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Light and Color Experiments: Primary Colors of Light and Pigment

What are the three primary colors of light and why are they different from the three primary colors of pigment? And how have we been teaching this incorrectly? 

Playing with color is fun and kids are fascinated to see how different colors add to produce unexpected results.


Questions Answered:

What are the three primary colors of light? 

What are the three primary colors of pigment? 


Topics Addressed:

Additive color mixing (using colored light) 

Subtractive color mixing (using pigments) 


Learn to use scientific equipment:

Colored filters


Materials Needed

Three flashlights, primary-colored filters, food coloring, clear drinking glasses, white wall or screen 


Preparation Time

collect materials


NOTE: This activity is part of the Light, Optics, & Color Unit found here.

Light and Color Experiments: Primary Colors of Light and Pigment


    Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

    Connect with me: If you have questions or problems, please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.


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