Vacuum Tube LEDs: 500 W Frosted Incandescent Bulb

This turned out surprisingly well:

500 W Incandescent - backlit dark

500 W Incandescent – backlit dark

In the harsh light of the Electronics Workbench, you can see there’s less than meets the eye: a single knockoff Neopixel taped to the back side of the bulb just below the equator and a knockoff Arduino Pro Mini taped to the Mogul lamp socket:

500 W Incandescent - backlit light

500 W Incandescent – backlit light

The electrical box serves as a base and the cord doesn’t do anything in this incarnation.

The 5050 SMD LED package (inside an ugly 3D printed plate cap) looks enough like a point source to shadow the filament & support structure against the frosted bulb. The blurry upper part of the filament is closer to the LED, which isn’t really a point source and must fight its way through the frosting.

The Pro Mini runs the same firmware as the Bowl o’ Fire floodlamp, of course, dialed back for slow fades.

It lights up the room something wonderful …


  1. #1 by madbodger on 2016-08-22 - 10:40

    I sometimes use a laser pointer to provide a point source on the frosted glass to image the filament that way to see if it’s intact. At first, I thought you were ionizing the gas in the bulb, which gives a somewhat similar visual effect.

    • #2 by Ed on 2016-08-23 - 08:44

      ionizing the gas in the bulb

      Now, there’s a scary thought!

      When I showed off the vacuum tube assortment at a LUG meeting, several folks thought they were gas tubes with a deadly HV supply hidden in the background. Convincing fakes: LEDs FTW!

  1. Vacuum Tube LEDs: Mogul Base for 500 W Incandescent Bulb | The Smell of Molten Projects in the Morning