Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 29, 2009

High Voltage Plasma Light Bulb Experiments

at 5:46 am. Filed under Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


A light bulb and a neon transformer equals fun. Well actually I don’t think I would try that with bare hands, call me a coward… If you watch only one video make sure it is the 3rd one, you won’t be disappointed. Please don’t try this at home (or even at a friends house with a volunteer) there is a great possibility of electrocution. To see more of the madness have a look at Slightly Mad Science.


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10 Responses to “High Voltage Plasma Light Bulb Experiments”

  1. OTC Eczema Says:

    wow. I think the only thing you can say is… wicked. I’d like to stick that in the middle of a room of rolling ravers hah and sit back.

  2. Josh Says:

    I had one of these setups as a science fair project. It was back when the plasma globes were the hot thing. I got the idea for the project out of either Popular Electronics or Electronics Now (RIP). The basic circuit used a Quadrac and an automotive ignition coil. It also had an inductor for the line filter, which did NOT work.

    Anyway, it used one of the clear globe light bulbs. On one half, I put a piece of aluminum foil and attached it ground.

    The whole setup didn’t look pretty. I got a pretty nasty bite from it, too. I got a D for a grade because the judges didn’t think I made it (even though my physics professor said I did) and because it was too dangerous. I took the fuse out before leaving it on the table. When I came back, there was a piece of aluminum foil shoved into the fuse holder. No one knew who did it, but I imagine that’s what the “dangerous” part came from.

  3. Alex Says:

    what a pitty, I still prefer the Jacob’s Ladder rig.

  4. vic Says:

    Fat, yellow arcs like this one are probably the most dangerous kind … Indicates very high current and low frequency, perfect to penetrate skin and do fun things to muscles on the way.

    Exactly how does the arc penetrate the glass (in the first 2 videos, when the glass is not broken) ? The wire + glass + filament might act as a capacitor, which allows alternative current to flow through it, but I’m not really sure especially at a low frequency (seems like he uses a 60Hz transformer).

  5. Neal Says:

    Actually, besides the high voltage, the most dangerous thing about this project is X-Rays. I did something similar a few years ago using a burned out bulb and a laser power supply (10kv pulse, 2kv hold at 20mA). You get a lovely purple glow (with lots of UV), and plenty of low level X-Rays (they only go a couple of feet).

  6. Almost_There Says:

    He’s pulling 1 inch arcs through a vacuum, while holding a wire with 1/32 inch insulation with his bare hands! Will someone please talk some sense into him before it’s too late.

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  9. High Voltage Plasma Excellence | Jim On Light Says:

    […] Hacked Gadgets Forum posted some Youtube video of some goofing around with a Neon transformer and a light bulb.  Thi is pretty cool stuff! […]

  10. Lebron Jordan Says:

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