Instructables
Picture of Spooky Led Lamp
This is a hollowed out light bulb filled with fluorescent liquid and two UV leds plus one red led immersed in the liquid. When turned on the light bulb flickers for a while then starts to pulsate randomly with the UV leds giving a spooky but rather nice look.

The bulb is held to the box by two small magnets that also is used as contacts for the power to it.

I got the inspiration for the project when I stumbled upon a web site describing a similar project.
imakeprojects.com/Projects/glow-crystal/

In the last step of this instructable there are two videos of it in action.
 
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Step 1: What you need

To make this project yourself you need the following items:

  • Two UV leds
  • One red led
  • One PIC12F675 microcontroller
  • Three 120 ohm resistors
  • One diode
  • Two light bulbs, one should have clear glass
  • Two strong small rare earth magnets
  • Two small screws
  • A small piece of flat plastic
  • A box

Then you need some tools and other equipment like:
  • Some tiny wires
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Wirecutter
  • Hotglue or epoxy
  • A PIC programmer
  • Clean water
  • A highlighter pen

Step 2: Preparing the lightbulbs

Picture of Preparing the lightbulbs
The glass bulbs are incredibly strong and resilient to external force but I suggest that you hold the bulb with gloves or in a thick towel. The glass might shatter and give you a nasty cut in the hand. Some protective eyewear or at least ordinary glasses might also be a good precaution...

You need to separate the actual glass part from the metallic base of the bulb keeping both of them intact. When I tried to do that I quickly realized that it's next to impossible to do that so you need two bulbs.

fsfshsyhh2 years ago
Can you help me please? i want to have LED lamps in serial

power supply 3V
forward voltage 3.2-3.4
20mA

How many leds can i light up with 3V? Do i need a resistor for that, and how many OHM? Im a really beginner and i need help.
nodoubtman2 years ago
i used a 1n4148 diode, only one led light up :( please help;. .me

thanks!
CYa!
stone8203193 years ago
Yes.it's really cool. why dont use 5800-6500K CT to make the CRI much higher?
squawker5 years ago
Very Cool! Could you use this as the primary light source for a room? That would be an awesome prank. Change the light bulb in the room to one of these. Add an ultra-sound generator at just the right frequency. Finish with stacks of dry ice hidden under all the furniture. That has to freak out someone. OMG I'm going to do that and post an instructable on it. I wont forget to give you a mention Mat. Thanks
Very cool. What is the best way to remove the cement from the screw base of the bulb.
Isopropanol Alcohol / Rubbing alcohol will dissolve it.
Okay. Thanks.
12V5 years ago
is this suitable with a pic 12f629 or 16f627(may need different code) or should i just buy one?
Yokel6 years ago
A little tip. The 'dark glassy stuff' and the 'cement' is (AFAIK) shellack. Soaking in it IPA (isopropanol) should dissolve it. Nice instructable!
Prometheus6 years ago
A quick and quiet suggestion: Pure antifreeze solution (automotive) is highly fluorescent, and could be useful for this project. Some may have noticed that it seems to have an eerie "glow" on it's own in plain sunlight, but is highly reactive to "blacklight". The effect might be more desireable. Some food for thought....
matseng (author)  Prometheus6 years ago
Ah, I didn't know that antifreeze is fluorescent. That might be a fun tip for others, but I don't think that I can lay my hands on it here since the lowest temperatures in in winter is like +10C/+50F. :-) I've also heard that tonic water (with quinine) is really fluorescent..
Caspar matseng6 years ago
Fluoroscein is the dye in antifreeze which look yellow, fluoresces green. Also in spirit levels, or just buy it. One gram should last you a lifetime. It's a red powder, not expensive. I still have 100 g I bought 40 years ago. Yes tonic water glows blueish, I think. Maybe the quinine in it...
Extraordinarily so, it is.... You should be able to find it in any auto supply store, regardless of your temperate region, as it is an ideal for all conditions despite local freezing points, even in Hawaii, for more than it's temperate qualities, it is a water-pump lubricant. Green antifreeze should be available everywhere, and being a hawaii local, it is still available there, where minimum temps dip as low as 65F at the coldest (at least on Oahu, but it is a typical range throughout the islands and all other tropical regions). Antifreeze serves also as a better coolant than water alone for cars no matter what the ambient, so it should be widely available anywhere. Just ask your local auto parts supplier. Dilution will lessen the effect, so I suggest a plastic that is immune to a nearly pure ethylene glycol content, such as those labeled "HDPE", or many other poly-ethylenes for a transparent globe....
blckscab6 years ago
The Project that this one was based on only had 2 LEDs in it, so how would the schematic of looked with the extra UV LED taken away?
Hope that makes sense =P
Great Instructable by the way
qdogg6 years ago
I've cast a large 4" ball using the resin. You just go easy on the catalyst. If it gets too hot it'll crack. I used a big glass christmas ornament for a mold & it didn't crack so I think a bulb would be safe. You want to make sure you're using casting resin & not laminating resin.
matseng (author)  qdogg6 years ago
Ok, the next time I pass by my local ACE store I'll see if they have any casting resin. Or maybe I can find it in a hobby/craft store. I remember that a did some resin casting of butterflies like 30-35 years ago, but the resin was so expensive that I couldn't afford in on my allowance. Maybe the price today feels more reasonable ;-)
qdogg6 years ago
You could try polyester resin instead of RTV. You just catalyze it & it gets hard in a few hours & you can mix in dye. However, you'll need a dye that isn't water based because it won't mix w/ the plastic.
WoodWinds qdogg6 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
matseng (author)  WoodWinds6 years ago
Are the resin/epoxy stable volume-wise during hardening? If it expands ever so slightly during the hardening process the bulb would probably shatter...
Rob K6 years ago
The UV LEDS work well for it.
matseng (author)  Rob K6 years ago
Yes, the UV's are just fine, but I'm a bit disappointed with the red led. If I did another incarnation of this project I'd experiment a bit with different ways of getting the liquid more "cloudy" so the red led would possibly be more visible.
Rob K matseng6 years ago
Maybe a little bit of laundry detergent. That made one of my glowing bottles cloudier. The red/orange one has it in it and the green bawls bottle has the liquid from an entire highlighter in it with a bamboo plant.
Feb 08 2008 - VID00021-1.jpg
WoodWinds6 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
matseng (author)  WoodWinds6 years ago
Hey, that's a good idea... By using silicone I might also achieve the cloudy/half-transparent effect that might give the red led a better chance to be seen. I think I'll try that on a smaller bulb. I don't have any good experiences when I tried to drill glass, but it might be worthwhile to try. It might work... Usually I use assembly whenever I do PIC-stuff. On Atmel I tend to use C or assembly depending on my mood :) Is there a free C compiler for PIC or are they all commercial? Boxes like that are common here in UAE too. Actually I think they look rather nice being made out of real wood and metal compared to all the plastic cr*p that most stuff are made of today. I payed 18 Dirhams ($4.90) for this box. Whats the prices in US for them? A smaller box like the one I used for my LoveBox-instructable is about $2 here.
You may also want to look into UV Reactive powders and paints from www.glowinc.com I believe they make water soluble powders that would make this effect even more pronounced.
Nice.. But what happens when some idiot puts it into a 240 Volt lamp? I think to be on the safe side of things, the screw should be packed out so it won't fit at all, or tape put around it.
matseng (author)  Green Silver6 years ago
Probably nothing at all would happen. On a normal bulb the poles are the blob on the bottom and the threaded metallic part. In this bulb the metallic part is not connected to anything so no current can flow - and without a current nothing will happen.
csf01376 years ago
ROTFL the question is WHY? %-) (a new thanatologic tool)
matseng (author)  csf01376 years ago
WHY? Hmmm.... Because it's "art" and art don't need a purpose, it's enough to just be "art" ;-)
Bongmaster6 years ago
haha nice :)
totally awesome, and I love the haruhi pic Bongmaster :P
Haruhi rox :)
At first I thought it was a dumb idea because I didn't know it would light up. But wow, really awesome idea! I look forward to trying it out.
Th3H4rRy6 years ago
That is pretty frickin sweet, I like