Light energy is all around us. You can’t see it, but you feel it constantly. It helps plants grow, and we rely on it for heat and electricity as well as many other things.
In this lesson plan, we will explore the basics of light energy: where it comes from, what properties allow us to see light with our eyes (and not only with a camera), how different types of light emitters work differently in various situations, and more!
Light Energy Lesson Plan: All About Light Energy
Do you know anything about light energy? It’s an important energy source that most people don’t think twice about when going about their day. However, it’s one of the most important energy sources in existence on the planet.
What Is Light Energy?
Light energy is a form of energy that comes from direct light. We can sense this form of energy because our eyes can see it. Much like other energy sources, light travels in waves. There are different sources of light energy that exist, some of which are better for humans than others.
Properties of Light Energy
There are several properties of light energy in existence. These properties include:
- Reflection. It’s common for light to reflect off other things. You can see the light reflecting off windows, vehicles, buildings, and even human bodies, often creating shadows of these people, places, and things.
- Colors. Not all light sources are the same. It’s common for light to vary in color. Although it’s bright, in general, the colors can range from shades to white, yellow, orange, red, and more.
- Refraction. When a light source appears to bend, it’s known as refraction. It can occur when a light source reflects off certain areas or shines in a specific spot. Refraction with light is the reason people can use magnifying glasses and see natural rainbows outside.
- Diffraction. If you’ve ever witnessed beams of light shining through clouds in the sky, you’ve seen diffraction. It occurs when a light source shines through tiny openings.
- Polarization. When light waves occur in one shape, such as a vertical line, it’s known as polarization.
These are a few of the common properties of light that exist. Some other properties of light include interference and dispersion.
Types of Light Energy
Light energy exists in many forms. Humans use light energy in different ways each day without even realizing it. Some of the different types of light energy include:
- Sunlight. The sunlight is a natural light energy source. It’s good for plants, animals, and humans, in moderation.
- Ultraviolet Rays. Unlike the sun, ultraviolet rays are man-made light energy sources. It’s common to find these rays in different types of welding equipment, along with tanning beds that people use to achieve a darker complexion.
- Candles. Although commonly used around the house, candles are an artificial light source. The light energy comes from igniting the candle’s wick and using the flame as a light source from chemical energy.
- Flashlights. The flashlights are another manufactured light energy source often used as an alternative to sunlight when camping or in other dark areas without access to natural light.
You can find light energy in most places. Whether you’re outdoors or inside a building, you’re likely going to have access to at least one light source.
Why Do We Need It?
We need light energy for several reasons. If it were not for light energy, we wouldn’t be able to see things. These are a handful of reasons why light energy is so vital:
- It allows us to grow plants. Many plants need sunlight to thrive and reach their full potential. Otherwise, they’ll wither and die.
- It works as a source of energy. Those with solar panels and systems installed on their properties rely on the sun as a source of energy in their homes.
- The sun can keep us alert and awake. The natural sunlight lets us know that it’s time to get up for the day and get moving. People who get out more and enjoy the natural sunlight are more likely to feel alert, awake, and happier than those who don’t see daylight as often.
- We need it to see what we’re doing. Without light, what would we do? Most people wouldn’t know how to act or get their jobs done correctly without having a good light energy source.
Light energy is a must-have. It’s so important because it’s used in our daily lives. Without it, most people wouldn’t know what to do.
Ways to Get More of It Into Our Lives
One of the simplest and most effective ways to get more light energy into our lives is to spend time in the sun. Of course, if you’re going to spend more time outdoors while soaking up the sun, you’ll need to protect your skin with layers of sunscreen. However, being outdoors and enjoying the natural sunlight can boost your mood, leaving you feeling more energized and happy.
When dealing with different seasons, such as winter, it’s not as easy to soak up the sun or even enjoy the sunlight when it’s often cloudy and cold outside. However, there are alternatives available, including the use of Himalayan salt rock lamps and light therapy boxes that people can use at home to reap the benefits of light energy.
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The Dangers of Too Much Light Energy
Too much light energy can take a toll on a person’s skin and overall health. For example, someone who goes tanning in tanning beds with UV rays could end up with premature aging of the skin.
It can also lead to the development of melanoma, a form of skin cancer that can cause death. While light energy is essential, it’s also vital to use it correctly. Overusing it can do more harm than good.
If you DO get a bit too much sun, keep this article in mind: How to Get Rid of a Sunburn Overnight
How to Protect Yourself From the Dangers of Too Much Light Energy
If you’re planning to spend more time outside to enjoy the sunlight, wear plenty of sunscreen. Put a hat on to protect your head. Constantly reapply the sunscreen every 30-60 minutes to avoid getting sunburn. If you’re continually experiencing sunburn, you’re increasing your chances of developing skin cancer, and that isn’t a good thing.
Besides protecting your skin while outside, be sure to wear protective eyewear whenever you’re dealing with other light sources. How to Save on Protecting Your Eyes can tell you a bit more. It’s also a good idea to skip the tanning beds because they’re harsh on the skin.
Light energy is beneficial to humans, plants, and many other things. It’s something we need to have access to each day. Knowing how to make use of light energy and reap benefits from it is crucial. You want to take advantage of what it offers without experiencing the dangers of too much light energy.