Light Energy Examples: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:00 What Is Light Energy?
  • 0:38 Visible Light
  • 0:58 Infrared Waves
  • 1:32 X-Rays and Ultraviolet Light
  • 2:08 Other Types of Light Energy
  • 2:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Donald Nicolas
Light energy is all around us. We use it to see, cook, and even change the channel on our TVs! In this lesson, you'll learn about different types of light energy.

What Is Light Energy?

Wow! What a bright, sunny day! You might grab a blanket and soak up some rays while listening to your favorite radio station or enjoy a picnic in the park, complete with hot dogs and hamburgers from the grill. You can do these things because of light energy.

Light energy is also known as electromagnetic energy. 'Electromagnetic' refers to the way the energy travels in wavelengths in electric and magnetic fields.

In this lesson, we'll explore several types of light energy, including visible light, infrared waves, x-rays, and ultraviolet light.

Visible Light

Visible light is the only type of electromagnetic energy that we can see with the naked eye, or in other words, without the aid of a microscope, telescope, or other instrument. The sun is our main source of visible light, but it can also be emitted by light bulbs, lanterns, flashlights, and other devices.

Infrared Waves

Infrared waves are a type of electromagnetic energy that gives off heat. Have you ever had yummy hot dogs and hamburgers from the grill? The burning charcoal puts off infrared energy, which helped to cook those burgers and dogs.

You can't see infrared waves, but you can feel their effect when you leave something out in the hot sun. Not all infrared waves are super hot, though. For example, when you grab the remote to switch to your favorite show, infrared waves travel from your remote to your TV. These waves are not hot because they give off a low amount of energy.

X-Rays and Ultraviolet Light

Do you ever wish you had x-ray vision like a superhero? X-rays are short waves of light that let doctors take photographs of the inside of your body. Doctors can use x-rays to see if you have a broken bone or a torn muscle. Or, a dentist might take x-rays of your teeth to see if you're taking care of them.

Primarily emitted by the sun, ultraviolet light, or UV light, is a type of light energy that can be harmful. The earth's ozone layer protects us from some of the sun's harmful rays, yet you can take further precaution from ultraviolet light by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

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