A magnifying glass is a popular tool used to see a magnified image of a specific object.
But that isn’t the only use you’ll have for it.
This glass can also be used to make a fire. If you urgently need to light a fire but don’t have the right tools to make a fire, these magnifying glasses can come in handy!
And let’s all be honest — it’s totally cool to light a fire with just that and the sun, right?
Bring out your kids to show them this mind-blowing technique!
How To Make A Fire Using Light Passing Through A Magnifying Glass?
To create a fire, you need a magnifying glass, tinder, and sunlight. Hold the glass between the tinder and the light for 20 to 30 seconds until you see smoke. After a few seconds, you’ll see the fire lit. Newspaper, char cloth, or even a natural tinder are good tinder options to create fire.
Do you know how to make a fire using light passing through a magnifying glass? Keep reading to learn more!
Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Fire Using Light Passing Through a Magnifying Glass
Or you can do it just for fun as I sometimes do!
But remember to be careful.
Let’s go step by step to learn how to light the fire. All you need is a magnifying glass, tinder, and sunlight.
Step 1: Since you will light the fire outdoors (Duh!), you need to find a place where the fire cannot spread other than the tinder.
Preferably somewhere away from trees and dry grass.
Step 2: Place your tinder in position. (We’ll discuss later what tinders you can use for this purpose)
Step 3: Hold the magnifying glass between the tinder and the sunlight. You should notice a bright dot on the material.
The size of the dot will fluctuate when you move the magnifying glass back and forth. But a smaller dot will start the fire faster.
Make sure the dot is focused on one spot on the tinder. It won’t work if you constantly move it!
Step 4: After about 20 to 30 seconds, you will notice some smoke coming from the place gradually. And eventually, you will see a fire being lit.
Remember to be patient since this method of starting a fire might take longer than other methods.
And voila — you have yourself a fire made by a magnifying glass. Pretty cool, right?
Patience is the key. If the sunlight is not as strong during the day, it will take longer to light the fire.
Once you are done with the emergency — or experimenting — put out the fire immediately to prevent any damage.
You can do so by pouring water on it or a handful of dirt.
An Extra Tip: If you add a drop of water to the lens, it will intensify the heat of the sunlight and create the fire quicker.
The Science Behind It
This method is something that blows your mind — or at least it did for me. It made me wonder how it even works.
So let’s talk about that.
The magnifying glass concentrates photons that make this possible. Photons are tiny particles that carry light from the sun to the earth and convey energy and light as heat.
A magnifying glass can make a fire as it concentrates all the photons through the tiny dot that’s generated by the outward curvature of the lens, otherwise known as a convex lens.
The focal intensity of photons flows through the lens when sunlight strikes the magnifying glass, creating a dot on the item.
The high concentration on the dotted area at the item is enough to create a fire.
So tell me, mind-blowing, isn’t it?
Fun Fact: You can find the convex lens in other items, too — for example, the bottoms of a glass bottle, binoculars, and cameras.
Materials You Can Use as Tinder
It’s impossible to make a fire with just anything you want. I wish we could, but we can’t, unfortunately.
You can ignite a fire with only certain types of tinder. Let’s look at what they are!
Char cloth is the ideal option. It is made of fabric that has undergone charring.
Due to its low ignition temperature, char cloth is an ideal choice to use as tinder compared to other tinders due to the charring process.
Not only that, char clothes are black. Dark colors absorb heat faster than light ones, making it an even better option as a tinder.
Newspaper is the next best material you can use to light a fire with a magnifying glass, after the char cloth.
It is easy to burn and is the most readily available.
A Natural Tinder
You may not have a newspaper or a char cloth available. And that is mostly the case when you are somewhere outdoors and need to make food or light a fire.
In such cases, you can use a natural tinder, including leaves, grass, pine needles, or loose bark.
Make sure to go for a coarse and dry tinder.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Make a Fire Using Light Passing Through a Magnifying Glass
Will this work even if it is cold outside?
It will work — so long as sunlight is present. But, it’ll take longer to light the fire.
When can I best use a magnifying glass when making a fire?
The ideal time is between 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. But any other time — as long as the sun is out — will do the job too!
Can the magnifying glass work underwater too?
The magnifying glass does not work underwater due to the lack of refraction underwater.
Can I light the fire with a magnifying glass in the evening?
It is best if there is full sunlight to light the fire. You can light the fire an hour or two before the sunset, but not after that.