The Ice Bulb

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Introduction: The Ice Bulb

About: I like to learn new stuff.

I got the idea for the Ice Bulb from the frozen water balloon instructable. My mind wants to put LEDs inside everything these days :)

The Ice Bulb is very cheap and simple to make and the result looks amazing. This instructable will be to basic for a lot of people here, but surely someone will find it a fun project.

Parts:
Balloon
LED
Wires
Battery
Tape



View the video

About the pictures: My camera is not able to replicate all the light from the LED. Therefore you will see some large patches of solid white. This is not how it looks in real life. Trust me, it looks a lot better.

Step 1: Attach Wires to LED With Tape and Stuff It Inside the Balloon.

I did this the quick and dirty (and very effective) way by twisting the wires together and taping them. If you have the equipment you may want to solder the wires to the LED.

Stuff the LED inside the balloon but keep the wires on the outside.

Now is a good time to test that the LED actually works. You do not want to find out that it is faulty after it is frozen inside the ice...

Step 2: Fill the Ballon With Water, Tie a Knot and Freeze It.

Blow up the balloon with air first. This will stretch it out so the water will flow easier. If you do not hold the top of the balloon firmly against the water tap it will splash all over the place at the point where the wires are sticking out.

Lay the balloon on a flat surface before proceeding.

Stuff the wires down the balloon till you have the LED at the desired position inside the balloon. It looks best if it is at the center IMHO.

Tie a regular knot and drag the wires all the way through the knot.

Freeze the balloon. Be careful of how you place the balloon in the freezer. If you do it the wrong way the LED might freeze in an undesirable position. Try to place it so that the LED is suspended in the center of the balloon.

I think it looks great when the balloon is not completely clear. This way the light is reflected in unpredictable directions. If you want to make clear ice you should read this.

Step 3: Remove the Balloon Rubber From the Frozen Sculpture and Juice It Up.

Pour some hot water over the balloon and the rubber will slide of easily. To remove the rubber around the knot you simply untie it. If you use a knife to cut it off you risk cutting the wires.



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    310 Discussions

    I wish I had thought of this! I use to freeze balloons just for fun but I never thought to put LEDs in them. Thanks for sharing.

    in the summer of 1986 all the neighborhood children were playing with water bombs. No-one forgot Little Timmy or the new rule: do not put your water bombs in the freezer.

    1 reply

    Hello, I am thining about doing this for my science fair project.... What would the Hypothesis, purpose be?

    2 replies

    They would be beautiful in a large crystal bowl, for center pieces at a wedding reception, or other party. Not all the ice balls would have lights in them, so it would be sort of random light and so gorgeous! Great idea Sir. : )

    my son (12) made an UFO ice sculpture using blinking LEDs of different colors and different sized dishes... then he built a car using a cake mold and he put the headlights and blinkers out of leds with and extension to click on and off. I love them both they are still on my fridge after all these months

    just thinking that even without wiring up leds, but rather using those little flickering led tealights in a hollow cavity would be a great effect, especially with halloween coming up. you could even put some food coloring in the water before freezing for green or red lights. awesome idea!!