Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 51 of Our Green Year: Finding Glowing Solutions For Old Lights

No one really stops to think about what they can do with their old and spent incandescent light bulbs. Surprisingly, there are quite a few things that people can do with them instead of throwing them out or having them sit around the house collecting dust. Especially with the new laws coming in over the next few years, where some places are banning the use of incandescent light bulbs, there are going to be many people left with incandescent light bulbs that are not being used any more.

For the creative person out there, they can do more with their incandescent light bulbs instead of adding them to the garbage. Instead, they can turn them into cute and pretty decorations around the house in the form of small vases that hang in front of a window, cute little bugs with coloured water in them that hang on the wall or the window, or even as holders for bath salts in the washroom that hang on the wall.

Craig and I decided to turn a couple of our incandescent light bulbs into pink and purple bugs that could liven up our door that goes out onto our deck. After emptying the light bulbs, decorating them and filling them with coloured water, they turned out to be a couple of nice inside decorations with little effort.

Now, before one can do anything with the light bulbs, one will have to empty out the inside. This can be done by using a pair of pliers to pull off the metal end piece. Then, the dark plastic part is put over a flame to weaken the plastic and allow it to be broken apart. Then, after prying off the plastic, one will have to take something long and narrow and carefully break apart the inside tube. Once this is done and the broken bits have been taken out and disposed of, the inside of the bulb can be rinsed out with some water. Cloudy bulbs will become clear; some salt will help take the remainder of some of the frosting out of the bulb.

Once the bulb is empty, one can make just about anything they can think of, including,

a) Decorative bugs for the window

b) Bath salt holders

c) Flower holders (fake flowers can be used)

d) Decorations for Christmas, Easter or any other holiday

All one has to do is be creative and have fun! One note of caution, however, is to make sure that all stray glass pieces are vacuumed up so as not to have anyone cut their hands on them.

If you make something with your old incandescent light bulb, send a picture of it to and we will put it up here!