How-To Geek

How Stuff Works: Light Bulb Filaments

Incandescent light bulbs might not be the new kid on the lighting block anymore, but the science behind them is as fascinating as ever.

Traditional incandescent light bulbs operate under a pretty simple principle. When electricity is forced through a thin and resistant metal that metal produces heat–light is simple a very welcome by product of the process. In the above video Bill Hammond of EngineerGuyVideo delves into the science of light bulbs and why Tungsten, an unassuming and not particularly ductile metal, is the magic ingredient.

Light Bulb Filament [YouTube]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/6/11

Comments (2)

  1. andy


  2. ExTexan

    It would be more relevent to talk about how LEDs work, incandescent bulbs are a dead technology.

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!