Picture of The Ice Bulb
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.
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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 or
gearup5003 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.

xs20007 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.
Chirpoff3 years ago
That looks AWEsome! Great job! :)
vishalapr3 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!!!!
ninelives16 years ago
is it like supposed to be waterproof LED?
mandrake (author)  ninelives16 years ago
It is just a regular LED. Since LEDs are enclosed in plastic I guess you could say that all LEDs are waterproof.
But wouldn't water get in between the leads and short out?
(removed by author or community request)
the pro geommt6 years ago
so by doing this you "could" make a hydrogen ballon? thats if you have the right water
That would take a huge amount of time and a massive amount of batteries..... if you want a hho generator there are plenty of ibles on those :D
Ian01 geommt6 years ago
I don't think ice conducts electric current at all. You should be quite safe.
The voltage, current, and frequency (1.5 to 3V at about 20mA at 0Hz) are not high enough for water to effect this circuit. This circuit will work under water (LEDs are "hermetically sealed" so the water can't get to the insides. And do NOT use a 9V battery or you will kill the LED almost instantly.
Good Stuff. I like the icicles idea.
Derin mandrake6 years ago
they arent but they are easily waterproofed
Derin Derin6 years ago
no, no, no... he must have missed the step where the leds are dipped in wax to make them water resistant. alternatively, you may want to use marine varnish and give them a good brushing. good luck and let me know how you make out!
gossumx3 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_Maconroe3 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 1434 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,
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