Parallel and Series Light Bulbs


ParallelSeriesBulbsOff1SmallParallel and series combinations of light bulbs with worksheets.



Principles Illustrated

Currents and voltages in parallel and series circuits

NCEA & Science Curriculum

SCI 1.2, PHYS 1.3, PHYS 2.6


Set up circuits with one bulb disconnected. Ask students to predict what will happen when the remaining bulb is connected and then test their predictions. Photos can be used instead of the physical equipment if necessary. You’ll need the worksheets answers.

We can also set up large scale displays with a car battery for group work.


Document File size File type
Worksheet_1.pdf 67 KB PDF
Worksheet_1_Answer_Photo.jpg JPG
Worksheet_2.pdf 68 KB PDF
Worksheet_2_Answer_Photo.jpg JPG


Use low voltage bulbs and power supplies.

Individual teachers are responsible for safety in their own classes. Even familiar demonstrations should be practised and safety-checked by individual teachers before they are used in a classroom.

Teaching Resources

Worksheet 2 is easier than worksheet 1. We sometimes help students with workshee1 and then ask them to do worksheet 2 on their own.

Would you like to contribute lesson suggestions? Contact us.


Lillian McDermott at the University of Washington has developed many exercises somewhat similar to this one. Click here to go to the U of W Physics Education Group’s web site. See Physics by Inquiry and Tutorials in Introductory Physics for specifics.

PIRA 5F20.50


This teaching resource was developed with support from

The MacDiarmid Institute
Faculty of Science, Victoria University of Wellington
School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington


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