Light Up Your Life With Lemon Batteries

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If we strip away the glittery labels and marketing hype, all a  battery contains are two electrodes made of compatible conductive materials. Plus an electrolyte allowing these electrodes to exchange ions and send electricity through a device. And possibly light up your life if there’s a light bulb in the circuit.

Materials to Light Up Your Life with Lemons

Our lead-acid batteries use a diluted sulfuric acid solution as electrolyte. In our experiment, we use lemons because their juice is acidic too. You are going to need the following materials to make a lemon battery:

  • Four nice fresh juicy lemons – unfrozen
  • Four shiny new galvanized nails – three inches long
  • A length of household copper wire – one foot long
  • Five thin alligator clip wires each – one foot long
  • A small LED light to light up your life with a smile

The above dimensions are indications only. Don’t fret if your materials are not the exact same length. First, remove the insulation from the copper wire and cut it into four equal lengths. Now watch this video, after which we explain the theory behind a lemon light. Then you can make your own using the materials on the list.

How Your Lemon Battery Will Light the Bulb

The copper wires and galvanized nails will be the electrodes. The juice in the lemon is going to be the electrolyte. After we connect the electrodes to the circuit including the LED, they will exchange ions and electricity will flow through the light bulb.

One lemon does not make enough electricity to light up your life and so we use four in this experiment. Try adding a fifth lemon and the light should shine brighter. Now try the same experiment with grapefruit, oranges, and kiwi fruit. Which works best, and why?


How to Make Batteries Out of Fruit

What Electrolytes Are And How They Work

Preview Image: Lemon Battery Test

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About Author


I tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will not deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time. My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast. I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

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