Picture of Lightbulb
The incandescent light bulb is the ultimate symbol of wasted energy. Since I don't use them anymore I wanted to transform them into something green instead of throwing them away.
This project was inspired by an ad I saw in the June 08 edition of Popular Science.

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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
I used:

-An old lightbulb. Best if burned out, but if its going to just sit and collect dust thats fine too.

-Epoxy. Best glue ever!

-7/16" socket. Holds the bulb on

-Some rubber part from my bike.

-Thing that goes between shower head and tiles

-Small plastic cup






-Drill, drill bit

Step 2: Prepare the lightbulb

Picture of Prepare the lightbulb
Start by using pliers to pull the bottom contact off of the lightbulb.
Next use the file to break out the glass between the two contacts.
Break out the glass on the inside and use the file to smooth the edges.
Clean the white powder out of the lightbulb. You can do this with a rag, water or a compressor (not recommended).

Step 3: Prepare the base

Picture of Prepare the base
Using a drill (press) widen the hole in the bottom of the socket.
Use pliers to widen the hole in the bottom of the lightbulb until the socket fits snugly.
Epoxy the socket to the rubber piece. Let it dry for at least twenty minutes.
Epoxy that to the shower part. Let it dry for another twenty minutes.

Step 4: Add a plant or plant seeds

Picture of Add a plant or plant seeds
This step is self explanatory. Either add a plant or seeds.

Step 5: Use it

Picture of Use it
Now all you have to do is fill the cup with soil and seeds (or small plants), put the base on it, then put the lightbulb over it.
Place it in a well lit window sill and occasionally water it

If you liked this instructable

please rate and vote

If you have any questions feel free to comment.
If you decide to make it please post pictures below.
mitra_dios4 years ago
very nice
what do you do if the plant gets too big for the light bulb? can you just leave it or do you have to replant it?
OceanLady5 years ago
I want one! They look awesome... I actually did a photoshop thing for a "be green" poster in high school with the same concept. I'll have to bookmark this and come back to it if I ever find myself at my parents' house without my kid... newborns and breaking glass don't mix very well, lol
tidje5 years ago
I just wanted to make a comment for those people who think the plant needs air holes.  I have made several stained glass terrariums that use this same principle.  If you give the plants an airtight house, you create a mini ecosystem and the water that's inside will eventually evaporate to the top, condensate on the glass, and fall back down like rain.  It will keep doing that over and over, and you end up hardly ever having to water (and when you do, I guess you get some new air in).  I have one going that I started years ago.  I water every couple of months because it's not completely airtight and eventually some water does escape by evaporation.  A few plants have died (some work better than others in these situations- and I've also let it get a bit too dry at times- completely forgetting about it since you normally don't have to water it).  I still have a couple of the original plants, though...
Maybe this calls for an instructable.  I've never made one. :)
Majid-F5 years ago
This is very interesting. And it triggered an idea ...
We have a deserted aquarium in the attic. I thought maybe I can make a bigger greenhouse with a wooden box filled with soil and plant seeds, and the empty tank placed bottom-up on it:

harekrishna6 years ago
Cute. I can't wait to see you make one out of a flourescent lightbulb after LEDs take over.
Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and lead powder.
'Not a good idea to handle or breathe toxins.
geek125975 years ago
how do you water the plant?
stryke2975 years ago
How exactly does this plant grow? It looks like it's in a sealed container which kinda sorta stops one half of the respiration process, and wouldn't you think it would get very hot inside that lightbulb?
thats what plants like(warmth) so if you you water it regually it won't dry out and it will grow well thats what a greenhouse does.
gr8 man!
haydes5 years ago
i rekon its really cool and i might try it but once the plant gets too big how do you squeeze it through the light bulb bit or do you just smash the whole thing and how do you water it
LinuxH4x0r (author)  haydes5 years ago
I grew mint, so size wasn't an issue. You water the cup by tipping the top part up.
Thats a very nice idea. I'm trying do grow a little tree in it. Perhaps it will work. First i tried to drill some little holes into the bulb, so the tree can get air, but i don't recommend it. the bulb is broken and my finger has one scare more.
LinuxH4x0r (author)  FFswordfreak5 years ago
Thanks. Keep me posted if you are successful. You could try heating the bulb with a blowtorch and poking them out.
thanhpi6 years ago
That tree will live during one week. I think so. You should continue to bring many things into play. Goodluck!!!!!!
LinuxH4x0r (author)  thanhpi6 years ago
I've managed to keep it alive for 2 months. Thanks
jcintra6 years ago
I think this is has a very beautiful result, but I have my doubts about the results, because the plant need to breath. Maybe with some small holes in the base of the lamp...
lazerteefs6 years ago
This is really cool, but dont most plants need CO2 to survive? Doesnt seem like it could get much if its incased in a light bulb. Is the plant still alive?
hello1234566 years ago
Looks nice, might try it :)
LinuxH4x0r (author)  hello1234566 years ago
Thanks! post pictures if you do
Ok, but first, a broken lightbulb, to bad we mainly other lights... but i'll ask if next time my sisters lamp broke up she can get a lightbulb ;-)
im gonna do this ill try and post pics :P
joker62116 years ago
very ingenius way put use
LinuxH4x0r (author)  joker62116 years ago
gsurov6 years ago
i love this!
LinuxH4x0r (author)  gsurov6 years ago
Good job, interesting idea!! Do you have any photos of what happens after a few weeks? When the plant grows?