Introduction: Old Tyme Glass Lights...

About: Professional work in various electrical and mechanical fields, obscure sense of humour and typically willing to help... Currently under contract designing environmental monitoring equipment.

I inadvertently stumbled on this while making a Newton's Cradle.

LEDs fastened to marbles create wonderful illumination...

Step 1: Answers and Challenge

1: I dislike blue LED simply for the fact that they hurt my eyes at night.

2: I use them because I have a surplus of 200 of these demon lights and I do not want to waste something that I like on an experiment. OH... and they tend to photograph really well.

3: You cannot drill a hole deep enough into a glass marble to accept an LED! They always crack at less than 1/8 of an inch

4: the interface between the cut LED and Ground Glass is optically good and gives excellent light transfer to the Marble.

5: The Glass marble is a lens which diffuses the light.

6 This is an LED modification and is used wherever you would use a standard LED. You will connect it as you would any other LED.


So certain I am that you cannot drill a hole deep enough into a glass marble to accept a 5mm LED... that I will gift the first person that can show me a picture of 2 working drilled glass marble LEDs, drilled using supplies available to a regular person at a minimal cost... a 1 year PRO membership to Instructables ( if that is acceptable to the overseers of this excellent site)

Step 2: Materials

You will need:

Glass marbles
Cyanoacrylate glue
and an abrasive cut off tool

Step 3: Make the Light

Carefully cut the tip off af the LED

Be sure to leave enough material above the internal workings. I just remove the rounded tip. This is done with a Dremel with an abrasive cut off blade.

A grinding stone is used to create a rough spot on the glass marble.

Place a drop of Cyanoacrylate glue on the marble then place the cut LED to the glue. Press for recommended time then leave to cure.

Step 4: After the Cure

Once the glue has dried....

I found that boring a hole slightly less than the diameter of the marble in the interface will allow the marble to act as an indicator when lit.

I had unusually good success with this one despite my absolute hatred of blue LEDs...

Enjoy the old tyme feel of the light...

Make It Glow Challenge

Participated in the
Make It Glow Challenge

Hack It! Challenge

Participated in the
Hack It! Challenge