I'm not sure why but I have this fixation on things that light up and projects involving light bulbs (see my oil lamp and record lamp)
Anyway, I think that as the world switched to CFL's its is a shame to throw away all those wonderful light bulbs. After all, the CFL might give light, but it is not a cultural icon like the light bulb. I mean, when was the last time someone got an idea and a CFL appeared above their head? Exactly.
With that said here is another little project I've been playing around with in my head for a while. Its quick and fun. As an added bonus you get to reuse a burned out light bulb and make a novel night light that uses no electricity.
Hope you enjoy.
Step 1: Supplies
Burned Out Light Bulb
Glow in the Dark Paint*
5 Minuet Epoxy (optional, for gluing bulb to base)
Ceramic Light Bulb Fixture
Flat Head Screwdriver
Needle Nose Pliers
Cup of Some Sort
Note: I work heard to make thorough intructables. This includes pictures with notes explaining details. However, if anything is unclear, or you have suggestions please post them up.
*For this instructable I used United Nuclear UltraGlow. Its a bit pricey, but glows pretty good. You can purchase it here (be sure to check out all the other neat stuff they sell)
Step 2: Step One: Hollow the Bulb
This step involves glass, some fragile and some broken. Be safe. Do it over your sink or trash, and sweet the area after you are done. You might also consider wearing gloves
One: Using your screwdriver pry up the metal disk on the bottom of the light bulb
Two: Use your pliers to grasp and pull the metal disk off
Three: Break and remove the black glass cone at the bottom of the bulb. To do this seat a corner of your screwdriver in the hole at the bottom of the bulb and tap the end of the screwdriver with your pliers. Once you've broken the cone, use your pliers to break it more and remove the pieces.
(Step Three is a bit tricky. just be careful and take your time)
Four: Break and remove the internal structures of the bulb. Again, use your screwdriver by seating it against the internals and tapping it with your pliers. Then use your pliers again to break up and remove the sharp glass bits.
Step 3: Step Two: Clean and Paint the Bulb
One: Clean the bulb out but pouring some salt into it and swirling it around. You may have to do this two or three times.
(Note: Obviously you can skip One and Two if your bulb is clear. Also, if you don't have salt handy I'm sure you could get away with using rice or sand or something similar)
Two: Rinse the remaining residue with water. Set bulb on the cup to dry.
Three: Coat the inside of the bulb with a thin coat of paint. To do this squirt a fair amount in (a table spoon more or less) and run it around inside by turning the bulb and tapping it on your hand.
(Note: Its always easier to add paint then to deal with having put too much in)
Four: Set on the glass to allow to dry.
Step 4: Step Three: Mount the Bulb
One: Screw the bulb into the base. If you want you can glue it in by coating the threads with some 5 minuet epoxy.
Step 5: Enjoy!
There you have it! A fun little conversation piece as well as a recycled nightlight that uses zero electricity.
If you make this for some kiddos you might consider mounting it up on the wall out of their reach, or filling the bulb with something (acrylic?) so it does not break as easy.
Participated in the
Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest