Introduction: Xenon Plasma Lamp + UPDATES!

I first want to start this with...
*This instructable involves high voltage and sharp tools so please always be careful.
*If you are incapable of doing this in a safe manner, please have adult supervision.
This instructable will teach you how to make a cool but rather inefficient plasma lamp thats only enough to kind of help you read a book in the dark.
Please enjoy it.
Now that’s settled, let’s get into the supplies.


A Xenon flash tube (I got a cheaper one at amazon. If all you see are expensive ones, just keep looking around and you’ll eventually find some cheaper ones.),
A high voltage power source (I used a 30kv negative ion generator as it is safer and does not produce harmful high current electricity.I recommend using this option), 9 volt battery holder/switch(If you use the negative ion generator option), Soldering iron+Solder(I found that UV curing glue works quite well as a substitute and is a lot safer), heat shrink tubing, a base of some sorts (I used a cardboard lid. Also please consider the size. It needs to at least be able to hold the bulb and hide the high voltage source), pliers/wire cutters, cutter, scissors, electrical tape, black marker.

Step 1: DANGER:High Voltage

Get your negative ion generator (I’m gonna be calling it the N.I.GEN) and strip all of the wires by about an inch and slip about 1.5 inches of heat shrink tubing (H.S.T.)on the thin battery input wires.
Then, connect it to your 9 volt battery holder, red wire to red wire, black wire to black wire by twisting the two wires together, then solder/ UV glue the connections together and slide the H.S.T.s over the connections, making sure they are completely covered. Then shrink the tubes.
Once you are done, you can put in a 9V battery and test it out.
If it works, then we are onto the next step.

Step 2: Plasma Lamp:Base

Get your cardboard base and mark out two holes, one for the thin wires and one for the flash tube(make sure you cut the hole so that the electrode can get in the base but the whole tube doesn’t fall in. Then cut out the holes.
After that, customize your base, I just used electrical tape to cover the whole base.

Step 3: Plasma Lamp:Assembly

Fit the flash tube into the upper hole, The get your N.I.GEN’s output wires and fit them into the electrodes then wrap them around it. A good layer of UV glue should permanently connect the wires the the electrodes. Then fit the high voltage generator in the box and take the input wires out. Use more electrical tape to secure the flash tube and generator to the box.
It should look like the photos above.

Step 4: Finished!

This thing is very dim and is barely able to help you read a book in a relatively dark room, although it looks very cool.
How it works: The tube is filled with a special gas called Xenon, which is very conductive so when it encounters high voltage electricity it immediately ionizes and creates beautiful white arcs.

Links to get the supplies:

Flash Tubes


Where I got my N.I.GEN.

9V battery case w/ switch

Thank you for umm... watchi- reading? I guess..
I hope you guys enjoyed this!

Step 5: What’s to Come?

I currently have a larger flash tube on the way to be delivered to my house so stay tuned for updates.

Step 6: Updates!

My flash tube has arrived!

And I got a tiny tesla coil to try and power it up with AC.

Since the AC is high frequency, unlike the DC which creates pulsing sparks, the AC is more like a continuous beam. It also produces much brighter light which you can use as a better alternative to the inefficient DC lamp.

The beam reminds me of the proton gun from Ghostbusters.

In video one, it shows the DC pulsating sparks.

In video two, it show the AC xenon beam reacting to my finger.

In Video three it shows the interaction of the plasma with powerful neodymium magnets.

I hope you guys enjoyed this!

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