Picture of How to build an ambient lamp out of bulk packaging foam
This lamp is basically a stack of packaging foam that seems to glow from the inside and contrary to what one would expect gives off a warm, cosy light. It consists of a loose stack of rough cut packaging foam (dozens of motherboards were packaged in it) but can be built out of anything that is only vaguely transparent.

The basic principle is this: Take a stack of packaging foam sheets, cut a hole into it, stick a light bulb in and you're done. However, one important thing is VENTILATION, which is the focus of the last step of this instructable.

I will not give precise dimensions but explain my considerations that led me to the result shown below and will enable you to built your lamp to your liking.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
For this Project you will need:

Packaging foam or anything you think might work:
 - not too sensitive to heat.
 - try to do a test whether you like the tint the light has after it has passed through it
 - amount: enough to create a stack of your liking that is able to house the fixture, the bulb, some free space above the bulb and a couple of top layers.

Light Fixture:
 - I got one with already a plug and a switch attached.
 - It also had some screw-on ring that helped fix it to one of the foam sheets.

Light Bulb:
- a CFL light bulb works fine.
 - it is imperative, that it has LOW wattage (mine has something like 15 Watts)

A cutter
Some cardboard to use as a mat for cutting
ruler and pen
and an assortment of round things like cups, pans, etc to use as stencils.

tweedledoo4 years ago
Looks Great! Could you put some more photos of the ventilation step? It's kinda unclear.
NerdoMcDorkus (author)  tweedledoo4 years ago
I added two drawings to make it more clear. I hope this helps!
Great idea here, specially for a baby's room which requires soft light. Great idea too for corner lighting at home, adds a relaxing mood.
stevet475 years ago
Maybe an LED setup would be better. It may require less ventilation and create less of a chance of melting.
Looks great though! If I come across come of this foam I just may have to steal your idea.
NerdoMcDorkus (author)  stevet475 years ago
Great idea! I would be a bit concerned though, that it won't be bright enough. If you go for it, let me know how it turns out! I recently saw a little thinner form of this foam being used by masons as floor protection.
 It is also used as a pad for the snap-together engineered hardwood floors.
ChrysN5 years ago
Nice, that's such a unique looking lamp.
zascecs ChrysN5 years ago
 I am so going to make one of these.