Light Bulb Terrarium and 5 New Uses For Old Light Bulbs

"light bulb terrarium"Just because incandescent light bulbs are less energy efficient than CFLs doesn’t mean you need to toss them.  Upcycle them!

IKEA Israel won’t even sell incandescent light bulbs any more, and people are gradually switching to more energy efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs).  No need to toss the baby out with the bathwater, though – those incandescent bulbs can still be useful. Read on for 5 great ways to turn those old bulbs into something new – including a how-to tutorial on making a light bulb terrarium.

1. Upcycled Light Bulb Terrarium

As shown in the photo above, a light bulb terrarium is literally a green way to reuse an old incandescent bulb.  These small terrariums are a bright gift idea and are perfect for decorating a desk, shelf, or window sill.  Check out instructions on how to pull this off at Instructables.

"light bulb christmas ornament"2. Light Bulb Christmas Ornaments

Ho ho ho and and an old halogen light bulb (or other form of incandescent bulb).  With the Christmas season upon us, some upcyclers may be looking for ways to make Christmas ornaments.  Light bulbs are easily personalized and decorated with yuletide cheer.  Get some inspiration at Instructables.

"light bulbs chemical glassware"3. Converting Light Bulbs into Chemical Glassware

A more scientific project would be to convert your old light bulbs into chemical glassware.  This idea is not new (it was published in Popular Science in 1933, as seen above), but it’s still relevant.  Check out the full instructions at Modern Mechanix.

"light bulb hanging vase"4. Light Bulb Hanging Vase

Small, clear, and vase-shaped already, old incandescent light bulbs are easily transformed into miniature vases.  You could either build a stand for the bulb, or have it hang with thread or wire.  Place a flower plucked from your garden in the bulb vase, or alternatively you could use it to keep your basil fresh.  Easy instructions can be found at Instructables.

"light bulb oil lamp"5. Light Bulb Oil Lamp

Brooklyn-based designer Sergio Silva sells similar light bulb oil lamps for a hefty sum, but you can make your own with fairly basic equipment.  Make a single oil lamp or a set of nine as an alternative and upcycled Hannukah menorah.  Learn how at Instructables.

Note: Before attempting any of these projects, make sure that you have safely hollowed out the wiring from the light bulb.

Read more about light bulbs and green lighting:
IKEA Israel Stops Selling Incandescent Bulbs
Don’t Sit Close to Your CFL Lightbulbs, They May Cause Skin Cancer
Shining Your Green Lights, Tips for Greening Your Home Lighting

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2 thoughts on “Light Bulb Terrarium and 5 New Uses For Old Light Bulbs”

  1. Bamboo Guru says:

    These light bulb terrariums and light bulb oil lamps are beautiful, unique and great conversational pieces. Thanks for the great ideas for upcycling old light bulbs.

  2. Miriam Kresh says:

    Loved these tips for upcycling old light bulbs! I *must* try the terrarium and the oil lamp!

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