Bright light! Watch an insane 20,000-Watt lightbulb test

If you’ve got a basement that needs brightening up, it’s tempting to use a heavy duty lightbulb to do the trick. Maybe you grab a 100-watt bulb, or a pair of them. Still, it’s always tempting to bump that number up a little … so how does a 20,000-watt bulb sound? Maybe over the top? The crazy presenter of the PhotonicInduction YouTube channel had the bright idea to test one out in his house and backyard. The result is, um, illuminating.

If you’re wondering whether one of these bulbs will fit in a regular socket, the answer is no. It’s massive, for a start, and has a special two-prong fitment, so it’s not going to quickly slot into your bedside lamp. The oversize halogen bulb needs something tougher than regular filament inside too. Described as more like “garage door springs,” the filament must be strong enough to take on the job of dealing with 20 kilowatts of power each time the power switch is flicked.

This ridiculous bulb doesn’t only generate light. It generates a huge amount of heat, too. Remember, an electric heater that keeps a room toasty in the winter perhaps draws a kilowatt, so being in a room lit with just this one bulb is the equivalent of standing next to 20 heaters at full blast. If you think it’d be madness to do such a thing, you’d be correct — but the video’s presenter does it anyway.

Saying the heat generated is like being “in a room with a bonfire,” the bulb’s intense light is too much for the camera’s lens on manual exposure, and quickly whites-out the room. We’d suggest doing this without adequate eye protection would be a very bad idea. The video culminates with the bulb used outside, where the presenter’s neighbors must have though aliens were landing, it was so bright.

Apparently used mostly on film sets (or presumably on runways and in other industrial settings), a bulb like this costs in excess of $2,500. A figure that’s probably similar to this guy’s next electricity bill.