How to Hollow Out a Lightbulb and Make a Stand for It




for other uses like plasma globes and aquariums

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Step 1: Materials

for this you will need;

lightbulb (preferably burnt out)
scrap wood block
wire hanger


wire cutters
duct tape (or stapler or staple gun)

Step 2: Remove Brass Contact, Black Glass, and Stuff

use pliers to pull off the brass contact

then use pliers to chip away the black glass

drill the inside of the glass to remove the filament thing and remove sharp glass

Step 3: Clean Out the Bulb

empty out the shards

put a spoonfull of salt in the bulb, cover the opening with your thumb, and shake

empty out the salt, fill halfway with water, cover the opening with your thumb, and shake

Step 4: Now for the Stand

cut a long piece of wire from the hanger

wrap the end of it it around the screw on the bulb

about two inches from the bulb bend the wire down 90 degrees

five or six inches from that bend bend it to be horizontal then two inches from that bend it right 90 degrees

staple or duct tape it to the board

Step 5: Finished

the stand is strong enough to hold the bulb when it's filled with water

you can put a guppie or feeder fish in it (picture soon, i have to find it)

this site gave me the idea for the bulb (and has better pictures)

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    88 Discussions


    3 years ago

    An alternative to duct tape or staple gun love:

    Drill a hole in the end of the base, fill with liquid nails, jam a length of the wire in.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    considering this type of bulb is illegal to manufacture in the US now some one should consider making and selling pre hollowed out ones for doing crafts like this cause the new spiral kind wouldn't be the same

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    I believe only 100W ones are illegal...


    7 years ago on Introduction

    When you mount the wire to your block of wood, simply drill a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the wire and use a grommet for a finished look. Nail polish will hold it permanently. I used them for money plants, the roots look cool.

    i want to say thanks for this instructable. the whole hollowing out a lightbulb was a pain for me until i found it. i emptied my bulbs for the hourglass i made. it was prettyy fun.

    9 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    salt removes the "Soft White" coating from the inside of the bulb. Basically the salt acts like a media abraisive. Meth addicts around the world use this technique to very inexpensively create a "Pipe" so if you've got teen age kids, this may well be a good way to catch them in time to get them treated.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    instead of drilling into to the end of the bulb, use a hammer to break the black glass cool instructable!


    9 years ago on Step 5

    This is very cool!  I'm going to try to combine it with this idea as a novelty gift: