Picture of Self-Lighting Light Bulb
My brother was married on Halloween, and the theme was the Addams Family.  Being the uncle, I decided to go as Fester and made a nice light bulb that I could stick in my mouth and light up.  This is a fairly simple project that can be completed in an hour if you choose.  This is a fun project to make with some burned out light bulbs, wire, batteries, and an LED. 

I made this at the TechShop.  They have all the tools and wire/solder for your use.  It makes this easy.
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Step 1: Items Required

Picture of Items Required
These are the items I used to make this.  I picked everything except the light bulbs from Radio Shack, but you should be able to use similar components purchased anywhere.

- 3x 1.5v small button cell batteries.  (This leaves you with 4.5v power.)
- One High Brightness White LED.  Mine is rated for 3.4-4v max, so we overdrive it slightly.
- One Tact Switch.  Be careful on the size.  I show 5mm height in the picture, but the ones I used were slightly taller.
- Light Bulbs.  Small cheap ones.  Burned out ones work better since they're free.  The white frosted ones look better but are easier to leave marks on the inside.
- Wire.  Don't need much.
- Electrical Tape
- Solder
- Soldering Iron, Wire cutters/strippers, helping hands, etc.
- Hot Glue Gun

Step 2: Solder Wires onto the LED.

Picture of Solder Wires onto the LED.
If you have a 4pin LED, as I do in the picture, you'll need to solder some wire leads onto the LED itself.  If you look at the LED, you'll see that there are basically only 2 pins that matter.  (2 pins on each side are connected.)    I made one wire slightly longer than the other to tell them apart and to provide a little room for the switch on one side. 
pfred22 years ago
I had the commercial one of these as a kid. It was plastic, and looked kind of fake, it was still funny though.