Light Bulb Terrarium


I had two light bulbs burn out on me at school a few weeks ago and decided to keep them instead of giving them to John to smash. I had seen the Lifehacker article a bit earlier and thought it’d be cool to give it a try. God knows I would have enough free time over break. So I embarked on a whimsical journey filled with broken glass and tedious wire bending to arrive at my petite planter. All in all, I’m rather fond of it already, and it doesn’t even have a plant in it yet.

Bulb Terrarium

SAFETY NOTE: Wear glasses. When breaking the small glass nub at the bottom of the bulb, sand sized particles of glass may fly at you. It happened to me, so trust me on this.

To begin, this project, I used thin pliers to get under, then twist off the metal contact at the bottom of the bulb. After that step, I used pliers and snips to chip and break the glass seal that was now exposed.

Once inside the bulb, there is a test tube-like section in the neck of the light bulb. This has to go. The tutorial I saw at said to use a screwdriver to break it. I stuck in pliers and pushed the nose of the plier open because i didn’t want to be smashing down into the bulb. Remove the glass cylinder shards as well as the filament/electrodes.

Clean out any bits of glass, then pour in some salt. This will scour off the white coating on the inside of the bulb. Rinse out.

For the holding mechanism for the final piece… well, use your imagination. Check out the Youtube vid at the bottom to see how I did it. Pics are included in the video.

Project Stats:
Cost: $0
Time: 1 Evening
Looks: Better than other stuff I’ve made…

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