Introduction: How to Make an Awesome Night Light (but It Doesn't Last Too Long)

Picture of How to Make an Awesome Night Light (but It Doesn't Last Too Long)

this will show you how to make an awesome night light using a laser, wax, and a light bulb.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Picture of Materials & Tools

the materials you will need are:
-a light bulb
-candle wax
-a laser pointer (can be green or red)

tools you will need:
-needle nosed pliers
-an exacto knife
-safety goggles (glass occasionally flies when shattered)
-an old sock

Step 2: Hollowing Out the Bulb

Picture of Hollowing Out the Bulb

i got the the ideas and pictures on this step from CYNICALifornia


- Using your exacto knife or screw driver, pry up the metal disk on the bottom of the bulb.

- Use needle nosed pliers to pull it off.

Move outside! there will be shattered glass!

- take off the black glass that the metal disk was attached to. use pliers to chip/break it.
-Holding the bulb use the screwdriver to break the glass, and use the tweezers to pull it out.

- Use the screwdriver as a chisel once again and break the glass that holds the filament in place inside the bulb.

- Use your tweezers to break up pieces too big to fall out of the hole but simply squeezing them.

Step 3: Cleaning the Inside of the Bulb

Picture of Cleaning the Inside of the Bulb

-use a toothbrush and brush the inside of the bulb while still dry
-fill the bulb with water, and continue scrubbing until the bulb is completely clear

Step 4: Filling It With Wax

Picture of Filling It With Wax

-dry the inside of the bulb with a hot air dryer
-melt enough wax to fill the lightbulb, and use a funnel to fill the light bulb
-let it cool

Step 5: Breaking the Glass

Picture of Breaking the Glass

-put on protective gloves... glass can hurt! also, lay down newspaper (glass will get everywhere otherwise)
-take a small hammer, and lightly tap on the glass
-once it cracks, remove the pieces, making sure that there aren't any left in the wax

Step 6: Hollowing Out the Wax

Picture of Hollowing Out the Wax

now, use a small tool (screwdrivers work well) to hollow out the inside of the wax bulb. hake it wide enough so a laser can fit in it.

Step 7: Turn It on in the Dark

Picture of Turn It on in the Dark

fit the laser into the hollow, and turn it on! the result should be a strange pixelated light, that works especially well in the dark.


WTHAI (author)2008-06-16

As an alternative, you could fill the lightbulb halfway with wax, drop in an LED that's attached to two very long wires that run out of the bulb, and then fill it the rest of the way with wax. Then you can attach the LED to a longer lasting power source, like a D-cell or two AA batteries. I like the thought though. The wax would probably diffuse some of the more harmful rays of light that the laser produces.

CyclonicNinja (author)WTHAI2011-04-03

you can use a resin also ( cloudy or not) but it would be hard to get the glass from the bulb off

paprika killer (author)WTHAI2008-06-17

I'm so gonna make that.

the4est (author)WTHAI2008-06-16

that was my origonal idea, but i didn't have any led's, so i used the laser.

benthekahn (author)the4est2008-06-16

Hey, you should come over here. I got some glowing LED circuits. We should try this with one.

jgeekw (author)2010-04-01

Why not use a few super bright colored LEDs? Would last much longer than a laserpointer

the4est (author)jgeekw2010-04-01

that would probably work a lot better...this was just a first effort.

berky93 (author)2008-11-01

woudn't it be a little stronger with the glass still intact?

hamxa (author)2008-07-21

your expetriment rocks serious tankhs

jgeekw (author)2008-07-20

easier way to clean out your light bulb: pour about 2 or 3 tablespoons of salt/sugar into the bulb then swirl it around. Salt works best because the crystals are rougher. takes about 3 to 5 minutes of swirling. Also reduces the risk of breaking your bulb with the toothbrush

austin (author)2008-06-21

the laser gives it that weird particle like look like a whole bunchy of little specks moving around

explosivemaker (author)2008-06-16

ha ha ha.......thats great.......I would probably keep the glass on it and put at least one super bright LED inside instead of a laser..... have given me cool idea though........lightbulb candles.....just stick a wick inside, add the wax, break off the glass, and presto.......a bulb candle........

explosivemaker (author)ac1D2008-06-17

.....kinda the idea......i was thinking the other way around......

joejoerowley (author)2008-06-15

Cool! Do you mind if I post another instructable based off of yours? Thanks

the4est (author)joejoerowley2008-06-15

feel free! this was just a rough idea i had..... as long as yours is origional

joejoerowley (author)the4est2008-06-17

It will be changed around a fair amount and I will credit you of course. :)

slimguy379 (author)2008-06-17

well if your laser burns out etc. you can turn it upside down and put a wick in it and turn it into a candle it will be a variation of CYNICALifornia's oil bulb.

stonehenge360 (author)2008-06-15

I noticed that pixelated effect inside the dot of a laser. I have never found an answer to what I am seeing, but my only guess is that it is the interference pattern from the light waves as they exit. anyone else got a better answer? if you want to see what we're talking about, point your laser at a normal lightbulb in a dark room - you will see strange light and dark specks....

Singlefin (author)stonehenge3602008-06-17

That's pretty much spot on: the speckles you can see are an interference pattern from the laser reflecting off a surface. You only get it with laser light because it's coherent, unlike non-laser light. The pattern you can see actually exists in space, rather than on the wall or whatever. If you're short-sighted, and shine a laser onto a far wall and whip your glasses off, the speckles are still perfectly sharp.

zjharva (author)stonehenge3602008-06-15

i know what you mean! although the only lasers i've had were cheap $1 ones.

schumill (author)2008-06-17

very nice,sometimes i try to make out blue light,anyone made it?the guide and the material?

benthekahn (author)2008-06-16

Cool. What about a blue laser?

Yuffie (author)2008-06-15

pixelated light?

must be photoshopped.

orangesrhyme (author)Yuffie2008-06-16

Naw, lasers just look sparkly like that. Just shine one at a matte metallic surface, and you'll see what I mean.

zecapataintuna (author)2008-06-16

you can clean out the stuff inside the bulb by swirling salt inside of it. It takes off almost all of it, and then you don't have to even wet it.

Patrik (author)2008-06-16

Nit going to last very long as an actual night light though. Most laser pointers aren't means for continuous use. Encasing the laser in sold wax isn't exactly going to alleviate any overheating. And even if the laser survives being on for a substantial amount of time, the battery will run out well before the end of the night. Looks nice though! :-)

MadMechanicMike (author)2008-06-15

nice, i saw this on Hack-a-day and i was like, this should be an instructable

dcmania21 (author)2008-06-15

good job i like it

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