Friday, March 22, 2013

Lightbulb Art - Shade 2

Bulbs and coloured marblesLast weekend, I put together a new lightbulb shade out of burned-out Christmas lights. It is similar to the one I made for the bathroom in 2007, but it has several innovations.

  • Instead of filling the bulbs with oil, I filled the bulbs with fruit-flavoured gelatine - cherry, lemon and orange. I want something non-toxic and inexpensive with a high index of refraction. The oils I used last time have these properties, but even after 5 years, the oil still sweats out of them. Also, if a bulbs smashes, I figure a blob of jelly will be less messy than a puddle of oil. But, maybe mold will grow in them. I hope if it does it will be artistic. Either way: Science!
  • I used fewer bulbs, but this time, I was more careful about placing them to block the light of the working bulb from people's sight-lines.
  • Little jars with coloured marbles - very popular with certain fans of lightbulb art.    

Bonus feature of bulb shade: Cool Shadows

Coloured Marbles - very popular with certain fans of lightbulb art

If you do this, be careful where you steal the marbles fromInteresting fact: North American jello has stronger colours and scents than Polish jello


reuel said...

I'm digging it.

reuel said...

Did I already leave acomment? I just proved I am not a robot.
Dave - this light thing is super cool!
your pal

Anonymous said...

Hi David, Those are lovely. How did you know that fruit-flavoured gelatin has a high index of refraction? Is there some kind of refractory directory of boxed desserts? Cool. -- Jennifer N

David Scrimshaw said...

Reuel, thanks for proving you're not a robot (although it would be cool if you were) and for the compliments. You're one of my inspirations.

And speaking of inspirations, thank you, also Jennifer. I've never formally measured the index of refraction of a blob of jelly, but it's something my physics-teaching background gives me a bit of an instinct for. But you make a good point. I should run some tests. Maybe with laser beams.

Anonymous said...

Laser beams and robots. That would be a good experiment. Oh! Laser beams, robots, and jello. That would be a REALLY good experiment -- jmn