Makin' light

  • Posted on: 7 August 2018
  • By: rosy
A high-energy, high-demo whistle-stop tour of the development of lighting technologies.

Whether it's for keeping giant predators at bay, lighting our streets, or sitting at home with a good book on a long winter evening, humans down the millenia have always wanted to light up the night. In this show we explore the technologies they've used, from fire to LEDs, and some of the science and engineering behing them.

Along the way, we find out about:

  • The fire triangle and the effects of surface area and gas mixing on reaction rates
  • Phase transitions in candles and oil lamps
  • Incandescent light sources
  • Energetic efficiencies
  • Spectra of different light sources, including incandescent bulbs, discharge lamps, LEDs and the sun
  • UV and IR as forms of 'light' that we can't see


Performance space requirements:

  • No smoke detectors active
  • Ability to black out
Age range - family shows: