Light Bulb Lamp: Another Option





Introduction: Light Bulb Lamp: Another Option

About: I'm just another person out there trying to get the most out of life. I love to expole the world around me and try to have a good time doing so.

I too saw the post of the light bulb lamp ad got started working on my own. I was hoping to put out an instructable before anyone else did, but BUMPUS beat me to it (cheers mate!)


This instructable covers the entire process, from a new light bulb to a new lamp. It includes the hollowing out of the bulb. However, you'll need to come up with your own base for the lamp.

Special thanks to nm918273 for the original instructions on how to hollow a light bulb.

Bigger thanks to my little bro Tanner for shooting the pics.

I did my best to include a lot of photos and detailed steps.

Hope you enjoy it.


Step 1: Materials Needed!

-Light Bulb
-Pop Can
-Old Sock
-Lamp Oil

-Needle Nose Pliers
-Flathead Screw Driver
-Exacto Knife
-Big Ol' Nail

Step 2: Hollow Out the Bulb!


(I really thought something would pop or explode during this process, but it didn't. Not as exciting, but less dangerous)

1- Using your exacto knife pry up an edge of the brass disk on the bottom of the bulb.

2- Use your pliers to pull it off.

Time to move outside as there's going to be some broken glass. Be safe, clean up your mess when you're done.

3- With patience and care remove the black glass cone that the brass disk was attached to. I used the following methods--
-Resting the threads (not the bulb) on a sturdy surface tap the glass with the pliers to chip/break it.
-Holding the bulb use the screwdriver as a chisel and the piers as a hammer.
-Use the nail as a chisel and the pliers as a hammer.
-Use the pliers to grip and pull out the last few chunks.


4- Use the screwdriver as a chisel once again and break the glass that hold the filament in place inside the bulb.

5- Use your pliers to break up pieces too big to fall out of the hole but simply squeezing them.

You should have a nice white hollow bulb now.

Step 3: Clean the Bulb!

As you examine the bulb now you'll see some of the white removed where the broken bits were moving about inside the bulb. We're basically going to do the same thing to get all the white out, but we'll use salt instead of broken glass.

1- Put about a spoon full of salt in the bulb.

2- Cover the hole with your hand/finger and swirl. You'll need to use different positions and angles to get all the white out.

Now you've got a clean hollow bulb. Oh the possibilities!

Step 4: Cap and Wick!

We're about to make a small aluminum disk that will cap the hole in the bottom of the bulb, through which we will put the wick that we will make out of a sock.

1- Use your exacto knife to cut a one inch square from the side of the pop can.

2- Use your scissors to a circle with a thin tab protruding from one side.

3- Fold the tab in against the painted side, then up perpendicular about half it's length.

4- Use your exacto knife as small screwdriver to cut/punch a hole for the wick.

5- Cut a thin strip from the top (not the elastic bit) of the sock.

6- Use the tip of your exacto knife to push the wick up through the cap.

For the most part the cap will be held on by the weight of the wick. We put the tab on the cap so that the lamp can be displayed at an angle. As long as the tab is at the lowered edge of the cap it will keep the cap more or less centered.

You might experiment with two tabs instead of one.

Step 5: Fill! Assemble! Light! Enjoy!

Almost there!

1- Find a base for your lamp. I found an old brass fitting in the garage that I polished up. Other suggestions: a shot glass, large washer, or piece of wood with a large hole drilled into it.

2- Fill the bulb 1/3 to 1/2 with lamp oil.

3- Slip the wick in and rest the cap on top. Use the tab to stabilize and position it.

4- Once the wick is saturated with the oil light it up!

That's it! Enjoy your new lamp with caution as it is fragile, easy to tip over and has an open flame.

Thanks for stickin' with it till the end.




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    109 Discussions

    Just finished this project. Not exactly the same but pretty close. I love it.

    Very cool, the only thing i first noticed is that a european lighbulb is different.
    the glass blub is completely closed, the electronics are cast inside the glass, its an way to make te lamp more effecient and safe. im only looking for a good solution to refil it !

    i used to have a friend that was in a gang he died a few years ago but he used somthing like this to set fires

    all the glass that had to break during this process really refused to do anything. maybe for the german lightbulb I used that looked a little diffrent from the one you are using.

    2 replies

    oh, and i forgot to say - you might find the white coating doesn't come off with just salt, too - i guess it's a different material. I got it off with salt and water, but sand and water might be better!

    Hey Honigkuchen,

    if German light bulbs are like English ones, then they're much more stubborn than the American ones seem to be, but it's still possible to do this. Use something soft to protect the bulb, grip it firmly by the metal part, and tap th black glass repeatedly, very hard, using controlled force and a small scredriver or other instrument. Eventually the glass will start to crack, and by combining the various tricks mentioned above you should be able to clear out all the black glass. It took me about 20 minutes per bulb, with a 50% success rate (the bits you're trying to break are much stronger than the part you want to keep whole...)

    I recommend wearing glasses or goggles and working somewhere easy to sweep!

    Have fun,

    Water alone will not remove the residue, you need an abrasive media or thin-necked toothbrush/pipe cleaner. (fiddly, just use the abrasive)

    I guess, but I'm not really sure. The salt is super quick and efficient. Plus, you dry time and no water spots. Know what I mean?

    I just finished mine, its an awesome idea. It actually made me join here. I used two magnets, a small one inside the bulb and one hidden under a tealight shell. Now it stands stable and i can lean it over to a side without worries.


    That's really cool. You could also make some sort of wall mount.  

    basically tippmannphreak is saying it looks like an improvised incendiary device, like a molotov cocktail

    What fuel is better: Paraffin Oil (aka. Kero), Metho/Alcohol or Oil. What do they smell like, how flammable are they, if it spills out of a light bulb and brakes what one would do more damage? All those kinds of things I want to know Thanks