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Comparing incandescent lamps and LED lampsFeatured science projectScience project video


This science fair project was conducted to compare the brightness of an incandescent lamp with a LED lamp. The testing was done to compare a 60 watt incandescent lamp to a LED lamp that will provide the same brightness.


The LED lamp will require less power to produce the same level of brightness as an incandescent lamp.

Scientific Terms

Incandescent, LED, filament, Light emitting diode, rectifier


Incandescent lamp versus LED lamp

We use light bulbs everyday to brighten up our homes, dark corridors, streets and many more. Two common types of light bulbs are the incandescent light bulb and the LED light bulb. Both types of light bulbs have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice of which type of light bulb to be used may depend on factors such as cost, lifespan and power consumption.

Incandescent light bulbs produce light by heating a filament. The current that flows through the filament will cause it to become so hot that light will be produced. The filaments are housed in a glass bulb which contains either a vacuum or an inert gas, to prevent the oxidization of the filament. They are very affordable and can be used with alternating currents (AC) or direct currents (DC). Incandescent lamps are used in homes, commercial buildings, automobile lighting, torchlight and many other applications.

LED lamps produce light using light emitting diodes. Normally, the light generated by a single LED bulb will be of a much lower intensity compared to an incandescent lamp. This is the reason why LED lamps will contain many individual LED bulbs to produce the same brightness. LED lamps work on direct currents and therefore need step down and rectifier circuitry to work with an AC power source.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour for preparation, 2 hours for observation
Material availability:
Easily found at a hobby store
Safety concerns:

Risk of electrocution or burns. Be extremely careful when handling electrical equipment and electrical power supplies. This experiment requires adult supervision.