Lights Light Up My Life

6, 7, 8

This lesson will help the learners understand how basic energy conservation and energy efficiency choices can impact their family energy costs and reduce the amount of energy consumed.

PrintTwo Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • compare the advantages and disadvantages of incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • demonstrate the differences between the incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • complete a data table recording temperatures.
  • calculate the cost of kilowatt hours for each type of bulb.
  • define stewardship as the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.
  • Handout One, Lights Light Up Your Life Data Sheet
  • Calculator
  • Light Meter
  • Thermometer
  • Compact fluorescent light bulb with power rating stamped on the top
  • Incandescent light bulb with power rating stamped on the top
  • Standard sockets
  • Graph paper
  • Tape measure, yard stick or meter stick


  1. Anticipatory Set: Show learners one compact florescent light bulb and one incandescent light bulb. Ask the learners “What is the difference between the two light bulbs?” Allow time for the learners share their answers and discuss the appearances of the two bulbs.

  2. Distribute the Lights Light up Your Life data sheet (See Handout One). Ask each learner to make predictions about the light bulbs in the prediction section of the worksheet.

  3. Arrange learners into groups (groups of four learners works the best for this investigation). Distribute the materials for each group: two light sockets, one incandescent bulb, one compact fluorescent bulb, thermometer and a measuring device.

  4. Tell the learners to carefully read and follow the instructions on the Light Up Your Life (see Handout One) data sheet to do the investigation.

  5. Allow a reasonable amount of time for the learners to do the investigation.

  6. Bring the class back together and discuss the results of the lab.

  7. Ask: What did you learn from the experiment? Guide them to the discovery that the compact florescent bulb cost less to operate, thus saving energy.

  8. Ask: How can you as a consumer use this information? Develop the idea that by using less energy when lighting their homes they are helping to conserve resources.

  9. Explain that energy conservation is important because electricity is often produced by using non-renewable fossil fuels (coal and oil). It is also the responsibility for each citizen to be good stewards of resources. Using more efficient lighting is one way to conserve energy.


Subjectively assess the learners’ group participation. Collect the Lights Light up Your Life data sheet (See Handout One) and assess these for completeness.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Define <i>stewardship</i> as a trust of common resources held by a community for citizens.