Introduction: Get the LED Out: Glass Filled LED Lightbulb

How I made this awesome glass filled led light bulb.

THIS PROJECT INVOLVED HANDLING BROKEN GLASS.
I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW YOU USE THIS INFORMATION. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS PROJECT. IF YOU DO I AM NOT LIABLE FOR ANYTHING

Step 1: Materials

What you need:
Tools
-Pliers, leatherman, or similar
-Soldering Iron
-Screwdriver, hammer, etc (for breaking glass)
-Clips or clamps


Parts
-Blue led (other colors would work)
-Light bulb (best if its burned out)
-solder
-Wire
-Broken glass (clear)
-Scrap of plastic
-Power source (batteries, usb cable, wall wart)
-Shower thingie (what goes between the head and the wall to cover the hole)
-glue (testors model glue, or just use epoxy)
-epoxy
-Tape

Step 2: Prepare Light Bulb

Now that we have all of our materials, we start by taking off the bottom of the bulb and breaking out the filament and other inner parts.
Using pliers pull off piece of metal on the bottom.
Using a screwdriver break out the dark glass on the bottom.
Break out the glass holding the filament

Step 3: Fill With Broken Glass and Insert LED

Fill the bulb with pieces of broken glass.
Solder wires onto the led and put it into the glass.

Step 4: Fill With Glass Part 2

Fill the bulb up the rest of the way with more glass.
Take a piece of plastic and cut it into a circle the size of the hole on the bottom of the bulb.
Poke 2 holes in the plastic for the wires from the led to go through.
Pass the wires through the holes and put in on the end of the bulb and glue or epoxy it.

Step 5: Epoxy Base to Bulb

Take the bulb and stand it up in a jam jar with a rag.
Place the shower flange thingie on it and make sure it is on straight
Epoxy them together, and let it dry

Step 6: Solder on Plug

Next strip red and black wires of the usb cable and solder it on to the wires connected to the led. You might want to use a resistor depending on your power source.
Cover the solder with epoxy.
Clip the usb cable to the underside of the base in a loop shape and epoxy it.
Let the epoxy set and then remove clips

Step 7: Plug It In

Now all you have to do is plug it in.

If I had the parts and time I'd make this powered on 120 vac instead, so I could plug it into a socket.
http://www.discovercircuits.com/DJ-Circuits/aclinepilotled1.htm

I hoped you liked reading this instructable as much as I enjoyed making it.

I'd like to thank Patrik for the circuit diagrams, Eric, and the rest of the crew for helping make this contest possible, and to everyone who donated prizes to it.

If you like this project or have questions please comment, and don't forget to rate it.

Comments

author
amandaggogo (author)2011-01-25

This is awesome! And so pretty! I want one! But alas I do not have soldering skills or a solder or LEDS. :0( Awesome instructable though!

author
shah -baba (author)2010-07-18

if i have to plug it in a socket what should i do

author
LastDevil (author)2009-03-26

Very Well done there mate ;) I'd want to try something like that but not sure if it would work and i'm not crazy enough to do it :)

author
LinuxH4x0r (author)LastDevil2009-03-26

Thanks!

author
bombmaker2 (author)2009-03-03

you should try to use colored mineral oil.

author
jtet37 (author)2009-02-22

this has got me thinking, add some mix of coloring oil and water, and/or colored glass/leds

author
revhead (author)2009-01-27

this is a nice Instructable. very easy to follow and interesting. I might make one of these that is powered by a joule thief so that I can have a cool night light for my coffee table, and put those half dead AA batteries to use. thanks for the idea.

author
LinuxH4x0r (author)revhead2009-01-27

Thanks! Be sure to post some pictures of the finished product.

author
Zippy_Pyromaniac (author)2009-01-22

AAGGHHH!!!! I WAS PLUGGING IT IN AND MY ELBOW HIT IT!!!! Noooooo! It took me three Afternoons to make!! And now I'm out of lightbulbs! -.-

author

GRRRRR! I hate when that happens D: My concrete lightbulb broke!!!

author
Zippy_Pyromaniac (author)2009-01-22

Can I cover up a small hole the size of a pencil in the bulb with some scotch tape?

author

I suppose so

author
Koil_1 (author)2008-12-30

Or you could buy a bag of clear plastic chunks from the craft store. They also sell small polished pieces of glass and light colored agates. Either would work and should be a lot safer than broken glass shards. This statement of course for those of us who consider ourselves to be foul fumblers of fragmented fragile things...

author
spacessj (author)2008-08-15

I made one a while ago and used 2 LEDs. Still have to make a base though. One note on breaking glass: watch out for glass powder. It's dangerous if you inhale it and it's a real PITA to clean up

author
darkmuskrat (author)2008-08-09

jeez, someone thought of the RGB led idea...damn

author
conrad2468 (author)2008-06-28

i think i am going to make a basic stamp version of this with a bicolor led and a reg led!

author
LinuxH4x0r (author)conrad24682008-06-28

Cool! Post pictures when you do

author
conrad2468 (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-06-28

ill see what i can do

author
CameronSS (author)2008-02-09

For 120V power, you could use a few neon indicators hooked up in parallel. It'd be red-orange, not blue, but it would eliminate circuitry.

author
Big Bwana (author)CameronSS2008-03-31

These are a fairly unknown neon bulbs ok they don't use neon but they are the same voltage rating ( 120 Vac ) and size, as the Ne-2H Orange / red bulbs most people know , they are kinda rare. But they are BLUE and GREEN, and not like most cheap indicators which use a orange neon and green / blue plastic filter, which still look orange they are true blue and green bulbs....

Now I got my when Radio Shack was closing out in Canada a few years back,(( 90% off )) and I don't remember the part numbers and they might still carry them in the US but the Source by CC in Canada doesn't ... I did find them at electronics goldmine and they do mail orders

Blue Neon bulbs http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G15710

Green Neon bulbs
http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G16489

And in the kiss principal is neon bulb with the already attached resistor of the right value, empty light, solder and 120 VAC and you should get about 5 to 20 years of service out of it .... ((( the neon bulb on my freezer still works and it's from 80's )))

author
Derin (author)Big Bwana2008-06-26

yay i have some 60V ones laying around

author
LinuxH4x0r (author)CameronSS2008-02-09

Or a capacitor and a bridge rectifier( or 4 diodes)

author
CameronSS (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-02-09

My point was that you wouldn't need the rectifier or capacitor...Remember the KISS principle?

author
CameronSS (author)CameronSS2008-02-09

Also, I don't see how that circuit works--Isn't it running an LED off of 120VDC? It seems that you'd need about a 5K ohm resistor in there, without a transformer on the AC side.

author
Derin (author)CameronSS2008-04-26

well that is too low of a resistor value my calculations show that with 50 leds a 7500 ohm is needed

author
Patrik (author)CameronSS2008-02-10

Nope, you don't need a bulky transformer or a huge current limiting resistor in this circuit.

It is a very cute solution. Essentially, the capacitor in series with the AC power limits the amount of current that can flow through the LED. The circuit LinuxH4x0r linked to is the minimal version. Adding a capacitor across the LED would be a good next step. Here are two other, gradually more complicated versions from the same website:

WHITE LED NIGHT LIGHT
Modified LED Night Light

author
zachninme (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-02-09

Why can't the LED just do the rectifying? It will only be on 1/2 the time, but isn't the frequency high enough? I'm just trying to figure out why the LED doesn't break...

author
t3h (author)2008-06-15

Do it with a 3W LED star :D

author
ScienceWiz (author)2008-04-30

Couldn't you just fill it with glass and pop a throwie into it then seal it back up and save a lot of time, idk. I'm gonna make one, great idea and cool pictures!

author
LinuxH4x0r (author)ScienceWiz2008-04-30

Thanks! The reason I don't is because I don't want to have a battery I have to change. Thanks, and post pictures if you do

author
explosivemaker (author)2008-04-23

...i would look for something other than glass....i wouldn't want to bleed to death before seeing how cool it looked....

author

Never cut myself making it. Thanks though

author

well thats good to hear.... ...it be a big bummer if it broke.......o what a mess that would be.....

author

Thats why it stays next to my computer on my desk. These break very easily

author
giannyl (author)2008-04-23

very cool!

author
LinuxH4x0r (author)giannyl2008-04-23

Thanks!

author
rakol1 (author)2008-04-21

i got cut 16 times and im blaming it on u!!!!! jk...lol

author
LinuxH4x0r (author)rakol12008-04-21

did you make one? pics?

author
barrywilliams (author)2008-04-11

You can power LED's directly from line voltage. Find the schematic here (with many more):

http://www.discovercircuits.com/
www.discovercircuits.com/PDF-FILES/acwhiteleds.pdf

Or here:
www.instructables.com/files/orig/FCM/R9MK/FDLVVGZP/FCMR9MKFDLVVGZP.pdf

author
Keith-Kid (author)2008-02-24

Wow, can't believe I didn't see this one before. Very nIce and (as far as I know )original!

PLus 1.

author
LinuxH4x0r (author)Keith-Kid2008-02-24

Thanks! I got the idea of using glass from the blue bawls bottle one, and I've been obsessed with lightbulbs ever since I made a concrete lightbulb

author
Keith-Kid (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-02-24

I once had an idea, to make a lava lamp or something similar to this. Get a container, fill it with gel. I dunno some sort of gel. Then put in an LED, then fill with gel again. The point is, I was looking for a way to make the gel spin, so it looked coo. I gave up cuz I dunno were or how to find gel

author
Keith-Kid (author)Keith-Kid2008-02-24

Then I just gave up, put the LED, filled it with hot glue and put the bottle over an electric motor. It spinned anyway!!!!

author
LinuxH4x0r (author)Keith-Kid2008-02-24

Its easier to just get real lava lamp. Maybe I'll try the gel thing.

author
technomorph (author)2008-02-12

No step down resistor for the LED so it doesn't get burnt out as quickly with the direct 5V your feeding it via USB?

author
LinuxH4x0r (author)technomorph2008-02-13

I'm pretty sure the usb cable has one built in (It hasn't burnt out yet, even though I've burnt the same ones by connecting it directly to the port)

author
Baron A (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-02-14

COOOOOOOOL! But I havn't got any LEDs :(

author
LinuxH4x0r (author)Baron A2008-02-14

Thanks I'd send you some if you didn't live so far away (England, right?)

author
Baron A (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-02-15

Yeah, most instructablers live in the U.S and a small minority live other wheres like England. But, its cool I'm getting some from a "local" hobbyshop.

author
LinuxH4x0r (author)Baron A2008-02-16

Cool! Post some pictures if you make anything

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