea that the power of the bulb is a measure of the amount of energy (heat and light) shifted every second. The higher the power, the brighter the bulb.

Direct or indirect lighting: Do the lamps provide direct illumination to the room or is the light reflected off the wall or ceiling first?

is formalised by Law of Reflection
can be exhibited by Progressive Wave
has the special case Total Internal Reflection
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