Steampunk Lamp: the Eye of Ra




About: Dan Aetherman, Steampunker, Inventor and Adventurer - Creator of fantastic victorian machines, gadgets and movieprops - Visit me on and on Facebook:

Dear Steampunkers, dear friends

After two relaxing evenings in my laboratory I'm very happy to present you a very special lamp:

The Eye of Ra

This very powerful lamp is dedicated to the ancient Egyptian Sun God Ra. It's so powerful, that it's recommended to wear your goggles to protect your eyes...

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: The Bulb: a Philips 437E With 500W

By chance I got this wonderful antique bulb from a nice friend. This Philips 437E is running with 230 Volts / 500 W and produces 11'000 Lumen.
To protect the bulb I planned to use a dimmer.

Step 2: The Old Coffee Mill

From another friend I got three very old coffee mills. One of them had the perfect shape and dimensions for my project.
I demounted the grinding gear and the wooden bottom. By chance the opening on the top was exactly the right size to fit the socket of the bulb...

Step 3: The Preparation

After I finished the mill I checked all the parts I planned to use.
  • The prepared coffee mill
  • The Philips 437E
  • A bulb socket
  • A dimmer 230V/800W
  • some cables and a 230V caple with plug
  • A heavy brass fitting from an old bakery machine
  • some screws
This time it was very funny to see, how all the parts were fitting together without some additional work...

Step 4: The Construction

After the check I started with the dimmer. I drilled a hole for the knob and used two screws to keep it on place.
At the other side of the mill I made a hole for the 230V cable.
The bulb socket fitted perfectly to the brass fitting, so I just had to screw it in...
Then I installed the brass ring with the bulb socket with four brass screws to the top of the coffee mill.
The slide didn't fit anymore, so I used only the front and glued it to the wooden walls.
Finally I closed the lamp body with the bottom.

Step 5: The Finish

After finishing the body I installed the bulb. Be sure to clean the bulb after with a soft towel. This bulbs become very hot, so it's very importent that they are really clean!

This Steampunk lamp is an eye catcher - and when you start this powerful light machine you will be impressed about the power of Light!

I hope I could give you some inspiration for your next Steampunk light.

Steam ahead!!!

The Chocolatist

Furniture Contest

Participated in the
Furniture Contest

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Make it Move

      Make it Move
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest

    31 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    AAAAAAAAACK! you committed the greatest sin of all time!! YOU TORE APART A COFFEE GRINDER!!!

    you should be flogged 1000 times!!!

    And did you know that Ra was an evil Egyptian god? His goal was to enslave the people of Egypt for a millennium but another Egyptian god got in the way & stopped him. when all was said & done, Ra was sentenced to live forever on the surface of the Sun.

    Hence why he's called the sun god,

    2 replies

    Thanks for your comment and the explanation concerning the Egyptian Gods.
    Not every old coffee grinder is worth to keep it for the next 100 years. I own a nice collection and I would never take them apart. Because hey are really antique.
    The one I used was nothing special and the mill was rosty (see pic). Now it has a new life and is shown in many exhibitions and Steampunk conventions... nothing better could happen!

    That was my lame attempt at being humorous....

    Yes I drink a ton of coffee per day, but in reality, coffee grinders do not excite me...the coffee might if it's good enough, but the grinder? where's my hammer?? LOL

    That lamp you made was very cool looking.
    I do not have access to my workshop at the moment....PFFFFFFFffffft, because of where I am living(not by choice mind you) I've not seen my workshop in over a year. 8 (

    I apologize if you took my comment as a wee bit harsh and/or I said, it was my lame attempt at be humorous.

    Thanks for your comment and the link. They have a few nice bulbs there. I found the company as I searched for the data of my Phillips bulb...

    Sincerely yours The Chocolatist a.k.a. Dani


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Where did you acquire the brass ring I have everything else including an identical bulb but I cannot find a brass ring if you could post a link or if anyone could post a link would be much appreciated many thanks


    3 replies

    Hi Jamie
    Thanks for your comment and your interest. The brass ring I used is from an old Bakery machine from the junk yard. So no way to get the same one again. May you could use the lid from a brass or copper cooking pan, and then you cut a hole in for the bulb base...
    Hope this idea could help you.
    Sincerely Dani aka The Chocolatist

    Using some sort of pipe flange or floor flange might work. This is the type of thing I am referring to:
    though the threading inside of this is probably too small. A larger one painted a brass color would probably work. Great Instructable!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    They had an old coffee grinder at the Good will,I knew I should have picked it up.Although coming across a bulb like yours,I could have used it.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Since we all can't get a cool vintage can get a close replica at home depot:
    Less than $10 and in either 40 or 60 watt versions

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi. Thank you for the link. I'm sure that will help a lot of people... here in Switzerland it became very difficult to get nice bulbs, because it became illegal to use them in your home - really sad! So, I keep searching...


    6 years ago on Step 5

    Great work.I really like the look and the functionality.
    Don't you just love the role of serendipity in what we do? How one finds things that just somehow fit together as if they were made to do so.
    One question, how do you adjust the dimmer switch? I might have missed something, but I can't see it on the pictures.

    1 reply

    Hi. Thanks for your feedback. The dimmer just fitted between the wood of the top of the mill, a small crevice. On the bottom I used two small screws. For the knob I drilled a hole. The knob is a 70 years old one from an old radio.


    Thanks. My granny would never give me her coffee mill!! But I got this one from a good old friend. His granny had still three of them in her Mountain Chalet high in the Swiss Alps...


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job! I've got an old grinder to do this mod. Might 'Punk' it more by attaching the old grinding handle on the side...

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea. I planned to do that too, but the distance between switch and full throttle of the dimmer was too long for the touched the ground...

    Another great invention from Switzerland!
    5 stars and a glass of Champaign.
    I hope we will be able to drink one together in the near future.

    Greetings from Denmark (only for two days)....

    Horatius Steam

    1 reply

    Thank you very much, Mr. Steam.
    And thanks for all the great suggestions, inspiration and help you give me.
    Greetings from Switzerland
    The Chocolatist