Homemade Lightbulb

Ever looked at a lightbulb and thought that doesn’t look too complicated, I bet I could make one? With this Instructable you can!

This lightbulb is made entirely out of simple, mostly household materials requiring very little in special equipment. The basic construction includes a glass jar filled with CO2 and a graphite filament(Pencil Lead). This makes it a carbon filament bulb analogous to those made by Edison before tungsten became the norm.

Homemade Lightbulb

Step 1: Supplies

Materials Needed:

  • Jar and Lid
  • Pencil Lead
  • Maleable Wire
  • Heat-Shrink Tubing
  • 4 Machine Screws(I used 10-32 1/2″)
  • 4 Nuts
  • 2 Acorn Nuts
  • JB Weld
  • Silicone
  • CO2 Canister
  • Short Length of Piano Wire

Tools Needed:

  • Drill and Bits
  • Wire Cutters
  • Needle-Nose Pliers
  • Vise-Grips
  • Scissors
  • Penknife
  • Screw Driver
  • Candle/Matches/Lighter
  • Air Nozzle(Only Unusual Tool Needed)
  • Oven
  • Voltage Source
  • Wire Leads
  • Multimeter(Optional)

Step 2: Hollow-Out The Screws

Drill a 3/32″ hole through the center of each screw.

Two of these will become vents for filling the jar with CO2 and two will be for holding the wire hangers.

This is much easier if you first drill a hole in a piece of scrap wood to hold the screw in place. You may want to purchase extra screws because keeping the drill straight and centered is difficult and you will mess up at least once.

Step 3: Prepare The Lid

Drill 4 holes in the lid arranged with equal spacing as in the photo.

Use a penknife to score the area around each hole on both sides of the lid. This will allow the epoxy to adhere better.

Step 4: The Hangers

Cut two lengths of wire approximately 10″ long.

Clamp the wire in the vise grips with about 1.5″ sticking out on one side.

Hold the length of piano wire against the vise grips such that it is perpendicular to the wire.

Use the needle-nose pliers to twist the wire around the piano wire.

Repeat for the second hanger.

Note: For my malleable wire I used 19 gauge stainless steel, though any solid core wire of similar gauge should work.

 

For more detail: Homemade Lightbulb

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