LED Steampunk Lamp Using Old Light Bulbs

Introduction: LED Steampunk Lamp Using Old Light Bulbs

About: I'm an electronic hobbyist that likes to make stuff. :)

In this instructable I am going to show you how to make an LED Steampunk lamp using old light bulbs.

I wanted to make a Steampunk lamp out of old light bulbs for a long time but I was always busy with other projects. Recently I finally got to it by making an instructable on how to open a light bulb without breaking it which is in some way part one of this instructable.

Let's start making!

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Step 1: Tools Required

  • Pipe cutter
  • Wire stripper
  • Hot glue gun
  • 9/32 metal drill bit
  • Drill
  • Punch
  • Hammer
  • Soldering iron and solder

Step 2: Materials

Non electronic parts:

  • 10.5x17.5mm Can (tomato juice can)
  • 10.0x11.8mm Can (diced tomatoes can)
  • 1/2''x10'' Copper pipe
  • 2-3 Hot glue stick
  • 3 Old incandescent light bulbs
  • Copper paint marker

Electronic parts:

  • 5V power adapter
  • Three 5mm warm white straw hat LED's
  • Three 220Ohm resistors
  • One 1000uF or more electrolytic capacitor (optional)
  • One toggle switch (I only had a rocker switch)
  • Some electrical wires

Step 3: Cut the Copper Pipe Into Pieces and Sandpaper Them

For the copper pipe, you'll need:

  • One piece of 1 1/2'' for the front light bulb
  • One piece of 4'' for the two rear bulbs
  • And four 1'' pieces for the lamp's feet

I sand papered the copper pipes pieces but you can leave them the way they are if you want.

Step 4: Drill Two Holes for the Wires and Another One for the Switch in the Tall Can

Drill two holes about 2 inches from the side using a punch before to help you drill stay where you want.

Since I didn't had a toggle switch I used a flat screw driver and a hammer to make a square opening for my rocker switch.

If you have a toggle switch, just drill a hole the size of it.

Step 5: Wire the LED's With Resistors in Series

First up, cut the leads of the LED's leaving about 1/4'' and do the same on both side of the resistors.

Now, solder the resistors to the positive leads of the LED's and wire them up making sure you leave at least one foot long of wire.

Step 6: Open the Light Bulbs

To open the light bulbs, check out my other instructable on How to open a light bulb without breaking it

Step 7: Glue the LED's to the Light Bulbs

For the front light bulb, I glued the LED to the pipe with hot glue but I strongly recommend gluing it in the light bulb's base as I did with the two rear light bulbs.

Step 8: Glue the Light Bulbs to the Copper Pipes

On the front light bulb I used my soldering iron and some solder to attach it to the copper pipe and it made the hot glue holding the LED to melt so just use hot glue to attach it as I did with the rear light bulbs. ...Learn from my mistakes! :P

Step 9: Glue the Copper Pipe Feet to the Can

To glue the copper pipe feet, place your lamp on a flat surface and rotate it until the two holes are strait at the top.

Now start by placing one foot and glue it in place and then once you've done that, the three other are easy to place as you don't have to worry if the two holes are strait at the top.

Step 10: Glue the Light Bulbs to the Can

To glue the light bulbs to the can, start by passing the wires through the hole and then using hot glue, glue the pipe to the can making sure it's strait.

Do this with the front and rear light bulbs and go to the next step.

Step 11: Copper Paint for the Look

I thought that the hot glue joints weren't very steampunk looking so using a copper paint marker, I painted them and now it really looks it was soldered joints! :)

I also painted some part of the can to add some style.

Step 12: Wire Up the Switch to the LED's

To wire the switch to the LED's, take all the positive of the LED's and connect them to one end of the switch and connect a wire to the other end that is long enough to come out of the can and connect to the positive of the power adapter.

Step 13: Make the Rear Panel and Add a Female Power Connector

To make the rear panel, take the smaller can and cut it at the last rib.

If you have a spare female power connector that match the one of your power adapter, drill a hole in the rear panel the size if it and glue it with hot glue making sure it is aligned with the hole.

Or just drill a hole in the rear panel and pass the cable of your power adapter through it.

Step 14: Connect the Negative and Positive to the Female Power Connector

Use some soldering to connect all the LED's negative to the female power connector's negative and connect the wire from the switch to the positive of the female power connector.

Check the next step before insulating the connections.

Step 15: Add a Capacitor for a Fade Out Effect When Turned Off (Optional)

Adding an electrolytic capacitor to the circuit is only optional but I really love the fade out effect when you turn off the lamp and it gives it an incandescent Steampunk look. :)

To connect the capacitor, connect the positive side to the end of the switch where the LED's connects and the negative side to the negative of the power adapter or female power connector.

The more uF your capacitor, the slower it will fade. I think between 1000uF and 4700uF is good but you can test different ones to get the fade out speed you are looking for.

I used two 1800uF capacitors in derivation so it gave me a total of 3600uF and gives quite an extended fade out.

You can now insert the switch into place, glue the capacitor inside the can and insulate all the connection with electrical tape and hot glue.

Step 16: Close the Rear Panel and Fire It Up!

To close the rear panel, use square of soft foam insulator and stuck them around or if you don't have the intention to modify the circuit in the future, just glue it using hot glue.

Step 17: Time to Sit Back and Enjoy Your Steampunk Lamp!

Hope you enjoyed my instructable and that it inspired you.

If you make this project, don't forget to post a picture of it in the comment using the "I made it" button! I can't wait to see how it turned out for you and if you improved it. ^^

Thanks to everyone who's following me, I never thought I'd reach that much followers so fast! :)

If you want to help me to buy materials for my upcoming instructable projects, click on the link to my funding page and click on the PayPal donate button!


All Donations are very appreciated! :)

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Have fun!


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