My inspiration for this project came from a few different things. First, I really wanted to use the most basic materials I could to create something new and artistic. I didn’t want to go to the store and buy a bunch of new material for my project. I wanted to create something that anybody could create with common household goods. I started to look through my drawers and various cabinets. I realized that my roommate and I have plenty of light bulbs not being used. Once I decided on doing my project with light bulbs, I researched some cool options that I could create in my home. The most appealing project to me was the candle made out of a light bulb. It doesn’t require purchasing anything besides some cotton rope and lamp oil. I think it is a really cool idea for a number of reasons. First, it is sort of ironic how you can create a candle out of something that is meant to provide light in another form. Second, I noticed that you can get really creative with the light bulb candle idea. Light bulbs come in many different colors, which allows for plenty of creativity with the design. Also, the smooth glassy appearance of light bulbs allows for plenty of space to create a functional art piece. Lastly, light bulbs are very inexpensive and you can make plenty of these candles if you wanted to. Below are some examples of inspirations I used for this project.

 

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I am not sure how this is done, I feel like the bulb would run out of oxygen or get too hot.  Either way, it is a very cool aesthetic.

 

glassybaby_sale_seattle_met_nitpfg

These are very popular candles called “Glassybaby” candles that give some of their proceeds to charity.  I like how diverse the color range is and how simple the candles are.

 

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This is exactly what I am going for with my project, something very simple but very appealing.

 

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This photo is what inspired me to try to get my light bulb to float.

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I tried getting my light bulbs to tilt like this, but the washer I used as a base wasn’t large enough to support the moment.

 

The design process seemed pretty linear for the most part, but there were some points where I had to reevaluate what I was doing. The required materials are a light bulb, metal washer, lamp oil, cotton string, hot glue, and pliers.

 

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The general procedure is fairly simple (but messy) to follow. You first need to remove the insulation from the threads of the light bulb. This requires breaking the glass insulation with some sort of sharp tool, I just used scissors. After doing this, you need to somehow remove the glass mount and filament from the inside of the bulb. There is no simple way of going about this, and it creates quite a mess. I used pliers to remove the insides of the bulb, which led to a few cuts on my hands from the glass.

 

IMG_5885 2

 

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After this point, you can be pretty creative with how you want to proceed. I opted to stick with the basic design; using only the materials I had lying around. In order to keep the wick from falling into the light bulb, you need to glue a washer onto the opening of the blub. This creates a small diameter hole for the cotton wick to sit on top of. You also need to create some sort of base for the light bulb to sit on without falling over. You could get very creative with this portion of the project, but I simply used a washer to balance the bulb. This gives the impression of a minimalistic design and makes it seem like the bulb is balancing on its own.

 

The final portion of the project involves pouring lamp oil into the bulb and knotting a cotton string to act as the wick. Once the string soaks up enough oil, it will burn constantly. I had an issue with this portion, because I tried to use a shoestring instead of purchasing a cotton string. I was hoping to stick with the theme of minimalism, but it turns out polyester burns too fast to keep a constant flame going. It also gives off a very nasty odor.

 

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At this point, I definitely want to refine the design to appear more artistic. The glass candle definitely meets my functional goals for the project. With a cotton string, the light bulb creates a constant flame that is small enough to put almost anywhere in you house. However, I must say that I failed to meet my artistic goals. In the future, I definitely want to add more color and creativity to the design of the candle. Instead of having a washer as a base, I think it would be cool to have some sort of structure that holds the light bulb at a tilt. If I could somehow get the light bulb to float in liquid while it is lit (maybe using some sort of anchor), it would look incredibly unique with dim lighting.

 

 

Images:

https://www.google.com/search?q=glassy+babies&espv=2&biw=943&bih=616&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwil94XZnd3KAhWKwiYKHUNWBVIQ_AUICSgD#imgrc=XgdKz-HdNaXBsM%3A

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=light+bulb+candle&espv=2&biw=943&bih=616&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRh8LDn93KAhVG5GMKHRfSCjUQ_AUIBygC#imgrc=QnGFksG4NOUzvM%3A

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=light+bulb+candle&espv=2&biw=943&bih=616&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRh8LDn93KAhVG5GMKHRfSCjUQ_AUIBygC#imgrc=qBnZfPprPl-0UM%3A

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=light+bulb+candle&espv=2&biw=943&bih=616&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRh8LDn93KAhVG5GMKHRfSCjUQ_AUIBygC#imgrc=mRphX26rbbv6VM%3A

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=light+bulb+candle&espv=2&biw=943&bih=616&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRh8LDn93KAhVG5GMKHRfSCjUQ_AUIBygC#tbm=isch&q=floating+candles

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=light+bulb+candle&espv=2&biw=943&bih=616&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRh8LDn93KAhVG5GMKHRfSCjUQ_AUIBygC#tbm=isch&q=floating+candles&imgrc=iDxtC8oIuyGVHM%3A

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41 Comments. Leave new

Awesome idea and love how simple it is yet still a really good looking candle

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Ashley Zimmerer
February 15, 2016 10:11 pm

I like the simplicity of your design. It’s awesome that it burns so well, too. Do you have to pull the cord out and re-knot it after it’s been burning for awhile?

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Shawn Sprinkle
February 14, 2016 7:05 pm

I love the irony and simplicity of your project. If you have an old light bulb socket you could use that as a stand!

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Nicholas Flood
February 13, 2016 2:07 pm

I really love the irony of turning the light bulb into an oil lamp. With all of the light bulbs that broke during the process, you could probably use the filaments and other parts for another project (if you didn’t throw them away). Nice job!

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This project is really cool! Especially all the possibilities available with different lightbulb shapes and colors. I think it would be really interesting if you were to make a structure for the lightbulb to sit on, or a cage of sorts for the lightbulb to sit in and then hang from the ceiling.

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Meridith Richter
February 12, 2016 12:49 pm

The simplicity of the design is actually what makes it aesthetically pleasing. I like the look of just the plain light bulb and the wick and flame. Really nice idea!

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Cool Idea. I think this has a lot of potential with being creative with stability. I like that you used a transparent light bulb. The flame is huge. Great aesthetic. I like the idea of colorful fluid.

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Thomas Brunsgaard
February 12, 2016 12:35 pm

The image above with the tilted bulbs creates a really cool “physics defying” look. It would be really cool to make a bunch of these, and mount them to a piece of wood in a row. Nice job!

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Neat project. Love the way it plays with light concepts.

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I actually did this for a Christmas present before, but made a planting “bulb”. I would add something to the the outside to give it a personal touch.

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This turned out to be a great candle. Your suggestions for improvements were spot on.. I think you could definitely enhance the aesthetic through some color or setting.

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Cool idea turning a light source into a different light source! Can the wick be easily lengthened or shortened?

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these are awesome! A floating version would be awesome too. I’m gonna try this!

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I think that is an interesting idea. Making an older light out of a newer form of light. Good job scouting for the fire extinguisher beforehand. Could you redesign to control the flame size to be constant from start to finish?

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“Fire Bad”, The Monster from Frankenstein. The candle looks like a light bulb that was turned into a mini-flame thrower. Awesome project!

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This is a pretty exciting project, the flame gave the project a dynamic feel – it would be great for an outdoor party.

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This is a great idea. It turned out well. I really like the simplistic look and it would be so cool if you could get it to float on water.!

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Elegant. How might you push the design to add a personal vision?

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Now that you are done, what is your recommended way to break the glass/prepare the bulb?

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I really like the look of your project. It was surprising to hear how difficult it was to correctly remove the filament from the bulb. I also enjoy the irony of your project. Is there any way to make the flame smaller besides just waiting for it to shrink? Beautiful project. I’d like the look of this project floating in water as well.

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Rachel Grosskrueger
February 12, 2016 12:07 pm

I really like how you in a way down-cycled a light bulb back into a candle! Very beautiful design! Maybe to help it float you attach a reflective disk around the metal part just above the bulb which can also reflect the light too!

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Anfal Abdulrahman
February 12, 2016 12:07 pm

I like your project very functional and up-cycling. you did a good job at trying to make safer and not smelly and sits fine. I was just curious if can you refill it?

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Gardner Nichols
February 12, 2016 12:07 pm

This is really beautiful! I like how fragile it looks, I almost can’t tell that it’s a light bulb. It would be fun to see it with a frosted light bulb or colored glass. Nice job!

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Joseph Yoshimura
February 12, 2016 12:07 pm

That fire is way bigger than I had expected! It would be very effective if there was a blackout and someone needed to go to the bathroom and had no flashlight.

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Interesting new to old aesthetic making a lamp out of an electric bulb. Colored bulbs could give a great look and like the idea of the floating bulbs. Try using sand as a ballast for the floating bulb.

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I really enjoy the look both lit and unlit. I would love to see what it looks like with the addition of color.

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Sreyas Krishnan
February 12, 2016 12:06 pm

Very ironic! Looks like it burns really well. Great job.

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That’s a really huge flame, I might be concerned having that in my house. But pretty awesome nonetheless, it reminds me of something from medieval times but with the light bulb twist.

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Samantha Maierhofer
February 12, 2016 12:06 pm

It was cool hearing about the different iterations that you went through. Would have never thought about needing to use cotton rope. I also like the idea of using a new light source to create an old school light source (candle).

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This is such a cool project and I can see this as a really neat aesthetic. I like the idea you had of turning a light bulb into a candle again and playing with light that way. This is such a cool effect and I totally can see the idea of allowing them to float on water! Awesome job!

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This is a really neat idea. I was really surprised with how large the flame was!

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Very nice simple object with an ironic twist. Thank you for locating the nearest fire extinguisher. Looking forward to the next steps.

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sweet candle creation. How stable is it sitting on a counter top? can the bulb fall over?

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this looks like a grenade! if you threw it at a wall (and no one was around) what would happen? I do like how simple the piece looks and being able to see the wick within the bulb is a great effect.

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Peter Brunsgaard
February 12, 2016 12:05 pm

It looks super simple and clean. It’s too bad that the shoestring didn’t work out!

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Interesting idea, it’s cool that you mades something that makes light out of another thing that makes light!

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Samantha Maierhofer
February 10, 2016 11:50 pm

Very simple and clean looking design! It kind of has an industrial feel with the fire and exposed light bulb but also a cool contrast of candle and electricity. Good work!

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Brendan Warren
February 7, 2016 11:54 pm

I love the simplicity of this project! There is a definite elegance to it. I like your idea of having the bulb float. You could use a small weight in the bottom of the bulb to provide a ballast. The heavier the weight, the more stable the bulb will be.

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Nice project! One thing you might be able to do to improve the scent the lamp gives off is buy some essential oils from Amazon or something and add it to the lamp oil. I’m not completely sure how that affects the steadiness of the burn, but a few drops can go a long way and give it a nice scent. I really like the way the tilted lights in your inspiration looks, it adds a nice clean finish to it. It would be really cool to use some unique light bulbs, like specially shaped incandescents or something to create a unique look to your lamps. You could even make several of them and put it into some kind of chandelier-like set-up. How long do they burn for when you fill them with lamp oil?

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Joseph Yoshimura
February 7, 2016 6:00 pm

This is really cool for both its usefulness and for its simplicity. I also agree with Albert. Thats so cool that in this specific instance the candle was replaced by a lightbulb which ended up actually being a candle in the long run. You mentioned that you were trying to make the lightbulbs have a tilt like in one of the images in the blog. If you were to use things other than materials you already have, have you thought about other ways that you could do this. It appears that they are fixed to the board that they are on in the image. I really like the artistic element that the tilt adds to the project. Just curious, why did you change your mind away from making the globe? This project is really cool too, but I wanted to see how that one ended up! Great work on the lightbulb candle though!

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I really like the look here. Also I think it’s extremely ironic that you’re turning a lightbulb into the very thing it was designed to replace.

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