Introduction: Bottle Light Bulb AKA Bacardi Bulb
First Prize in the
Make It Glow Challenge
This will show you how to turn an ordinary bottle into a light bulb.
This is an experiment and there may be flaws but that is all part of the learning process.
I used a Bacardi bottle for the bulb but any glass bottle will do,
This in not a LED instructable. This is a direct response to the death of the incandescent bulb.
I harvested a tungsten filament from a 40 W bulb since I did not have a local source for tungsten wire,
The build is 40 W and I love the glow. I t has been running for a couple of weeks now with no problems. I tested the bulb with a constant run of over 24 hours in the shop'
There is a slight discoloration of the bottle near the filament (the glass turned blue) but the light is bright and constant...
Step 1: Materials
You will need a 40 W Incandescent bulb.
A wiring solution.
Some brass rod and screws
Some wood for a base
The ability to braze
High Temp Silicone
a vacuum pump
And some imagination
other materials will be required as presented.
Step 2: The Bottle
You will need to drill 2 holes onto the base of the bottle.
I used a tile bit for a Roto-Zip tool.
This creates 2 holes that are equally spaced.
I used a small section of black PVC plumbing pipe in a vise for a holding tool for the bottle.
Step 3: Harvest the Filament.
Ideally I would make my own but I chose o harvest a filament form a 40 W light bulb.
Wrap the bulb with a paper towel and gently tap with a hammer. Increase the force until the bulb breaks. If the filament breaks, begin again.
Trim all the connection points until the filament is free and supported by 2 sections of bulb wire.
Step 4: Make the Trodes
The electrodes are made from section of Brass.
You will; need 2 section that will place the filament in the center of the bottle.
In this case I welded 4 inch brass rods to 10-24 bolts then to thin steel wires for positioning.
I used a silicone baking sheet to make washers with hole punches.
Mark the bottle for position and weld the filament legs to the brass rods.
Weld the filament to the brass rods ( i brazed but the process is the same.
Assemble the rods by placing a silicone washer on the bolt then feed the entire assemble through the holes on the bottle.
Take care as the filament is delicate. Try to not touch the filament as this will cause premature burn out.
Feed the bolts through the holes on the bottle, align and tighten with the appropriate size nut.
I used a 10-24 nut with another silicone washer and liberal amounts of high -temp silicone.
Tighten the nuts then trim the steel rod off. You should be left with a brass bolt protruding through the base of the bottle. These are the connection points for 110V to power the bulb.
Step 5: The Base
The base is a couple of 2X3 sections left over from another instructable.
You need a stable base that is larger than the base of your bottle. You will need a hole cut into it to allow the bottle to sit flat
You should have a cord that allows for switching on/off.
Step 6: The Plug
You need to make a stopper for the neck that will allow you to remove the air. The amount of air in the system is directly proportional to the speed of the filament burn out.
The vacuum port is made from a refrigeration schrader adapter brazed to the 5/16 washer.
TIG welding is not possible here so I braze-welded the washer to the adapter. There is a rubber washer for mating and I used High temp silicone fore the final seal.
The adapter is placed on the neck of the bottle and the rubber/silicone creates an air tight seal. This is important since any air in the system will cause the filament to burn out quickly..
Step 7: Suck Out the Air
You will need to use a vacuum pump to suck out the air. A vacuum cleaner will not work.
Any contaminants will cause problems.
I made sure I had a tight seal and then ran the pump for a 1/2 hour prior to removing the vacuum source.
I tested the bulb under full vacuum by powering the filament with 110V.
The glass turned blue to indicate some contamination in the bottle. Possibly due to residual cleaning supplies.
Step 8: Enjoy
Remove the vacuum source, Seal the system and enjoy the bulb.
The vacuum port can be disguised with a bottle cap to hide the port.
I left it visible to allow for future vacuum since this was an experiment.
Recently my bottle bulb has been lit for over 72 hours straight before the filament burn-out. The glass had some discoloration but the filament was replaceable and I can get up and running in less than 1/2 hour. I suspect that I may have been a vacuum issue.
I want to make my own filament but need some tungsten wire for the experiment.
Yes the bottle did get hot like a standard bulb. No problems just don't kiss it...
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.