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Sources of light

Let’s talk about the sources of light in this lesson. Anything that gives out light of its own is a source of light.

Do you know the Earth’s main source of light? Yes it is the Sun. The Sun is the most important source of light.

Sun is the Earth's main source of light


What are sources of light?

Any source which can make light is a source of light.


E.g.- Sun and other stars, fires, torches, light bulb, lamps etc.

Also some animals like fireflies, glow-worms, are sources of light because they make their own light to attract mates.

Examples of sources of light

Light sources can be two groups.

  • Natural sources of light
  • Artificial sources of light

Following is a list of light sources;
Examples of natural sources of light

Natural light sources produce light naturally without any human involvement.

  • Sun
  • Stars
  • Lightning
  • Fireflies
  • Glowworms
  • Jellyfish
  • Bush fires


Sources of light - The Sun

The Sun


Examples of artificial sources of light

Artificial light is light made by humans.

  • Light bulbs
  • Torches
  • Lamps
  • Flame by matches
  • Candlelight
  • Lighter
  • Fire
  • Lasers
  • Fireworks
  • When televisions and mobile phones are turned on


Sources of light - Light bulb

Light bulb


Sources of light - Lamp



Sources of light - Torch



Sources of light - Lantern



Sources of light - Lighter







Flames by matches


Reflectors of light


What are Reflectors of light?


Reflectors of light cannot make their own light. They just reflect light.
Examples of reflectors of light

Following is a list of light reflectors;

  • Moon
  • Mirrors
  • Smooth water
  • Metal
  • Smooth and shiny surfaces


Reflectors of light - The Moon

The Moon is a reflector of light


Mirrors are reflectors of light


Reflectors of light - Smooth water

You can see the reflection of the trees in the smooth water below


Reflectors of light - Smooth water

You can see the reflection of the Sun in the smooth water


Smooth & shiny surfaces are good reflectors of light

Look at the beautiful reflections of the surrounding environment in the smooth water of this stream.
Reflectors of light - Smooth water
Reflectors of light - Smooth water
Why are mirrors not sources of light?
Mirrors do not make their own light. They just reflect light. That is why you cannot see a mirror in a completely dark room.
Is the moon source of light?
No,it isn’t. The moon is not a source of light because it just reflects light from the Sun.


Remember! You must not look directly at the Sun because, Sun is a very bright object which can damage your eyes very quickly.


Invisible Light

Did you know there is invisible light that your eyes cannot see?
Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV) are the two types of invisible light.
Living things and very hot objects like the Sun give out infrared.
Ultraviolet is very powerful light that is given out by the Sun. UV light can damage your eyes. This is why you shouldn’t directly look at the Sun. Ultraviolet also causes severe sunburn and skin cancer. You should always remember to use sunscreen before exposing to the direct sunlight.


Also, read the lessons How Does Light Travel and Shadows.