High Voltage Steampunk Plasma Night Light

About: I love all things nature. I have hiked from Mexico to Canada via the Pacific Crest Trail and Durango to Denver via the Colorado Trail. This life is where the name Lone Ginger comes from. I also summit 14ers ...

Based on the very detailed instructables by Junophor and Admiral Aaron Ravensdale I have built a steampunk inspired night light. Using a simple jewelry box, some scrap brass and copper bits and pieces, a High Voltage circuit built up from a single use camera and a little bit of imagination . Because others like Junophor and Admiral Aaron Ravensdale have already put in the work on there instructable I have chosen to just give an example of what can be done based on the ideas and knowledge of these two steampunkers, along with others I just happen to see their work first. I am new to the steampunk world and will be doing other pieces in the future, if you like my work and find inspiration in it please leave comments, I do appreciate constructive criticism!

Step 1: Supplies

-Jewelry box or other small box, preferably with built in compartment (or space to build if you wish) for electronics

-Copper bits, fittings, soft copper tube, etc.

-Brass bits, clock movents, etc.

-Single use camera

-Low voltage switch

-Battery holder

-Flicker flame bulb or other figural neon discharge bulb. In my testing with light bulbs that work to produce the desired plasma affect, I have found that vintage figural bulbs that are in the neon discharge group always work well. In testing I have used a Santa Claus bulb, a Zodiac charm bulb and of course flicker flame bulbs. All three bulbs are from different manufacturers and all work and all three can both produce a plasma affect or be driven to function in the traditional way by just attaching your ground to the ground off the bulb.

-Brass allthread and brass nuts

-copper(stained glass) or other conductive foil

-tube/pipe cutter


-dremmel, various bits


-solder, electrical and plumbing grades

-soldering iron

-helping hands



-general hand tools, files, screw drivers, etc

Step 2: Design and Build

Come up with a concept and do your best to execute said concept. This box uses the lid being closed to complete the circuit and some random clock gears to give it a more dramatic look in alternating between brass and copper. Copper foil is used to create a permanent plasma glow. The electronics are hidden in a built in compartment for the safety of you and the piece, while the amps are low the 200+ volts at the bulb is enough to let you know it is there. I may eventually put a solar charger off the back but as for now it is just fine the way it is

If you are looking for used cameras and cant find any, try a independent NON-coporate camera shop that still developes film, dont bother with walgreens, etc unless you know some one working there. If you still have no luck there is a seller on ebay selling the fuji circuit boards along with kodak(there is info on haking kodak and othe boards if you look) for a few dollars. If you are not comfortable with building the circuit, private message me, I can build you one with enough cable to do as you please with it with just a few easy off the board solder points. There would be a minimal charge + shipping, I aquire the boards free and it doesnt take all that long to build one.

Step 3: Circuit Board

Junophor has already provided a detailed fuji circuit board hack here https://www.instructables.com/id/High-voltage-power-supply-for-Nixies-CFL-Neon-Gl/ and here is a hack for another manufactureres board by The_Don125 https://www.instructables.com/id/Disposibal-Camera-Nixie-Tube-Driver/. A few other places on the web you can find hacks and there are a few videos on you tube as well that are very detailed.

Step 4: Updated

I wired in a 2.5v 500 ma output ac adapter that was purchased from a local thrift store for .99. I have run a light now for around a week straight with out the board burning up, it is not in an enclosure so that will be the next test to find out reliability.



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    7 Discussions


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks. The design is my own but not completely original. You should take a look at some of the other plasma bulb builds that I got my inspiration and know how from.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    you can find a very detailed instructable on fuji built circuits done by junophor here https://www.instructables.com/id/High-voltage-power-supply-for-Nixies-CFL-Neon-Gl/, and an instructable for another manufacturer here https://www.instructables.com/id/Disposibal-Camera-Nixie-Tube-Driver/


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is really cool looking! And pretty simple to make, it appears.

    Thanks for sharing your first instructable!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    thanks, it was fairly simple as my design shows but I am very limited in space and equipment currently.