Introduction: How to Hollow Out a Lightbulb and Make a Stand for It

Picture of How to Hollow Out a Lightbulb and Make a Stand for It

for other uses like plasma globes and aquariums

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

for this you will need;

lightbulb (preferably burnt out)
scrap wood block
wire hanger


wire cutters
duct tape (or stapler or staple gun)

Step 2: Remove Brass Contact, Black Glass, and Stuff

Picture of Remove Brass Contact, Black Glass, and Stuff

use pliers to pull off the brass contact

then use pliers to chip away the black glass

drill the inside of the glass to remove the filament thing and remove sharp glass

Step 3: Clean Out the Bulb

Picture of Clean Out the Bulb

empty out the shards

put a spoonfull of salt in the bulb, cover the opening with your thumb, and shake

empty out the salt, fill halfway with water, cover the opening with your thumb, and shake

Step 4: Now for the Stand

Picture of Now for the Stand

cut a long piece of wire from the hanger

wrap the end of it it around the screw on the bulb

about two inches from the bulb bend the wire down 90 degrees

five or six inches from that bend bend it to be horizontal then two inches from that bend it right 90 degrees

staple or duct tape it to the board

Step 5: Finished

Picture of Finished

the stand is strong enough to hold the bulb when it's filled with water

you can put a guppie or feeder fish in it (picture soon, i have to find it)

this site gave me the idea for the bulb (and has better pictures)


ILykMakin (author)2016-01-28

An alternative to duct tape or staple gun love:

Drill a hole in the end of the base, fill with liquid nails, jam a length of the wire in.

Yonatan24 (author)2015-12-14

Hi, I've added your project to the "Unusual Uses for Light-Bulbs" Collection

This is the link If you are interested:

Ward_Nox (author)2012-01-29

considering this type of bulb is illegal to manufacture in the US now some one should consider making and selling pre hollowed out ones for doing crafts like this cause the new spiral kind wouldn't be the same

Yonatan24 (author)Ward_Nox2015-12-14

I believe only 100W ones are illegal...

9w2xyz (author)2011-12-31

When you mount the wire to your block of wood, simply drill a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the wire and use a grommet for a finished look. Nail polish will hold it permanently. I used them for money plants, the roots look cool.

Father Christmas (author)2008-09-10

i want to say thanks for this instructable. the whole hollowing out a lightbulb was a pain for me until i found it. i emptied my bulbs for the hourglass i made. it was prettyy fun.

paqrat (author)Father Christmas2011-12-15

Very, very cool!

that is freakin sweet

Gage987 (author)Father Christmas2009-11-25

how long does the hourglass go? as in time

Father Christmas (author)Gage9872009-11-29

about twenty five minutes. and 37 seven seconds. depending on humidity lol

QueenK (author)Father Christmas2009-11-27

That is really cool - creative and it looks good. Great job!

That's cool!

Wasagi (author)Father Christmas2009-04-09

You should post an instructable on how to make it!

cool idea

Awesome! Thank you for sharing.

dbaum2 (author)2011-07-16

How about a sea monkey aquarium?

whiteboyninja (author)2011-03-19

What's the salt for??

jkufahl (author)whiteboyninja2011-03-27

salt removes the "Soft White" coating from the inside of the bulb. Basically the salt acts like a media abraisive. Meth addicts around the world use this technique to very inexpensively create a "Pipe" so if you've got teen age kids, this may well be a good way to catch them in time to get them treated.

JcBeaver (author)2010-07-17

instead of drilling into to the end of the bulb, use a hammer to break the black glass cool instructable!

shootfilm (author)2009-12-08

This is very cool!  I'm going to try to combine it with this idea as a novelty gift:

zachninme (author)2006-09-04

Nice. You could do something really ironic like save the contacts and all the stuff and fill it up COMPLETLY with gas, and if no oxygen was dissolved, and it was all sealed up, you could screw it in, turn it on, and it wouldn't explode... maybe... DO NOT DO THAT. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU DO. I may just use them to make abstract art... I like the fish idea...

A) ... how. B) why C) natural gas? dead. gasoline? would short out, gasoline needs a specific air/gas ratio to combust

 ALL fuels require a certain air/gas mixture.  Natural Gas (methane) is 10:1 feet cubed with atmospheric air, and 2:1 pure Oxygen.

Well, I don't know what I was thinking a year ago... And I guess I couldn't spell "sense" either...

zachninme (author)zachninme2008-02-09

Boy my comments didn't make much sense a year ago...

GorillazMiko (author)zachninme2008-04-23

Your comments never make sense....

(Just kidding).

zachninme (author)GorillazMiko2008-04-24

How dare you insist that my speech is coherent!
You're so mean D:

Lance Mt. (author)zachninme2009-11-28

 May I insist that your math is coherent? 
cause last time I checked "2006" and "2008" is 2 years correct? lol, 

Either way caution as lightbulb gas molotovs may just be the new thing! =D

NinjaSloth (author)zachninme2009-11-26

little bit of fight club, no?

zachninme (author)zachninme2006-10-14

Wow, that made no sence...

Patented (author)2009-11-27

Neat idea! look what I found, it seem to be a cleaner tecgnique of removing to end of the bulb :

underscore_jeff (author)2008-10-12


QueenK (author)underscore_jeff2009-11-27

Holy cow - I love this!!

nice. thanks for sharing.

RIV3RFr0G (author)2009-11-25

this is what i made

QueenK (author)RIV3RFr0G2009-11-27

That is really cool as well! Great job - I love the creativity of the people on this site.

vov35 (author)2009-11-26

this totally isn't meant for making a vap or anything... :p

pyra_builder_1337 (author)vov352009-11-26

ya i totaly just figured ... put a candle under it

imthatguy1125 (author)2008-12-12

is it really a good idea to put fish in it

brunoxyz (author)imthatguy11252009-11-25

I asked a fish, he doesn't like the idea at all.

FrenchCrawler (author)2006-09-06

If you have enough time on your hands, you could also make these into LED lights.

bomberman3 (author)FrenchCrawler2008-07-01

thinkgeek rocks!

zupperzipper (author)bomberman32008-11-10

w00t :thinkgeek rules

bobolot (author)FrenchCrawler2007-10-31

why use LED's, bulk buy glow sticks, chop the tops off them, then pour the liquid in to the bulb you just gutted. then add the liquid from the glass tubes (from inside the glow stick) one at a time so the bulb lights then when it gets dim add another tube, it would last for ages. There would also be a mix of colours.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-03-20

:-X EKKK!!! BE VERY CAREFUL!!!! They put lead on the bottom of the bulb, and fill the bulb with MERCURY VAPORS!!!!! + other bad stuff!!!! BAD!

actually the bulb has a vacuum in it and lead isn't really poisonous.

Braeburn (author)AlexTheGreat2007-12-23

lead is poisonous, " Like mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time." (wikipedia)

wierd idiot (author)Braeburn2008-09-03

it isn't that bad or I would use lead free solder.

falcotheimpaler (author)Braeburn2008-02-08

true. lead is poisonous. but only if you are exposed to enormous amounts of it over time. say you had a spool of 60/40 solder for dinner once a week. yes. but if you were making one light bulb or doing minimal soldering over time, its not gonna be too big of a deal.

still you should ALLWAYS wash your hands after soldering.

About This Instructable




More by AlexTheGreat:Awesome LED Computer ModWeighted Companion CubeAwesome led cube
Add instructable to: