Introduction: How (NOT!) to Make an EL Edison Lamp | Electroluminescent "Coil" Nightlight
In this instructable, I am going to show you How To Make An Electroluminescent Edison Lamp. Well, that, was what this Instructable was originally about.
I thought of attaching EL Wire inside a mason jar at an up-and-down zigzag way, Which would make it look like a pretty awesome Edison Lamp! Though it might look like it, But "EL" is the abbreviation of Electroluminescent, Not Edison Lamp
So, I bought 1 meter of EL Wire on eBay. After waiting about a month for it to arrive, I tested it out, But while experimenting with it, I accidentally didn't match the polarity when I plugged it in, And I burnt the inverter! I was so mad that I burnt it! I knew that if I ordered a new one, Then it wouldn't arrive in time so I could enter it in the Make it Glow Contest. After about an hour, I remembered that it wouldn't be the "end of the world" if I didn't enter it in the Make it Glow Contest, So I ordered another one (because they're so cheap!).
A few days ago the EL arrived in the mail (after the contest closed), And I was really happy that I could finally make my EL Edison Lamp! So today, I started making my lamp, Only to find out that: This doesn't work really well... (more on that later)
So I decided to make something else, A different kind of EL lamp!
Step 1: What You'll Need
1 Meter of Orange Electro-Luminescent Wire* (It comes with a 12V inverter)
A Tall Glass Mason Jar that has a small Circumference (Without the Sticker)
5.5mm Female Connector (This isn't what I used, But it is a lot better)
*Note about EL: I bought 1 meter which was originally priced at $0.85, But the price now is $2.60 :(
Hot Glue Gun
Soldering Iron +Solder
Step 2: The Edison Lamp Fail
As I mentioned earlier, I wasn't able to make the EL Edison Lamp that I wanted, But I did think of something else that I could make.
Basically, What made me change my mind and decide to make something else, Was that I wasn't able to hold the EL Wire properly inside of the jar, I couldn't get it to fold in an acute enough angle, And it just didn't fit! It also didn't help that I searched on the internet and no-one has ever made something like this before...
The pictures above show part of what I started to make, Before I changed my mind.
You might ask: "Okay, You changed your mind, But what did you decide to do?" I decided to wrap the EL Wire around a mason jar, This might not sound interesting, But it actually looks really cool! This isn't a regular Edison Lamp, But did turn out to be an awesome nightlight!
On a second thought, What I made does actually look like an Edison Lamp, It looks like Spiral Edison Lamp
Step 3: Hot Glue the EL Wire
I chose to use Hot Glue to glue the EL Wire onto the Mason Jar. I was pretty surprised to see that it adhered with a lot of strength, Even though the glass is very smooth. And don't worry, The EL won't melt, The outer sheathing of EL is made of PVC which melts at 160 °C (320 °F), And the temperature of a hot glue gun is about 120 °C (248 °F).
First, I glued the end of the EL wire to the bottom part of the Mason Jar
After that, I wrapped the EL Wire around the Mason Jar, While trying to keep the distance between each wire as equal as possible, As you can see in picture 2
To finish it off, I glued the other end (The end that connects to the black wires) to the top part of the Mason Jar.
Step 4: Extra Protection/Strength
I added some hot glue onto one side of the Mason Jar to help stop the EL Wire from shifting and ruining the alignment. I put as little hot glue as I could, But this side will be hidden anyway because it will be facing the wall
Step 5: Solder the 5.5mm Female Connector, and Then Insulate It W/ Hot-Glue
I used a 5.5mm female connector that I salvaged from an electronic device, If you use the screw connector that I gave a link to in the "What You'll Need" step, Then you won't need to solder.
I soldered the inverter's wires to the 5.5mm female connector. Remember to pay attention to the polarity, If you don't, You'll burn your inverter! That means: Red wire to the connector's middle connection (+), And black wire to the connector's outer connection (-). If this confuses you, It is explained in the first picture
After soldering, I insulated the connections with more hot glue, For an insulation task like this one, Hot glue is easier to use than heat-shrink tubing
Step 6: Done!
Done! You can now plug it in and it should give a soft orange glow, It now be perfect as a nightlight for my room!
Update: I think I might start making these as small presents, Because they are so easy to make! I showed this lamp to quite a bit of people in the last few days, And everyone thinks it's really cool (and want to touch it!)
Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2016
Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016
Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015