Pinball Pop Bumper Nightlight




Introduction: Pinball Pop Bumper Nightlight

In this Instructable we will make a nightlight from a pinball pop bumper cap. Most of the parts are easily sourced at your local Hardware Store (Ace, Lowe's, Home Depot etc) but the actual cap will need to come from a pinball machine, or a pinball fanatic. If you have friends who are collectors, they can probably supply you up with a cap. Otherwise there are several online vendors who sell original and reproduction caps, and one can always count on eBay for these sort of collectables.


LED Night Light (I got mine from Orchard Supply Hardware)
Acrylic sheet
Silicone sealant
small piece of self adhesive vinyl. White preferred - bumper sticker material works great.
masking or blue painter's tape

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Step 1: Take Night Light Apart. Measure; Cut Some Acrylic

The night light I used for this project had a base and a rotating top.  I popped the top off using a small screwdriver. 

I measured the diameter of the LED bulb in the center, and also the inside diameter of the depression, and also the size of the inside of the pop bumper cap.  These dimensions are used to cut acrylic spacers for the transition from the lighted base to the pop bumper cap.

I used the laser engraver at the TechShop in San Jose to cut three discs - two are donuts, with a center hole just larger than the LED bulb and outside dimension small enough to fit inside the base.  The third disc fits just inside the smallest part of the pop bumper cap. If you don't have access to a laser cutter, you can cut the acrylic with a jig saw or coping saw and clean up the edges.

Step 2: Glue Acrylic Together

Squeeze some silicon sealant onto the base of the nightlight.  Put one of the larger pieces of acrylic on, add a couple dabs more on top if it and place the second donut-shaped piece on top of it. 

Step 3: What's the Little Piece of Vinyl For?

Add the small piece of vinyl to the center of the small disc and glue the disc to the top of the stack already on the nightlight base.  This piece of vinyl acts as a diffuser to soften the harsh LED glow.  The second picture show the light without the diffuser in place. For the third and forth images I placed the pop bumper cap on the light, without and then with the diffuser.

(I first tried sanding the top disc to soften the hot spot, but it didn't diffuse enough. I was surprised how well the glow diffused using the opaque white sticker).

Step 4: Final Assembly

Once the three pieces of acrylic are glued together and onto the base, insert the whole stack into the back of the pop bumper cap. Check the orientation - consider which way should be "up" once the nightlight is plugged into a wall socket. Once you have your orientation set, place the cap on the table, face down, and insert the rest of the stack in the pocket of the cap. Run a bead of silicone sealant around the gap between the cap and the nightlight base, check the orientation again and then leave it to dry, face down, for several hours. I usually leave them drying overnight.

Step 5: Plug in and Enjoy!

Plug it in and enjoy!

If you want the light on all the time, simply cover the light sensor with some masking tape (which is what I did for the photos).

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    3 Discussions

    Retro Benny
    Retro Benny

    4 years ago on Step 5

    Sweet little mod! I think I'm going to use it for my home game room.