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Get Learning: Lemon Lamp Challenge

Tuesday 9th August 2016

Get your young people to give this challenge a go, using chemical energy in lemons to power an LED bulb.


  • 2 lemons (you can also use limes and other fruits)
  • 4 galvanised nails
  • 4 pieces of copper (or pennies)
  • 5 pairs of alligator clips (copper wires with metal clips at one end)
  • LEB bulb
  • Chopping board & knife


1. Give out the equipment to each individual or group and give them 15 minutes to turn the lemon into a working lamp.

2. Once the 15 minutes are up, turn out the lights and give the groups the opportunity to show they have completed the challenge by lighting up their LED bulb.

3. If they are struggling to make it work, then get them to follow these instructions: • Cut the lemons in half.

• Inset a galvanised nail plus a penny into each lemon half.
• Connect one end of an alligator clip to one side of the LEB bulb, and then carefully clip the other end of the alligator clip to a nail.
• To make a circuit connect an alligator clip to the penny in that lemon half to the nail in another lemon half. Continue attaching the alligator clip’s from the penny in one lemon half to the nail in the next.
• Complete the circuit by connecting the alligator clip from the last penny to the other side of the LEB bulb. The bulb should light up.

Experiment further by using different bits of equipment and/or seeing if you can use your lemon battery to work a clock or a toy.

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