Introduction: Repurpose Old/Blown Light Bulbs

About: Just another tinkerer

I absolutely love these vintage style energy saving LED filament light bulbs but unfortunately so far they don't seem to last very long and for some reason I can't bring myself to throw them away!

So I designed this easy stand to reuse them...

What you will need:

  • Blown/non functioning light bulb (Do not use fluorescent light bulbs)
  • About 70cm of wood ( I used a 15mmx20mm hardwood strip )
  • A saw
  • Pliers
  • A screwdriver
  • Adhesive ( Wood glue or CA glue )
  • Access to a 3D printer
  • Some sandpaper
  • Eyewear and gloves

Step 1: A Light Bulb Moment...

First you will need to hollow out your light bulb.

You will need some common tools, a screwdriver and snips pliers. Now it's time to dawn your gloves and eye protection as we will be breaking the back of the bulb open. Note that on the photos I removed the brass screw from the bulb to make it easier to see.

  • Start by gripping the solder point above the screw and give it a twist with your pliers. You will free the brass contact and break one of the wires leading to the filament.
  • Once the contact has been pulled out, carefully crack the black glass insulator that the solder was attached to. Be careful as the glass loves to go flying everywhere!
  • Inside the hole you just created you will see a glass tube, use your screwdriver to break it away. This will create the opening in your bulb.
  • Using the screwdriver you can enlarge the hole a bit so that you can shake the filament out.
  • Now you can wash out your bulb with some tap water being careful of the sharp bits of glass leftover.

Here is also a great Instructable by TrầnB on how to do it if you want to check it out: Hollow out lightbulb

Step 2: Lets Get Constructing

Now that we have a usable light bulb we can start making the frame...

Here is how I made the cuts:

  • 2X 100mm pieces with a 45deg cut on the one side and 22.5deg on the other side
  • 2X 140mm pieces with a 90deg side and a 45deg side
  • 1x 100mm piece with both ends 90degrees

I used a mitre box to make cutting easier but it can also be done by hand. Give the pieces a light sanding to get rid of any splinters.

Glue the pieces together as shown in the picture with wood glue or CA glue keeping one side separate because we need to slip on our printed holder before completing the assembly.

Step 3: Getting a Hold on Things

Next we need our bulb holder...

For this I decided a 3D printed part would be the easiest route so I turned to TinkerCAD to quickly make a holder that slips over the wood, this allows you to make your wooden piece longer and be able to slip on more than one bulb.

I have attached the file I made but you can adjust it to suit the diameter of the wood used.

It's a quick under 1 hour print and uses very little filament.

I printed it in gold ABS at 0.2mm layer height and a 0.6mm nozzle.

After printing I sprayed a coat of clear over the print but this is not necessary.

Link to design

Step 4: We're Done!

Slide your holder onto the wood and glue the remaining side in place and we're done!..

I finished with a light coat of linseed oil to bring out the beautiful colour of the wood.

Time to screw in your bulb and fill it with your hearts desire, I personally LOVE plants so I filled it up with water and plopped in some greenery.

I would love if you guys share your designs here.

Happy making!

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