Picture of bucket light
this is a powerfull and rainproof outdoor light with a cfl

the functional and full variant of it is seen here. an easier hanging variant can be built as well

the way this light is built can be used to rainproof extension cables etc as well
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Step 1: Attention

the project uses 110 / 240 V electricity directly from the socket. this amount of electricity is enough to electrocute or set stuff on fire. in addition outdoors can be very wet

the project uses a cfl in outdoors area. cfls may fail with fire and sparks as result of water ingress / condensation or if small insects get into them

by building this project you take the entire responsibility to the consequences on yourself

Step 3: Hats

hat 1 - cut it from a bottle along the bottom of the label

hat 2 - cut from another bottle the top (allmost up to the max width of the bottle)

for hanging lamp - cut some small vent holes near the neck of hat 1. those holes will let out hot air from the cfl (in summer nights the heat may be enough to damage the cfl). hat 2 prevents the rain entering the holes from getting to the electricity

make holes in the caps for the cable

in hanging lamp - at least one of the holes should be tight on the wire to avoid water getting through

in ground lamp - make the holes tight for strength but add a small hole in each cap. the small hole is required to drain water ingress if it happens

in hanging extension cable - make the hole on cap of hat 1 loose (so it can slide on the wire) and cap of hat 2 tight

screw the caps in place and get the cable through. hat 2 is inside hat 1

a larger cfl can be used in the hanging variant if hat 2 is a bit larger and placed outside of hat 1. the vent holes can be made larger too

Step 6: Hanging variant - done !

the hanging variant is quite powerfull (20 W cfl)

it gives much upward light though. this light is just wasted and contributes its part to hide the stars from the sky

for the bucket light - hold on !

Step 7: Colors and shapes

part of a colored bottle or color filter can be added to color some of the light

about 2 - 3 layers of plastic from another bottle are needed to noticably affect light color

you can also use the lord to draw directly on the hat or use aluminium foil as reflector. use an insert from another bottle to hold the foil in place. shapes can be cut into the foil

ground variant - you can stick wallpapers to the bucket (see next step) from inside. they give their overall color to the light

Step 9: Ground pole

Picture of ground pole
stick a pole in the ground and fix the light to it

i used stacked togeter pieces of steel c beams which i found in a construction site. the beams are used to build the core inside light walls

Step 10: Spacer

a spacer is required between the lamp and the bucket. it keeps open vent holes above the lamp and keeps the bucket aligned on the construction

for the spacer cut a big cylinder (from the bottle you made hat 2 of) and push it in hat 1

the construction should now look much like a transparent cardboard box with flaps and a cfl inside

Step 11: Head on

Picture of head on
place the bucket on the construction

tie it with a wire to the column so it wont move

in the day it looks much like a construction site hack. i think its quite cool

Step 12: Done !

Picture of done !
now the real bucket light is done. enjoy high contrast light without upward light losses

look up and enjoy the sky full of stars !

My husband was too busy to make one so I ordered one online at I couldn't go camping without a bucket light now!