Hanging Bottle Light Bulb




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.

Make a light bulb from an ordinary bottle.

My previous bottle bulb was a failure of the good kind. I learned quite a bit so check it out first before proceeding.


This one is simpler to assemble, display and has greater reliability.

Extensive research along with clues from other Instructables members has lead me here...

Please play safe when using compressed gas, deep vacuum in glass vessels and electricity....

Step 1: Materials

Please refer to my bottle bulb instructable...

Again you will need a clean glass bottle. I chose a clear bottle but a colored one would be preferable
A rough service light bulb.
2 part epoxy
some brass welding rod
A refrigeration schrader valve and stem.
a small section of 1 inch nylon rod.
Light wiring, heat shrink tubing and chain.

You will also need a vacuum pump. not a vacuum cleaner
Gauge assembly
Argon and regulator

Step 2: Harvest the Filament.

I am still waiting to receive my tungsten wire...

That is the main reason for my choice to harvest a filament from an existing bulb.

I chose the rough service bulb since the filament is thicker and has more supports.

The bulb is wrapped in a paper tower and gently tapped with a pointy metal object to break it. The filament along with the glass support is removed.

I chose to shape the filament into a heart for aesthetics. This was done with small pliers and patience. Don not tough or stress the filament or it will burn out.

Be sure to keep the leads long since the silvery pare of the supports near the glass are coated with zirconium which helps with any left over air that wasn't removed, more on this later.

It needs to fit through the neck of the bottle.

Carefully lay it aside for later.

Step 3: Make the Seal

You will need to carefully shape a stopper plug for the bottle.

I used a scrap piece of 1 inch nylon dowel.

The dowel needed to be cut down in diameter. I used a one inch hole saw followed by a 7/8 inch hole saw then trimmed off the edges.

It is important to have snug but not friction fit. If the plug is too large the bottle neck will break. The combination described above was a perfect fit for the bottle that I chose.

The center hole from the hole saws was drilled all the way through using a 1/4 inch bit.

There were to smaller 1/8 inch holes drilled to accommodate the bulb wiring.

These need to be enlarged at the top to prevent an electrical short.

Step 4: Connect the Filament.

Cut two equal sections of brass welding rod and slightly bend one end at about the1 inch mark.

Cut down the copper tube off of the refrigeration Schrader valve.

Press the brass leads into the plug so that the bent ends are at the top pointing outwards.

Press the Schrader valve into the plug.

Weld the filament leads to the straight ends of the brass rods.

Coat the lower surface of the plug with epoxy.

Carefully press the assembly into the bottle and wait the prescribed amount of time for the epoxy to cure.

Step 5: Make the Connections

Solder some lamp wire to the exposed ends of the brass rods then cover the soldered connection with heat shrink tubing.

The hanger was made by tightly wrapping a short section of the brass welding rod around a 1/2 inch black pipe. One end was cut off leaving a couple of coils.

The other end was bent into a hook shape.

The brass hanger was then threaded onto the screw neck of the bottle.

Step 6: Remove the Air

The gauge set is an unused refrigeration service set.

The yellow hoses is connected to the vacuum pump.
The blue hose is connected to the bottle.
The red hose is connected to the argon.

The extra vacuum gauge is optional.

The vacuum is run on the bottle for a minimum of 15 minutes then shut off. Leave it for about an hour to verify that there are no leaks. repair any leaks with epoxy if found.

Turn the vacuum on for another 15 minutes then shut it off.

Carefully add some argon to the bottle while still maintaining the bottle with some vacuum. I left the bottle with around 5 inches Hg

Note if there is still air in the bottle the filament will smoke and burn. Immediately shut of the power and re-vacuum then re-charge the bottle.

A small amount of air can be tolerated as the zirconium on the filament leads will capture it.

Step 7: Seal and Enjoy.

Use the cap provided with the valve to seal the Schrader valve.

Hang the bottle using som lamp chain


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    23 Discussions


    3 years ago

    very cool can you read with it as I am looking to make a glob for a standing lamp but I must be able to read with it. also a long life would also be great for obvious reasons.


    Reply 3 years ago

    I don't have control over that. try the forums for a potential solution.


    7 years ago on Step 6

    Is there a reason you are keeping slightly negative pressure on the bulb? I get vacuuming the bottle to evacuate it and dry it out to keep things pure, but argon is denser than air (I thought) and it seems like keeping it at ambient pressure but 100% argon would help prevent leaks?

    Just thinking out loud :)

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I think you could also use helium and fill the bottle upside down without any vacuum.

    Cool project.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Bravo! I'm very intrigued by your project. I have a couple of questions:

    1) Is your bottle-bulb still working?
    2) You left a little bit of negative pressure (i.e. a slight vacuum) in the bottle.  Any reason to not leave a slight positive pressure to keep oxygen from leaking into the bottle?
    3) How hot does the bottle get?  I was thinking that a moldable plastic like sugru would be easier to plug the neck but it might not be able to stand the heat.

    This is a great project. Have you ever seen this video?


    I have a 1.75 liter Jagermeister bottle that I think would be great for this! Now all I have to do is befriend an A/C tech. lol


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I have yet to see a rat that a 12 ga. shotgun with deer slugs can not kill....LOL


    7 years ago on Introduction

    and for added use if you ever get into a fight you have a very hot glass bottle to throw.....(warning may want to wear gloves)

    6 replies

    7 years ago on Step 7

    Perfect ,thanks .But litle , weare need profesinal equipment.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Most incandescent bulbs get awfully hot while running.
    From memory something like 90-95% of the power is lost as heat.

    What can you say about about heat?

    1 reply

    Don't kiss the bottle!

    Seriously just treat it as you would a normal bulb. The argon helps a little but it does get hot.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Is there a chance of the bottle under vacuum if a larger bottle us used?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool project! I request next one be a electron beam gun with a photo sensative layer! Next step, the boob tube :)