Introduction: Get the LED Out: Glass Filled LED Lightbulb

Picture of Get the LED Out: Glass Filled LED Lightbulb

How I made this awesome glass filled led light bulb.


Step 1: Materials

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

-Blue led (other colors would work)
-Light bulb (best if its burned out)
-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)

Step 2: Prepare Light Bulb

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.

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.


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!

shah -baba (author)2010-07-18

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

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 :)

LinuxH4x0r (author)LastDevil2009-03-26


bombmaker2 (author)2009-03-03

you should try to use colored mineral oil.

jtet37 (author)2009-02-22

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

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.

LinuxH4x0r (author)revhead2009-01-27

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

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! -.-

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

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?

I suppose so

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...

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

darkmuskrat (author)2008-08-09

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

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!

LinuxH4x0r (author)conrad24682008-06-28

Cool! Post pictures when you do

conrad2468 (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-06-28

ill see what i can do

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.

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

Green Neon bulbs

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 )))

Derin (author)Big Bwana2008-06-26

yay i have some 60V ones laying around

LinuxH4x0r (author)CameronSS2008-02-09

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

CameronSS (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-02-09

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

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.

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

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:

Modified LED Night Light

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...

t3h (author)2008-06-15

Do it with a 3W LED star :D

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!

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

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....

Never cut myself making it. Thanks though

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

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

giannyl (author)2008-04-23

very cool!

LinuxH4x0r (author)giannyl2008-04-23


rakol1 (author)2008-04-21

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

LinuxH4x0r (author)rakol12008-04-21

did you make one? pics?

barrywilliams (author)2008-04-11

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

Or here:

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.

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

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

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!!!!

LinuxH4x0r (author)Keith-Kid2008-02-24

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

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?

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)

Baron A (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-02-14

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

LinuxH4x0r (author)Baron A2008-02-14

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

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.

LinuxH4x0r (author)Baron A2008-02-16

Cool! Post some pictures if you make anything

About This Instructable




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