The Light Pot Mini Lamp

Introduction: The Light Pot Mini Lamp

I made this mini lamp out of a blown light bulb and an old inkpot, so I am calling it "The light pot mini lamp".

People use to make tiny terrariums out of old blown light bulbs, I thought to change things a bit, and wanted to give the light bulb a new life, so I made this mini lamp. I also have a lot of old inkpots lying around, so I thought to incorporate one of those inkpots also. And thus came the idea of The light pot mini lamp.

In this Instructable, I will show you how I made this mini lamp and how you can make one for yourself. So follow along.

Step 1: Gather the Things Required

  1. Blown light bulb.
  2. Empty inkpot.
  3. Sandpaper.
  4. Sand.
  5. Water paint (any water based paint will work) in few different colors.
  6. A block of wood (18 cm X 5.5 cm).
  7. Solid copper wire (around 50 cm).
  8. Drill
  9. White Led X2
  10. Blue LED
  11. Red LED
  12. Appropriate resistors for the LEDs.
  13. Enameled copper wire
  14. Normal wire
  15. A piece of frosted glass.
  16. Glue (any glue will work)
  17. Colored paper (for making lamp shade)
  18. 5 volts AC adapter.
  19. Pliers.
  20. Pair of scissors.

And that's it. Let's get making.

Step 2: Hollow Out the Light Bulb

The shape of the connector of the bulb may differ from place to place, but the basic principle of opening the light bulb is same. Now before proceeding further, wear safety goggles and gloves, because believe me, things can go wrong. ( I am an idiot, so I am not wearing safety gloves. But I believe you are not like me.) So let's get breaking some glass. Watch my YouTube video to get an idea First crack the black glass using pliers then break it and remove it completely. Then take a sharp screwdriver and tap on the inner glass where the filament is attached, it should break easily.

In my case, I removed the two tabs, that hold the bulb in a holder, using pliers( image 1), I then broke the electrical contacts. I then proceed to gouge out the black glass using a sharp screwdriver ( image 2), which cracked the black glass, then by applying some pressure, the black glass broke. After that I cut away some of the aluminium( image 3), By doing that, the glack glass became very easy to remove. Then I just broke the filament by tapping it with a screwdriver.

After the filament part broke, I took a pair of scissors and removed excess glass from the inside of the bulb( image 8).

After the filament was broken, all the sharp pieces of aluminium were cut away , and sanded it using 80 grit sandpaper followed by 120 grit sandpaper( image 10 & 11).

After preparing the light bulb, I went ahead ahead and took the inkpot and removed the aluminium tab which holds the lid. Now we are ready to jump to next step.

Step 3: Coloring the Sand

This step is probably the most exciting step in the entire build. To color the sand, take some sand in a bowl, and mix some paint in it. Only use water based paint. Add some water to dilute the paint and then mix the paint in the sand. Use generous amount of paint otherwise the sand may not look as good.

Choose any three or four of your favourite color and color the sand with it. After coloring, the sand will be quite wet, so let it dry completely. Click here to watch the video.

Step 4: Preparing the Base

While the colored sand is drying, let's prepare the base for our lamp. I used a block of wood measuring 18 cm in length and 5.5 cm wide. You don't have to be exact, but make sure your bulb and inkpot fits properly. If you want to change the design of the lamp, then measure your wood accordingly.

I sanded my block of wood using 80 grit sandpaper then followed by 120 grit sandpaper to make it smooth.

After sanding the wood, drill holes in the wood to route the wires. Two holes are needed, one for the inkpot and another for the bulb as shown in the image.

After drilling the holes, go ahead and give it the finish of your liking. I painted mine in white.

Step 5: Making Lamp Shade

A lamp is incomplete without a lamp shade, so let's make it for our lamp. Draw a circle of 8 cm on some colored paper ( I used Hand-Made paper), and cut it out. Draw one radius on the disk as shown in picture marked as "3" and cut it out. Now make another circle with a radius of 1 cm in the dead center of the disk and cut it out as shown in picture numbered as "4 & 5".

By now your disk should look like the picture numbered as "6". Now take a protractor and align its 90 degree line with the cut radius and mark 25 degrees on both side of the radius (25 degrees from the cut.) and complete the angle using a ruler as shown in the picture marked as "7, 8 & 9". Watch my YouTube video to get an idea. Cut along the lines drawn and remove both the 25 degree sectors of the disk.

Now glue the two cut ends together to make the lamp shade as shown in the pictures numbered as "11 & 12".

Repeat the process once again with a different colored paper to make one more lamp shade.

Step 6: Making Stand for the Lamp Shade

Now that we have made our lamp shade, we need to make some sort of stand to hold our lamp shade, because we unfortunately, don't live in magical world, where the lamp shade could stay in the air. So let's make it. Click here to watch the video.

Take about 1 feet of thick copper wire and using the opening of the bulb as a guide, bend the wire in circular shape as shown in the picture marked as "1 & 2". Then continue shaping the wire till it becomes somewhat like in the picture marked as "4".

Now take another wire and make a stand for the lampshade of inkpot. For the inkpot, I glued the stand inside the inkpot, but you may change the design and bend the stand around the neck of the inkpot.

Step 7: Filling the Sand

When your colored sand has dried completely, go ahead and fill it in the bulb and inkpot.

To fill the light bulb, I made a simple funnel out of paper, which made the filling process much smoother.

In the bulb, I first filled red followed by blue followed by yellow. And repeated the process till the bulb was full.

I did the same for the inkpot, but I started with blue, followed by red and then yellow.

You can fill in the way you like. No matter how you fill, it will look beautiful.

Step 8: Fitting the LEDs

Take your base and route the wires through the pre drilled holes and connect the LEDs along with the appropriate resistors according to the picture above. ( I drew the diagram using a mouse, so please forgive me for the crappy quality.) I did not solder anything, just twisted the wires and it works perfectly fine. But if you want to, go ahead and solder the wires.

The blue and red LEDs will go inside the holes and will sit just below the light bulb and the ink pot. This will give the glowing effect where the two glass surfaces and the wood meets.

The white LEDs will be the main lights for our lamp. Use enameled copper wire to connect these LEDs as they will become almost invisible when our lamp is complete. (Use sandpaper to scrape the enamel coating from the wire.)

After wiring, pull the wires through the holes at the back, do this gently otherwise they may break. Make the red and blue LEDs flush with the holes as shown in the photo. If the LEDs don't fit in the holes, enlarge the holes a bit and they should go in.

By this time, only the enameled copper wires and white LEDs attached to them should be outside the holes and everything else should be inside.

Step 9: Gluing the Light Bulb and Inkpot in Place

First take a piece of frosted glass and glue it where the bulb will sit, this will help defuse the light of the blue LED in the base better.

Now take your inkpot and glue it in place.

Before gluing the bulb, take a piece of foam, the size of frosted glass and glue it on the glass as shown in the picture marked as "8". Then using generous amount of glue, secure the light bulb in place, as shown in the pictures "9 & 10".

TIP: If you don't get frosted glass, take any piece of glass and sand it using very fine grit sandpaper. (That's what I did.)

Step 10: Finishing

Now wrap the enameled wires, which connect the white LEDs, around the lamp-shade stand in such a way that the LEDs are almost at the top of the stands, pointing up. When you get it right, glue the LEDs in place.

Now go ahead and glue your lamp-shades in place.

I also cut out 4 small feet for my lamp from a sheet of foam, it will prevent the lamp from scratching the surface on which it is kept on.

And your lamp is complete.

Use any 5 Volts AC adapter to power your lamp.

Now go ahead and make your own, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

Papercraft Contest 2017

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Papercraft Contest 2017

Glass Challenge 2017

Participated in the
Glass Challenge 2017

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    5 years ago

    This looks pretty cool! Does the light go bright and dim, or is it just the video?

    Utkarsh Amitabh Srivastava
    Utkarsh Amitabh Srivastava

    Reply 5 years ago

    The brightness stays constant. My camera was having hard time in getting the exposure right.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Cameras always do that, I don't think they get brighter and dimmer.