How to Make a Light Bulb Oil Lamp

I show how to make an oil lamp using a regular incandescent light bulb. This is a great way to reuse old burned out light bulbs instead of just throwing them away. It elegantly turns a modern light source into an older one. The base can really be anything that can hold the bulb upright so be creative. You can also use a small magnet inside the bulb and a have a metal base with another magnet on it to keep the bulb upright without needing to use glue. Of course you’re not restricted to using only light bulbs, you can also make oil lamps with miniature 50 ml alcohol bottles, mason jars, and other glass containers.

An oil lamp is an object used to produce light continuously for a period of time using an oil-based fuel source. The use of oil lamps began thousands of years ago and is continued to this day, although not commonly anymore. Oil lamps are a form of lighting, and were used as an alternative to candles before the use of electric lights. Starting in 1780 the Argand lamp quickly replaced other oil lamps still in their basic ancient form. These were, in turn, replaced by the kerosene lamp in about 1850. In small towns and rural areas these continued in use well into the 20th century, until such areas were finally electrified, and light bulbs could be used for lighting. Most modern lamps (such as fuelled lanterns) have been replaced with gas-based or petroleum-based fuels to operate when emergency non-electric light is required. As such, oil lamps of today are primarily used for the particular ambience they produce, or in rituals and religious ceremonies.

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Step 1: Materials

- Incandescent light bulb (Clear or frosted)

- Thick cotton string/wick

- Pliers

- lamp oil, kerosene, paraffin oil, or alcohol.

- Plastic or metal scrap for the base.

- Screwdriver, to break the light bulbs glass insulator.

Step 2: Watch the Video

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