Introduction: Instamorph LED Light Chandelier Bulbs

I am in the process of refinishing an old brass chandelier and building my own LED lights for it. When the Instamorph Build Night popped up, I had the immediate idea to create flame-shaped LED light bulb covers, as well as a traditional light bulb shape. The flames are the kind of bulbs you tend to see on chandeliers as shown in photo LB1, which is my inspiration. I found the chandelier next to a dumpster in my old neighborhood and decided that it needed a new and fabulous life.

These lights will be built using waterproof LED strips - which will be controlled by an IR remote and El Wire.

I also decided at the last minute to build two more lamps, one using bulbs that illuminate license plates an cars and the other created with EL Wire.

The full lamp build will be featured in another Instructable at a later date. I'll be sure to post it when I complete it.

Items Needed:

  • Instamorph
  • Pan
  • Heat Source
  • Large Spoon
  • 5050 LED Waterproof Strip
  • LED Remote And Pack
  • T10 LED Bulb with 12 volt source
  • EL Wire And Driver
  • Non-Plastic Work Surface - a glass plate works great
  • Scissors or Cutting Device

Step 1: Preparing the Instamorph for Molding

I grabbed these instruction directly from the Instamorph page to be as accurate as possible. You can also view these instructions HERE.

  1. Heat some water to approximate 150 degrees F. Water can easily be heated on a stove top or in a microwave oven.

  2. Pour InstaMorph pellets into the water. Don’t worry if it isn’t enough
    to finish your project, you can always add more InstaMorph later.

  3. Wait approximately two minutes or until white InstaMorph pellets turn
    clear and stick together. This is when you’ll know they are ready to mold. If they haven’t turned clear, try increasing the heat just a little bit.

  4. Remove from the water and get rid of any remaining liquid between the
    pellets. Be sure to use tongs or some other type of tool (not your hands) as your InstaMorph will still be quite hot.

  5. Once removed from water, InstaMorph will be cool enough to mold by hand.
    Form into desired shape with your hands, tools, molds, or any other means necessary.

Step 2: Shapinging Your Flame LED Light With Instamorph

For the flame light bulb I am going to cut a piece of 6 lights from the 5050 waterproof LED light at the cut point. The cut point is shown on the strip as perforated lines on a copper strip.

  1. Identify the 6 LED lamps in your strip.
  2. Cut the strip at the nearest cut spot.
  3. Fold your cut strip in half so that the bulbs are in the same row.
  4. Use the tape backing to secure each side to the other.
  5. Using your heated Instamorph, start encasing your lamp.
  6. Shape as you go to create the width and shape of your lamp.
  7. Re-dip your bulb as necessary to keep it pliable for shaping.
  8. Re-attach the four wires to your strip, plug it in to see if it still works.

By using the 5050 waterproof strip, I am able to dip the strip back in the water for additional shaping and I will have control of the colors for my chandelier. It really sets the mood.

Step 3: Creating Your SlimStyle LED Bulb With Instamorph

I use all of the same steps as the previous lamp and the same waterproof 5050 LED strip. I am just shaping it different to achieve a different style of bulb. These bulbs are pretty new to the market so they've not been in many homes, I will do my best to recreate the same look.

  1. Identify the 6 LED lamps in your strip.
  2. Cut the strip at the nearest cut spot.
  3. Round your cut strip in so that resembles a light bulb.
  4. Build a smaller flat piece in the shape of a common light bulb. Your LED strip will go along the outside of this piece.
  5. Run your LED strip around the outside of this flat part to be sure your lights fit well.
  6. Using your heated Instamorph, start encasing your lamp.
  7. Shape as you go to create the width and shape of your lamp.
  8. Re-dip your bulb as necessary to keep it pliable for shaping.
  9. Re-attach the four wires to your strip, plug it in to make sure it still works.

Step 4: Using a T10 - 5 LED Wedge Lamp With Instamorph

These small LED lamps are used on motor vehicles, usually as lamps for your license plates. They are very inexpensive if you spend a little time on eBay searching for them. You can also grab them from your local auto parts store, but They can get expensive quick. I will provide an eBay link below. These bulbs are typically not waterproof so a little extra care is needed when wrapping them in Instamorph.

eBay Search

  1. Test the bulb using your 12 volt cord for your LED strip pack, I am using my battery from my Ka-Boom Boxand LED Bicycle lightbuilds.
  2. Form a piece of melted Instamorph am dry it off with an absorbent towel.
  3. Start to mold the plastic into a flame shape.
  4. Re-dip your bulb as necessary to keep it pliable for shaping be sure to not get wter on this lamp, it is not waterproof.
  5. Test it often to see if it still works.

Step 5: EL Wire (Electroluminescent Lamp) Bulb and Instamorph

This is the forth and final bulb I am prototyping for this project. I decided to use EL Wire for this bulb and the results were varied. I do like how it came out, but the Instamorph proved to be a bit too thick for my desired effect. Again, each of these lamp builds are prototypes for my chandelier.

  1. Form your flame shape.
  2. Place the EL Wire onto the flame pattern as shown.
  3. Create a top cover for your flame shape.
  4. Re-soak your Instamorph pieces so that they will join easily.
  5. Shape until you have the flame effect you are looking for.
  6. Trim as necessary.

It's pretty simple if you viewed my other steps or have worked with Instamorph before.

Step 6: Instamorph - in Conclusion

Instamorph is a great product with many possibilities. I can see finishing my light bulb project using it but will need to narrow down exactly what shapes and sizes I will need to complete the chandelier project. I believe that when I approach this again that I will use the flame LED light, but shape it so that the lights are on the edge and not the flat face.

Be sure to stay in touch with my projects if you are interested in the finished lamp, as I will be completing the chandelier soon.

Also - be careful as to where you are creating with Instamorph. I used my art mat and the Instamorph bonded with it right away. I was able to peel it off, but it did ruin the surface a bit. I used a glass plate and had no problems after that.

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