Introduction: Lamp Using Old Car Bulb

About: Electronics hobbyist trying to do things differently. Interested in robotics,wireless devices,lighting stuffs,Arduino and Rpi. Also love to work with the wood.

Recently I had problem with the indicator lights of my old car. So I bought a Red Bulb for it. I loved that bulb so I bought two of them. Since then I am planning to make something out of it. So I finally made it using scrap wood and old fish bowl.

Step 1: What Do We Need?


1) Scrap wood

2) Car indicator bulb. You can get it from any car spare parts store. I am using 12V 21W red bulb.

3) Bulb holder. I bought it from spare parts store along with the bulb.

Bulb and the holder was for about 50 Indian Rupees (0.749 USD).

4) Power Supply. As it is a bulb from car it runs on 12V. So 12V power supply. I am using 3 cell Lithium Polymer battery from an old project.

5) Electrical Wire.

6) Electrical Tape.

7) Wood Filler(optional).

8) Fish Bowl.

9) Sand paper 220 grit.

10) Oil for Finishing.


1) Saw.

2) Drilling machine.

3) Chisel. I don't have a chisel so I am using screwdriver.

4) Forstner drill bit. If you don'have you can even do it with normal bits like I did but finishing is not that good.

Step 2: Wooden Base

I had some scrap wood lying around so I am using that. Just make sure that the bulb holder can perfectly fit into it.

Now cut down the wood according to the size.

After cutting the wood its time to make a cavity so that the bulb holder can fit into it. Keeping the bulb holder in the center of the wood I marked the outline for it.

Now drill the hole into wood. You can use forstner bit size of your bulb holder or drill many holes to make it big enough. You also need one more hole for getting the wire from the bulb to the battery.

Step 3: Fixing the Crime

It is the process of fixing the mistakes occurred during cutting and drilling.

This can be done using sandpaper or chisel.

I am using a small piece of plywood to hide the uneven hole of the wooden base.

For making it look more even you can use wood filler to fillup the gap. I used saw dust and glue for filling the holes. It worked well for me.

Step 4: Powering It Up and Final Finishing

After cutting and drilling I made sure that the bulb holder is fitting correctly.

Giving a nice sanding of 220 grit sandpaper making everything smooth.

After everything fits now its time for connecting wires. Connection is straight forward just check for polarity.

In case of my bulb red wire is positive wire and green wire is negative. Connecting it directly to the source(here I am using 11.7V Lipo battery) the bulb glows. You can use the lamp this way directly or you can keep fish bowl inverted over it. Keeping the fishing bowl gives a nice reflection. You can also try painting the bowl.

After everything works now give a nice finishing of oil and its done.

I am not very skilled in wood working will try to improve it.

This for Lamp and Lighting contest so friends do vote if you liked this.

Thank You.

Lamps and Lighting Contest 2016

Participated in the
Lamps and Lighting Contest 2016