Meaning of light energy

What is light energy:

Light energy is the energy generated and transported by light waves. When light travels it can act as an electromagnetic wave or as a particle, since it can interact with other matters. Those particles are called photons.

The lumen is the unit of study of light energy that determines the light energy during a period, as well as the variable sensitivity of the eye with respect to light waves. Light energy travels through waves and at the speed of light, so it cannot be stored.

The sun is the main source of light that exists and transmits a significant amount of light energy capable of sustaining the development of life on planet Earth. However, there are other sources of light energy, such as fire or lasers.

The electromagnetic waves emitted by light energy are detected by the sense of the visit; however, there are ultraviolet waves, which are not visible and which also transmit energy, but which are harmful to the health of living beings.

Types of light energy

It can be said that there are two types of light energy: natural light energy and artificial light energy.

  • Natural light energy: it is that which is transmitted by the sun.
  • Artificial light energy: is that generated through the use or application of other energies, for example, electrical energy, through which light bulbs can generate light energy.

Advantages and disadvantages of light energy

Light energy generates a number of advantages and disadvantages depending on its use and purpose.


  • The light energy that comes from the sun is free and its source of energy is inexhaustible.
  • The light energy that comes from the sun is not polluting.
  • Various techniques have been developed to produce electrical energy through the light energy generated by sunlight.
  • Plant and animal life on Earth occurs in large percentage thanks to the positive effects that the light energy of the sun generates in the life cycle.
  • Through light energy, various activities of daily life can be carried out through the use of various devices that generate light in the dark or transmit images or content such as computers or mobile phones.

See also Life cycle.


  • To take advantage of the light energy generated by the sun on a large scale, it is necessary to invest significant amounts of money to develop solar panels that absorb solar energy.
  • Large areas of land must be occupied to place the solar panels.
  • Solar radiation varies according to the seasons of the year.
  • Depending on the geographical location of a place, it may obtain more or less light energy through the sun's rays.
  • Artificial light energy depends on other energy sources to be able to be used, such as electrical energy.

Examples of light energy

Light energy is present in many of the activities that people carry out daily, for example, when we turn on the television to watch a special program, we can do so thanks to the light waves transmitted by the device, which are perceived by the eye and gives us an image. As well as this example there are many others.

  • The light energy generated by the bulbs is the result of the transformation of electrical energy into light energy, which is used to illuminate dark or poorly lit spaces.
  • The energy emitted by the sun is used by plants and transformed into chemical energy to carry out the photosynthesis process.
  • A lit candle generates illumination through a flame of fire with which a dark space can be illuminated.
  • A light bulb transmits light energy through a process of electrical energy, which in turn produces thermal energy by generating heat.
  • Flashlights that use cells or batteries also transmit light energy through a chemical process that generates electricity and in turn illumination.

Sources of obtaining light energy

There are different sources of obtaining light energy that can interact with each other to generate light.

Renewable energy sources such as solar, hydraulic, wind, geothermal and biomass energy are capable of producing light energy as their energy capacities are applied and transformed.

However, the application of these energy sources still have high economic costs, consequently, although they are being used more every day, not everyone can afford the use of these energy sources.

On the other hand, non-renewable energy sources that can generate light energy cover the largest percentage of the energy demand of human beings, its application is cheaper compared to renewable energy sources.

However, these energy sources are polluting and directly affect the quality of life of all living beings. These energies are obtained from coal, gas, oil and uranium.

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