High Voltage Ignited Plasma Bulb





Introduction: High Voltage Ignited Plasma Bulb

About: I love to invent and create new things in a "steampunk styled way" working with brass, copper, vulcanized-fibre, brass gears and (ply)- wood. On one side I am fascinated in neon lights and small electronic ...
Hi everybody, this is my first project here on Instructables.com. I am a Steampunker from Germany and I am going to develop my own and unique style in building gadgets and other Steampunk stuff.

I like to present my "High Voltage ignited Plasma Bulb"

Step 1: The Material

What do you need?

A Neon filled bulb (any type will do but I found out these fireballs are best)
Electronics from a disposal camera (how to modify see here: CLICK)
A potentiometer 200K
A handle for the poti (I used a foot contact of a bulb)
Some fittings made of copper and brass
A base plate made of wood

Step 2: Preparing the Parts and Mounting Procedure

I polished the copper and the brass parts.

First I cut a round piece of wood and an other piece in same size from vulcan fibre.
I clued this together and mounted the potentiometer on his round plate.
As a knob to turn the poti I used a E27 bulb fitting. Inside the E27 I clued an E14 bulb fitting that fits exactly to the axis of the potentiometer.
 On the last picture you can see the first mounting of the parts.

Step 3: Cabling and Finish

The cabling is very easy:

You can see the battery case and the low voltage cabling running from the case to the switch and then to the electronics and back.
The high voltage cabling is easy as well. From the electronics to the middle contact ot the potentiometer than from one of the other potentiometer contacts the middle contact of the bulb. The other wire of the high voltage output runs to the big brass stand under-need the bulb.
If you switch the power on turn the potentiometer you will see this.

Last I mounted some brass screws around the poti knob and mounted the switch into the wooden stand.

Step 4: Finished

Lets have a look what´s happening if you touch the bulb.
So lets switch the lights off and play around....

Step 5: It Glows Even at Daylight



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Awesome design + workmanship!

How did you join the end of the copper tube to the black part on the end of the light bulb? Since that black part is glass, was it drilled to enlarge the hole?

1 reply

Hi CraigRJess

I didn t join it!!! I just welded a piece of wire to the bulbcontact in the middle of the glass part and connected this wire(running inside the coppertube) to the electronic. At this particular place I can change the bulb if neccessary by turning the coppertube aside and taking out the bulb. That is why I needed the glass for insulating otherwise I would have created a short-circuit.

Yours Aeon junophor

Let me know how much please

Is there a chance that any of these could be purchased?

4 replies

Hi mizginny


Why not?

If you are really interested please contact me

Yours Aeon Junophor

Yeah I sent one other reply. Do you have a price yet?

Hi mizginny

Do you like to contact me at my personal email


Greets Aeon Junophor

Yes I love it. If the price is not too high. Can you let me know how much you would charge?
Thank you

I LOVE THIS. Steam punk is great I've made some jewelry but no artifacts such as this.

Hi spn_phoenic_92

You asked for a schematic. I`m sorry to say so but I´m not so good in drawing such a shematic but I found two very good drawings from the famous instructable member Plasmana. He is working with the same stuff of used one way cameras and his constructions follow directly the same way as the parts had been put together on the original board. So these drawings answer your questions perfectly. I took these pictures out of his very nice instructable about building the world smallest electronic shock. Instead of these loose ends for shocking you have to put the flickering bulb or cfl or nixie and so on ...... and that´s it! Hope this will help you.

With a great „Thank you“ to Plasmana
Yours Aeon Junophor


Very cool. You should be able to get a good price for those. What type of camera is used for the electronics and where do you get those Fireball lights from.


1 reply

Hi kpomerleau
In this instructable of mine
https://www.instructables.com/id/High-voltage-power-supply-for-Nixies-CFL-Neon-Gl/ you will find the answer to your question about the camera type I used.
The plasmabulb is very seldom and can be found at the internet. I orderd mine at a shop in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, but it was the last one... :-(

Hope this will help you
Yours Aeon junophor

Would love to see the diagram also!

Hey Junophor: Would you seed me, or post a link to the bulb's manafacturer, they are not availible in the US as far as I can see, when I Googled neon Fireball your project came up.

I think this has to be my second favorite project of yours, the leader in my book is the https://www.instructables.com/id/Steampunked-nixie-tube-switch/

1 reply

I'm looking for these bulbs too! I can't find them anywhere and your source below no longer carries them.



Junophor – I noticed that this "High Voltage ignited Plasma Bulb" project appears without a name... Maybe you should go in and edited the headline to add the name.

1 reply

Hi Winged Fist
You´re a real friend!
Thanks for your carefully reading. Idon´t know why the title head gone lost, but now it is reapaired.

It great that you like my projects so much. I´ll just start another one which might be similiar to your wonderful dieselpunk lamp;-) This is also a very inspiring projct to me;-))

Keep it up
Yours Aeon Junophor

Could you post a circuit schematic of this project? Or just specify what if any components you removed from the camer circuit? Your projects look wonderful and I'd love to build them but I just need a little more clarification about the camera parts.