by Ed Halmagyi


I’ve done it. I’ve solved the climate change problem. Pretty soon you’ll have cut your energy consumption by…..well…..by quite a lot.

With just one little insight into the world of science you can do away with your conventional lights at home. After all they’re so last century. The new millennia is all about, the lemon light!

The proprietary formula has been described for about a hundred years, but for some reason it is yet to gain market traction. But the basic concept is fairly straightforward.

Take a lemon (the more acidic Eureka works better than the milder Lisbon) and insert a galvanised nail in one end and a copper nail in the other. Connect these by wire to a standard LED bulb and…. Let there be light!

You can actually use a range of kitchen goodies to create this effect. Oranges and potatoes both work equally well. One lemon will power an LED, as it requires relatively low amounts of current.

If you want to upgrade to an incandescent bulb then things get a bit more complex. You’ll need to take about 500 lemons, wired in parallel, and you’ll want a couple of capacitors to regulate the voltage. It’s do-able, even if a little impractical, and gives powerful tangible evidence of the contrasting power requirements of different technologies if you want to encourage kids to become more energy conscious.

Lemons are a cold weather crop with a myriad of uses in the kitchen. Eureka and Lisbon are the common varieties in Australia, although in late winter you my see a smooth-skinned sweet varietal called the Meyer lemon in your shops.

It’s impossible to quantify the range of uses we have for lemons in our cooking. We use the juice, the zest, sometimes even the pith. We squeeze them, rind them, pickle them, salt them and freeze them. Pretty much any dish can be improved by the addition of a little lemon as it appeals to the sour receptors in our tongue creating balance and harmony in the presence of salt, sugar or heat.
Lemon delicious pudding

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