How to Make a Battery Powered Light Bulb

DC circuit with battery and light bulb on a blackboard with the schematic drawing.
A light bulb converts electricity into light, consisting of a source of illumination enclosed within a transparent shell. GrigoriosMoraitis / Getty Images

You don't need electrical wires to power a light bulb. You can use a battery! Just like a flashlight runs on batteries, you can connect a battery to a small light fixture or bulb to light it up. Follow the instructions below to learn how to make a battery-powered light bulb.



  • Size D battery
  • Two pieces of insulated wire
  • A light bulb or very small light fixture
  • Tape (electrical tape is preferred, but any tape will work)

What you need to do:

  1. Strip between ½ an inch and 1 inch (1.5 to 2.5 centimeters) of insulation off each end of each piece of wire [source: Dave].
  2. Tape one end of one wire to the bottom, or negative, terminal of the battery. Tape the other end of the wire to the side of the light bulb stem [source: Energy Kids].
  3. Tape one end of the other wire to the top, or positive, terminal of the battery. Tape the other end of the wire to the bottom of the light bulb stem. When you connect the two wires to the light bulb, it will light up [source: Dave]. Electrons flow out of the negative terminal of the battery, through the bulb and back into the positive side of the battery to make the bulb light up [source: Energy Kids].

Be careful when handling the exposed wires. Although it's minimal, there's an electric charge running through the wires [source: Electropaedia].


Frequently Answered Questions

Can you power a lightbulb with a battery?
Yes, you can power a lightbulb with a battery.
Can a AAA battery power a light bulb?
Yes, an AAA battery can power a light bulb.