Hollowing a Light Bulb




I've seen a few people re-purposing light bulbs for other uses and decided I'd like to do that for a couple projects. To do that I'd first need to figure how to remove the internal filaments and wires from the bulb and to make it clear. I thought I would share my process in case anyone else wants to use this method if they need a small glass container/bucket.


- Light Bulb

- Razor Knife

- Needle-Nose Pliers

- Allen Wrench

- Table Salt

Safety - Please use the following items.

- Safety Glasses

- Gloves (I know I didn't wear them and that was a mistake on my part)

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Step 1: Remove Contact and Black Glass

Use your razor knife to gently work around the edge of the metal contact lifting up until it pops off.

There will be a small hole under the contact. I used my razor knife to make this slightly larger by using a twisting motion.

Once it's large enough use your needle nose to remove pieces of the black glass until it is all gone.

Step 2: Remove the Internal Parts

Now that the black glass is removed you should have a good view of inside of the light bulb.

There will be an internal glass housing protecting some of the wires. Use you Allen wrench to gently apply pressure until you break that glass.

**Be careful not to apply too much pressure and break the actual bulb.

Once that glass is broken you should be able to insert your needle nose and remove all of the internal components of the light bulb

Step 3: Clean Out the Glass

The easiest step is to just pour a small amount of salt into the bulb and shake it up to remove the powder coating inside to bulb and make it clear.

Then just pour out the salt and rinse and dry your bulb and it's ready for use in a future project.

***This particular bulb the actual glass is dyed blue but with most bulbs you should get a clear result.

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    9 Discussions


    10 months ago

    You can do the same thing as simple as using a Phillips screwdriver to pop the base out and a quick swirl inside for the filament then a quick salting (if frosted)


    3 years ago

    thechosenone, my first thought too! Heat the big part of the globe with a blow torch - gently! - and flatten it on a granite slab or something similar, and it stands alone.

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing that with me, I was wondering about the names of different parts as I created this. I also did not realize that there were already other projects describing this out there until I tried to search for my own.


    Reply 3 years ago

    There's a lot of project being remade many times here on Instructables. I personally think it's great to have many Ible of the same subject as you can explore many ways and tricks of doing it so when you get to do it you know what you'll have to deal with. :)