How to Make Blinking Light Bulbs With Lamp Starters




Did you ever wanted to make light bulbs blink but you didn't really feel like designing a circuit for it? Maybe you don't need one.
This is a small and easy trick you can do.

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Step 1: Connections

All you're going to need is a fluorescent lamp starter and a light bulb.

A lamp starter (at least the old ones) were basically a thermal switch, what this means is that when they establish the electrical connection, they heat up. That heat deforms the shape of the switch, which is made with a material exactly for that purpose. The deformation breaks the connection, and "the switch turns off". While it's off, the material cools down and returns to its original shape, establishing the connection again. The cycle goes on and on.

With this in mind, we can think of the lamp starter as an automatic and random switch, so we just have to connect it in series with a light bulb.

Step 2: Results

I tried it with 3 starters and 3 lamps, and this was the final result:

Obviously this is not gonna be good for the life time of the bulbs, since they are always turning on and off, it's a matter of time until they turn off for good. But still, it's a cool and simple trick.

Source: The Fragmentation Paradox
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    6 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Very nice! I've also seen this circuit used to simulate firelight. A couple of out-of-sync light bulbs, orange and red cellophane to colour the light and it looks fabulous.


    1 year ago

    How to connect each bulb with starter


    5 years ago on Introduction

    In my childhood we called this circuit "poor man disco light". But I was a rocker, I have never been in disco clubs, so we used this effect to make our parents mad:-)

    Very interesting, however. Congrats for it!

    1 reply