What Gets Hotter First? Color Experiment!

I demonstrated the concept of darker colors absorb more heat than lighter colors by doing a demo on the video! Check it out below.

Want to do it at home? Here are some directions.


  • Colored paper (black and white recommended)
  • Infrared thermometer (only if you have one)
  • Ice cubes (use in place of infrared thermometer)
  • An adult science helper!

Directions: Lay out both sheets of paper outside on the concrete or grass on a sunny day. If you have an infrared thermometer, record the temperatures of the paper before you start the experiment. If you don’t have one, put an ice cube on top of each sheet of paper. Now, let the papers sit there. Take measurements with your thermometer periodically or check on the ice. Which ice cube melted first? Which piece of paper is hotter? It should be the darker color because it is able to absorb more heat and light energy than the white paper. That heat gets put onto the ice cube, making it melt (or show the higher reading on the thermometer). Note that this experiment might not be 100% accurate with measurements. It is only for demonstration purposes.