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Mixing Color of Lights

You probably already know how primary colors mix (in theory) and have done different activities mixing paint colors. But do you know what happens when colored lights mix? Is it the same as paint colors? What are are the primary color of lights? This experiment helps you answer all of those questions. Have fun!


  • Easy



  • My kids built LEGO figurines that we used to create the color shades.

  • We taped the front of two mini flashlights and colored them with the markers.

  • We turned off the lights and play around with the different color lights using the LEGO figurines.


  • What colors do you see?

  • What happens when you mix blue and red? green and blue? ...

  • What are the primary color of lights?

  • Why is it different than mixing paint colors?


The primary colors of light are also known as the additive colors, because, when you add these three colors of light (red, green and blue) your brain perceives white light. The primary colors of paints, however, are known as subtractive colors. When you mix the 3 subtractive color paints (cyan, magenta and yellow), you get black. Below is an image that shows the difference.


  • Adult supervision required for any of these activities. Please supervise and make sure children participating are safe. Read instructions and the safety labels from each used materials.


  • This blog post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. I may receive a commission for purchase made through links in this post.


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