Introduction: Globe Lamp

Ever wanted to see the world from space? See the lights? The cities? Ever been jealous of an astronaut's view?This globe lamp gives just a tiny glimpse of what it must be like to see the world, at night, from space.

Step 1: Materials

1 box cutter or X-acto knife

fiber optics

1 globe (size is based on preference- I used a 12 inch)

toe nail clippers


thumb tack/ small drill (to make the holes)


hot glue gun

hot glue sticks

image of space at night from NASA

string of lights (mine are a short set of Christmas lights)

Step 2: Cut That Globe!

Using the X-acto knife or box cutter cut the globe in half. The globe is two hollow bowls glued together. The equator line encircling the globe shows where the two pieces of the globe connect. Cut along the equator/

*Cutting through the extra thick cardboard can be is tough, but don't be discouraged. Turn on your favorite TV show and keep at it.

*Tips: Repetition. Don't put your brute force into one cut, because your knife might slip and slash across the face of the globe. Instead keep cutting carefully along a section and when you feel it cut through, move on.

Step 3: Create the Holes

Now that the globe is in half, start creating your holes. Using a night view of the world from space, you can plan out how you want to show the city lights. For the holes themselves, you can use a tack, pin, or if you have it a teeny tiny drill. I used a 0.5 drill bit and a tack. The tack created holes almost two times the size of the drill bit. I used the tack for large cities and the drill for more scattered lights.

Plan out how many holes you want and where. Mark these places on the globe. Once you make a hole, mark that spot on the inside of the globe with a pen or marker. This will help you keep track of all the holes.

*Tip: Keep in mind that every hole you create will be laced with a fiber optic. I would suggest making a ratio for yourself. For example: 5 strands of fiber optics = a city the size of London. 3 strands = a smaller city, like Dublin or Atlanta. Having a ratio will help you stay consistent and time efficient.

Step 4: Count & Cut the Fiber Optics: Bundles

Now that the holes have been set, the fiber optics can be planned and cut. The size of the holes will determine how many fiber optics to use. The tack holes took 8-10 strands of fiber optics. The drill holes took only 1 strand. For the tack holes I measured out 8-10 strands around 8 inches long. I then taped them tightly together. I taped each end, making a bundle fit snugly in the tack holes.

*Tip: Get creative on how to make the bundles! For example: I taped the ruler to the table so I could quickly measure out 8 inches of the fiber optics. My personal record was 11 bundles in a minute.

Step 5: Lace the Fiber Obptics

String the fiber optics through the holes. To keep them from falling back through the holes, attach little pieces of tape to the ends. To keep them organized inside the globe, section them off and tape them in bundles. Keeping it organized now will make it easier later on.

*Tip: Trial and error. Try different ways to keep track of the fiber optics and string them.

Step 6: Break Out the Glue Gun

After stringing all the fiber optics, sectioning them, and bundling them to keep it organized, you can glue them in place. I suggest working from working from the center of the globe outwards. It is easier to see what has been glued. The glue gun can get very hot and bend the fiber optics. It won't damage the fiber optics, but it makes the bundles very messy.

*Tip: The strands like to stick to the glue gun and if the glue is not solid, it is easy to pull the strands out by accident.

Step 7: Cut the Outside Strands

When the strands are glued on the inside, cut the excess taped bits off from the outside. After trimming the excess, put a small circle of glue over the hole. This is an extra precaution to keep the fiber optic in place and from slipping back through the hole or getting out of place.

*Tip: the cutting takes a while so crank up the podcasts or music. You'll be snipping for a minute or ten.

Step 8: Trim the Strands

When all the strands on the inside are sectioned off, bundled, and glued in place, it's time to give them a little hair cut. You will want to trim the bundles so the ends are all the same length. The reason for this is: when you attach your lights to the fiber optics, the light will show best if the strands are bunched together as close to the light as possible.

*Tip: trim over a trash can. The fiber optics have a tendency of disappearing the moment they are trimmed. Safety glasses are recommended. The tiny trimmed pieces of the fiber optics like to fly into the trimmer's eyes.

Step 9: Attach the Light

Depending on the globe, attaching the lights will vary. I fed the cord for the Christmas lights through the hole in the bottom of the globe. The batteries and the switch are on the outside of the globe, while the Christmas lights are on the inside, ready to be attached the the fiber optics.

Align the light with a bundle of fiber optics and tape them together. Glue works too. Make sure the light is firmly attached to the bundle.

Step 10: Connect the Globe

When the lights are firmly attached inside, the cord and switch are on the outside of the globe, it's time to reattach! Line up the two pieces of the globe. Hot glue or tape the globe pieces back together.

*Tip: make sure to align the right countries on either side of the equator!

Step 11: Enjoy the View From Space!