Introduction: Miraculous Lighthouse Lantern

About: I love to invent and create new things in a "steampunk styled way" working with brass, copper, vulcanized-fibre, brass gears and (ply)- wood. On one side I am fascinated in neon lights and small ele…

Hi everybody!

Since I was a young boy, I was fascinated by lighthouses from that moment on when I first climbed up to such a "magic" tower and saw these lights coverd with lenses and so on. Whenever it is possible I try to visit them spending my holidays at the seaside. Now I started to create my own small lighthouse lantern as you can see here in this short video.

It is magic, isn´t it? Well, now I want to present to you the mak ing of this Miraculous lighthouse lantern which is of course a steampunk light with a lot of typical construction elements in Junophor-Style. The lantern keeps a helix filament LED inside, its glass bottom is enlighted by a blue signal LED from the flash unit of a disposal camera with lights up the helix too. Colored filter glasses surround the lantern.They are joined together with bar hinges so they can be moved. When you open and move them into the right angle you can see suddenly three of these shining helix filaments through the reflection of the blue filter glasses. It is magic!!!

Hope you enjoy this project and if you like it please vote for it at the make it glow contest

With many greetings, to all of you inventors and creators of this community, stay healthy!

Aeon Junophor


As you know I mostly work with material and parts from different scrap yards. For this project I took

a vintage junction box made of bakelite,

different Edison screw sockets from old lightbulbs

4 pcs. of lightshade screws E42

4 threaded axises of valve upper parts,

4 pcs. of brass made threaded rods M3

4 pcs. of copper tube inner diameter 3 mm, outer diameter 4 mm to cover the threaded rods

1 PET Preform with 42 mm cap, 15 cm long

1 filament helix LED

1 pc LED blue colored,

1 pcb of a disposal camera (flash unit)

1pc of plywood 18 mm 17 x17 cm

1pc of hard wood fiber

some screws bolts and nuts M3 and M4 made of brass

epoxy resin of different types.

Take care that you protect eyes, ears and hands and please wear saftey gloves, safety glasses and ear protectors if necessary, to avoid injuries.

Tools: pliers, knife, metal saw, screwdrivers, wrenches .....

Machines: power drill, lathe.

Step 1: Junction Box and Plywood Socket

First I had to clean up the old junction box with warm water plus soap and a weak brush. Then I polished the bakelite surface by hand. The top of this box needed a big hole for the old lamp socket part made of brass. So I drilled a lot of small holes, cut them with an old saw blade by hand and used a dremel to finish the hole .

Then I fixed the new lantern holder bottom part with epoxy resin to the top of the junction box. The inner side of the old lamp socket part was filled up with epoxy resin too, to give more stability. Therefore I used some epoxy resin left from another project. I had to keep a hole in the middle to put the wires from the light later through. Three former holes in the junction box where the old wires came in, were filled up with some plates made of vulcanized red fiber by hand. Two holes were used to keep the new switch and the potentiometer. The front hole got a small brass gear as decoration. In the middle of the the junction box was a pin made of bakelite, which I cut of with the dremel cutting tool. Later the battery holder the flash unit, switch and potentiometer are built in.

The junction box will be opened and closed with four decorative brassmade screws. For each screw I used an old threaded axis of a valve upper part which got a new thread to screw in a piece of threaded rod M4 which was then fixed with superglue. For tis step I used the lathe.

The junction box will be fixed with screws to the plywood socket which I laquered wih line seed oil.

Step 2: How to Build the Lighthouse Lantern

I cut of the top of the PET preform to get a cylinder which keeps the helix LED filament in. A lampshade screw and a ring of hard wood fiber were fixed with epoxy resin. The lampshade screws themselves got eight holes so Icould screw all parts together.

The open top had to be closed up with a slice of cork to prevent humidity to come in.

The already open part at the other end of the preform had a screw thread which was needed to be grinded down with a dremel tool. Now it fitted perfectly into the lampshade screw. I fixed it also with epoxy resin. Two other lampshade screws had to be combined with old E27 "Centra-sockets" and were fixed with epoxy resin. The top lampshade got a "sieve-cap" made of copper which was screwed with a ballnut made of brass to the Edison socket. The lampshade srcew at the bottom side of the lantern was drilled up with a diamond drill to a 10 mm hole. There I glued an threaded tube in (with epoxy resin of course) which was then screwed with the old lamp socket part fixed to the junction box. Four threaded rods M3 made of brass had been cut to the right length of 13,5 cm. They lead as tendons through the copper tubes from the top lampshade screw to the bottom part of the construction and were fixed whith handmade nuts made of brass.

All metal parts mad of brass and copper should be of course polished and then laquered with zapon varnish to give the best impression.

Step 3: Building the Flexible Filter Element

Two vintage metal label holders (from an old storage rack) can be easily screwed together to one frame for the colored acrylic glass filterplates. If you connect these frames with bar hinges you get a flexible filter element. This element can be fixed with seperate pins by using the left over holes at the lampshade screws. If you only fix the filter in the middle of the element with the lantern you can move the other ones like wings. So you can generate the magic impression of three shining filaments by reflection.

The acrylic glass plates can be easily cut by hand (wear safety gloves and eye protection glasses) as shown. I used 3 mm thick acrylic glass. These plates fit perfectly into their metal frames.

I also created a seperate filter frame colored orange, as an option to cover the fourth (front) side of the lantern. So you can vary the effects.

Step 4: Prepare the Filament Helix

I took a curved Filament LED bulb from "light ME" because you can either light these bulbs up with a flash unit from a disposal camera directly using only one AA battery or you can only light up the curved filament LED itself with this flash unit. First you have to disassemble the helix LED by seperating the socket and afterwards destroying the glass bulb. For this step you have to wear eye protection and safty gloves . Don´t wreck your health!!!

All following steps should be finished with a test wether the light shines or not before the next step ist follows. So you make sure that you succeed.

Then you have to solder a wire (long enaugh) to the short wires of the filament LED coming through the glass holder (see pictures) and then insulate them with a piece of shrink hose.

Next step ist to connect the already prepared blue LED with the leftover pin in the middle of the glass holder. This works best with a piece of shrink hose. Next you fix these elements with epoxy resin. Last step ist to put filament with its glass holder into a new lamp holder. Fix it also with epoxy resin or hot glue. I used an old E14 socket and screwed this "new" lamp into a fitting bulbholder (see pictures). Lead the wires through the lantern holder to the junction box.

Step 5: Electrical Part

You may have noticed that I like to work a lot with these flash units from disposal cameras in my projects. Well if you ask yourself how it works I give you once again the link to my explaning instructable about this item. High voltage power supply I also show you the pcb and the possible connecting points in principal and the shematic (credits to plasmana!) too. In detail I also show you where I soldered the wires in this case (see pictures).

Hope you enjoyed this instructables and please vote for it!

Yours Aeon Junophor

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