"Light Bulb" Simple and Easily Made




About: The name Cat’s Science Club comes from my daughter Aly, whom I call Aly Cat. She inspired me to take my love of science, and the fun I have with my students, to as many people as I can. Both my daughters hel...

Great way to light up the path to your door, back yard, party, or special occasion. These bulb lights are quick and easy to make and can be hung up or set on a table, walkway, road, etc. We used a couple different color LEDs to see the affect of them. Ally Cat liked the green and Kitty Cat loved the blue. So easy to make that we had Cool Cat make his own (he's eight).

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Step 1: Materials


  • Ping Pong Ball - We got ours from Kroger and some more from Menards. They had no brand name on them and they had a tiny spot to see the exact top of the ball.
  • 3V Battery - These can be bought cheap on e-bay if buying in bulk.
  • LED - Color of your choice
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hot Glue
  • Drill
  • Drill Bit - A bit bigger then the size of the LED

Optional Material

3/4" PVC Pipe - Cut in 1" ring OR Film Canister

Step 2: Drill

  • Find the bottom of the ball.
  • Find the center of the bottom.
  • Drill hole big enough to easily fit the LED.

Make sure you have plenty of extra room. The hot glue, a few steps later, will be

rubbed all the way off if the opening is not big enough.

Step 3: Make the "Candle"

  • Take your LED and bend the longer (positive) leg at a 90 degree angle.
  • Insert the short (negative) leg through the hole of the magnet. Bend the short leg up and around the magnet as shown.
  • Add the battery negative (-) side facing the magnet and LED. Bend the longer leg around the outside of battery as shown.
  • Hot glue around the bulb of the LED.

See our other instructable for more examples.

Step 4: Set the "Bulb"

  • Place the ping pong ball carefully over the LED.
  • Try hard to leave as much glue on the LED as possible. The glue on the LED diffuses the light to make a nice glow affect.
  • Let dry.

Step 5: Add Battery and Enjoy the Glow

  • Place battery negative side up toward the LED / bulb. Adjust the wire and or battery gently to keep the light on.

Step 6: Place Your Lights

We used these to light the path to a recent sweet 16 birthday party and to shine a light on a flyer we made. These look great around the pool, walking up to the house, on the porch, in the windows. Use your imagination and let us know what else we could do.

Step 7: Other Ideas

We used a left over piece of PVC pipe to place the "bulb" on. It may not look like it that much in the picture but it really looks like an old regular (incandescent) light bulb. Make sure the magnet and battery fit into the PVC and glue it place, if desired.

In the second picture we used a translucent (almost but not quite clear) film canister. Making it look grand and giving it a more all around glow.

We had the light bulb hanging upside down from the curtain rod and it also made a great overhead light.

Please share ideas. We already have a few of our own but that maybe for another time / instructable ;-)

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    14 Discussions


    Question 10 months ago

    What are the dimensions of the magnet used?

    1 answer
    Cats Science Clubkmmk4

    Reply 10 months ago

    Hi! Thanks for checking out this instructable.

    3/4" Solid 1/4" Hole

    Hope this helps.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    thanks for this nice instructable.

    Is the magnet used only to keep battery in place & allow for replacing it? I have none and would rather use plastic garbage + glue dot instead. Do you think that would work?

    2 replies

    Yes, the magnet is to hold the battery in place and allow for easy changing of the battery. The magnet also helps separate the positive and negative LED wires. Finally the magnet allows for placement of the light on metal. In the one picture we have the light on our door holding the sign for catsscienceclub.com We are pretty sure you could use your idea as well :-) Good luck!

    Great tutorial! Nice job on the photography! I really appreciate well thought-out 'ibles. The pingpong ball lights look great near the pathway:D I wonder if you could connect the lights to a solar panel so they could charge during the day.

    1 reply

    Thanks for such a nice comment!!!!!! I am sure the solar would work. The only 3v rechargeable batteries we could find are pretty expensive though. These batteries lasted over a month and a few are still going. Easy to change the battery out. A string of lights connected to rechargeable AA batteries with a solar panel, comes to mind as an excellent choice :)

    The lights have lasted a month running 24/7. Some are still going. Dog chewed one up and a few got kicked or stepped on. We had on a dark path and they looked great at night but during the day they were easy to miss (easy to miss seeing not kicking lol).