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.


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.

Picture of 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...
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where do you buy your LEDs?

I bought 1000 assorted LEDs from China a few years back. If you only need a few I would recommend Sparkfun.com or Adafruit.com.
gearup5007 months ago

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.

xs200011 months ago

amazing idea

thats cool!
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.
oi, that was on one of my birthday cards >:(
gizmokid973 years ago
Awesome stuff, dude!!!! they look SOOOOOO COOL!!!
what can i put for problem and resluts im doing a science project on this
cutecat137 years ago
Hello, I am thining about doing this for my science fair project.... What would the Hypothesis, purpose be?
ya i would like a hypothesis will you help me
Perhaps to show how light can be distributed through ice?
heartart3 years ago
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. : )
it looks like a wizard's ball.
bdavis303 years ago
oart3 years ago
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!!
I stuffed 5 LED's in it.
Chirpoff4 years ago
That looks AWEsome! Great job! :)
vishalapr4 years ago
The close ups look as if the thing was a huge crystal!Amazing I am definitely going to make one.....right now!Bye!!!!
gossumx4 years ago
If you wanted to make the balloon a slightly more perfect sphere, you could put it inside a pot (or any properly sized, water-tight container) that is filled with salt-saturated water.

In theory, the salt water would act as a support for the balloon, preventing the flat-side that is inevitable when putting it directly on a plate.

If the salt content is high enough, the average freezer won't get cold enough to turn it to ice, but the plain water inside the balloon will.

Just don't let your hands dabble in the sub-zero salt water for too long or I would imagine it to have unhealthy consequences.

As an added bonus, in the rare case that you may want to make many of these, if the salt water is put in the freezer in advance, or just left in from the previous balloon, it would freeze the balloon *much* faster, seeing as how cold water leeches heat ~25 times faster than cold air does.
C_Maconroe4 years ago
After discovering that this sweet item has a short life span (silly me, of course it will melt) I was quite sad. But, maybe getting a hollow plastic ball (ice blue) and then filling it with a styrofoam ball with LED's throughout would be cool?
wow, very creative... snow fort lighting, anyone?
twighahn4 years ago
Roxy 1435 years ago
abran54 years ago
i wish i can use something else than ice like plastic
ownemall abran54 years ago
you could use an acrylic or liquid silicone but it would be hard to keep it from squiting out everywhere
It looks like you have a good idea by using the glob of glue for diffusion! I noticed you used some kind of tape. I would recommend heat shrink tubing around the power carrying wires to prevent shorts for that clean appearance many seek on a final project. But don't just use anything, make sure you use stuff like this with high PFA standards like fluorotherm's; specs here, http://fluorotherm.com/Properties-PFA.asp.
yggdrazil6 years ago
so cool! Would it be safe to put in a bowl of punch for a party?
 it'd probably be easier and safer just to get a clear bottomed bowl and put the LED under neath it
a cool good idea..or mabye two identical clear bowls with the LEDs on the inner "layer". hmmm.....
if you put a few layers of heat shrink tubing over the whole led lead
XOIIO yggdrazil6 years ago
i most likely wouldnt. even if you use lead free solder there is still the wires, led and possibly flux that would get in the punch when the ice melts, plus i dont think people would like punch with wires coming out of it.
grizzly g6 years ago
hey what type of wire did you use? thank you
most likely copper.
bigfootduck6 years ago
AWESOME! i would SO try this, except that i dont have any LEDs. where can i get some? and how much are they?
I get my LEDs at RadioShack for about $1.00 each (good ones) or a pack of cheap ones for $2.00(not all may work)
cutecat137 years ago
I think the point of your science fair would be that you actually think about your science fair project yourself, rather than taking a project from instructables.com and then asking people to tell you what your hypothesis and purpose could be. The comments policy tells me that I should be constructive. Here is my constructive comment: this is not suitable for a science fair project. There isn't really any interesting physics behind this project. This project is a cool idea and it looks really great, but I can't say that there is a lot of science involved. Perhaps you could extend the project in some way and investigate light and how it propagates through different materials. Then you could see if some other materials make some cool effects, and the physics behind those effects.
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