Series and parallel are two wiring or circuit configurations, and each arrangement has advantages and disadvantages. A series circuit allows you to add additional power devices using a power source, such as batteries. As a result, it increases the overall out force and gives you more power.
In contrast, a parallel circuit ensures distribution of equal voltage to all components in the circuit. For example, a Christmas string of lights connected in parallel receives equal power and produce the same brightness. In today’s article, we will discuss the differences between bulbs’ brightness in series and parallel circuits. Read on!
Brightness of Bulbs: Series vs Parallel
Before we tell you about the brightness of bulbs in each arrangement, it is essential to understand the technical difference between series and parallel configurations.
In a series circuit, the sum electrical currents used by each appliance or resistance is equal to the voltage of the power source. On the other hand, in a parallel circuit, the electrical current across each resistance or component/appliance is the same. The total current is calculated by adding the individual currents flowing through each appliance – or in this case, the bulbs.
But how does each arrangement affects the brightness of bulbs? It is crucial to know that bulbs connected in a series configuration are ineffective than bulbs arranged in a parallel circuit. For example, a string of lights in a series will go off when a single bulb stops working.
Bulbs arranged in a series circuit usually has the same brightness. However, if you add more bulbs to the configuration, it will affect the electrical current distribution and decrease bulbs’ brightness.
In contrast, bulbs arranged in a parallel circuit are brighter than series because each bulb receives electric current independently. Even if you increase the number of bulbs in the parallel circuit, it won’t affect the brightness because each bulb holds an individual voltage.
Which arrangement is better for the brightness of bulbs?
The answer to this question is pretty straightforward. A series circuit receives electricity from a power source and divides it among the bulbs. In simple words, each bulb in series arrangement shares the voltage of the power source or battery.
For example, if you have 10 bulbs connected in series and the power source has 100 volts capacity, it will distribute 10 volts to each bulb. When you add 10 more bulbs to the circuit, the total number of bulbs are now 20, which means each bulb will receive 5 volts. That’s why bulbs in the series circuit will be dimmer than those in the parallel circuit.
Each bulb’s brightness remains constant in a parallel circuit even if you add more bulbs to it. The primary reason behind this is that overall decrease in resistance and increase in current.
For example, if you 10 bulbs connected in a parallel circuit and the power source has 100 volts capacity, each will receive 100 volts. Even if you add 50 more bulbs to the circuit, the voltage will remain the same. Therefore, it does not affect the brightness of bulbs. The voltage of each bulb in the arrangement is the same as the circuit’s voltage.
In conclusion, bulbs in a parallel circuit are brighter than those arranged or configured in a series circuit. To understand this phenomenon better, remember that a series circuit divides the current whereas the parallel circuit has an independent high power for each bulb.