Make a Candle Light Bulb

About: My name is Taylor, I am an electrical repair tech by day and an engineer by night, after work or free time.

In this fun how-to I will show you how to make a candle lightbulb! It is a great conversation piece and its fun to make! Now this project is a bit out of my zone, I am an electronics guy and have no past expierence in candle making so if I did something you think I can improve on please let me know :)  This instructable does require a few steps that are a little risky, such as boiling and breaking glass, so please do this at your own risk, I am not responsible for any damage done to anything or anyone. 

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Step 1: Things Needed

The two major things needed is a lightbulb and around 15 tealight candles (white). The amount of tealight candles depends on a few things,One how big the light bulb is and two how long you let the wax boil. 
Other things needed are; Metal bowl/ pot, screw driver, sharp razor knife, light socket (I found a broken one in my garage) and a few other random things I will introduce later.

Step 2: Preparing the Lightbulb

The pictures of this step got corrupted while transfering :/ but I will do my best to describe what to do. This is an easy step but it is risky , Take the sharp razor knife and cut the bottom of the lightbulb off, once there is an opening into the bulb take a flat head screwdriver and break the glass mount part, after that is broken work on getting the glass shards out and the filament. You are basically gutting the lightbulb. You can look this step up on youtube. I washed the inside of the bulb out after I gutted it.

Step 3: Boiling the Wax.

This is a fun step :) in this step we are going to boil the wax! But before we melt the wax you need to remove the metal foil and the wick on the tealight candles then turn on the stove top (lowest setting works great) and place a metal bowl or pot on the burner I recommend just melting about 4 for now (I melted 7 and it was too much).  Melt them until the mass is reduced to a liquid. Then move on :)

Step 4: Starting the Mold.

If you didn't figure it out yet, we will be using the bulb shell as a mold for the candle. in the previous step I said to melt about four (maybe 5 or 6) tealight candles, This is for a good reason and that reason is we are going to use this little amount to set the wick hole. I do know that when candles are made you make the candle around the wick but in this case I couldn't figure out to do that because the majority of the candle is closed off. So an easy way around that is to pour a small amount of wax into the light bulb and let it set a little bit, but before it sets all the way place a wire in the middle of the bulb, hold the wire there until the wax sets. The wire will set the hole for the wick!

As you can see in the picture I filled the bulb up almost halfway , I later regreted that. It took a lot longer for the wax to set. Also you can see that the wax is yellow, but fear not! it sets white :)
I also used a glass to hold the lightbulb up right.

Step 5: Finishing the Mold.

After the wire is inplace you can pour more wax into the bulb, you simply just melt more tealight candles and pour it into the bulb. The wax took an hour to fully set. After the wax is poured in place, just find a way to keep the light bulb upright so the wax can set with out you needing to be there holding it. As I said earlier I used a glass to hold it up.

Step 6: Breaking the Mold.

This part is a little dangerous. Why? Because it involves breaking glass, More than the gutting part. 
After the wax has completly set you will need to get it out of the bulb, and the only way to do this is by breaking the glass. What I did was I put the bulb under a cloth and hit it very lightly with a butter knife. If you hit it hard the glass will splinter into the candle, You don't want that. Once you cracked the glass CAREFULLY remove all the glass. This process reminded me of removing the shell from a boiled egg. Once you break off and removed all the glass be sure to throw it all out. 

Step 7: The Wick.

After the candle is free from the shell you can pull the wire through the candle and you will see the hole for the wick. 

Step 8: The Stand.

You will notice that the candle cant stand by itself so you will have to make a stand. You can make the stand however you would like. I made my stand using an old light socket and a peanut butter lid. Very easy. After inserting the wick into the candle I made the candle fit into the old socket, I just twisted it until it was secure. For the peanut butter lid I drilled a hole large enough for the socket to sit in, I then spraypainted it black. After the paint dried I glued the light socket into the hole using super glue. 


You are now finished! take a deep breath, pat your self on the back and enjoy the outcome of your hard labor :) I hope you liked this fun little project. comment any questions or suggestions :)



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    3 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Traditionally I think you make candles by dipping the string into hot wax over and over again until it builds up. You could probably do the same until you have a hefty/weighted piece of string and then drop it into the bulb, and fill the bottom a bit as you have done, wait for it to dry, then pour the rest of the wax in once the string is anchored. Cool idea!