Disco Bulb Keeps the Party Spinning

Even if you don’t like disco, you might like the slick moves that went into this project. [W&M] built a miniature motorized mirror ball inside of a standard incandescent light bulb, and the results are something to dance about.

Short of blowing a glass bulb, building a motor, and growing the wood, this is about as scratch-built as it gets. Much of the woodworking is done on a metal lathe, and this includes the base of the mirror ball itself. As with all good thing-in-a-bottle builds, the ball is too big to go in the bulb, so [W&M] quartered it, drilled a few holes, and ran a string through the pieces so they can be carefully glued and drawn back together into a sphere. He even cut up mirror tiles and painstakingly applied them with tweezers.

This disco bulb is meant to be hung from the ceiling and wired into mains like a regular mirror ball. [M&W] stuffed the guts from a small USB wall charger into the handmade beech base to provide clean power for both the geared motor that spins the ball and the tiny LED that illuminates it. Slip into your best leisure suit (or sweat suit, we won’t judge) and hustle past the break to watch the build video.

We don’t see a lot of disco balls around here, but we did see a disco icosahedron once.

Thanks for the tip, [Itay]!

12 thoughts on “Disco Bulb Keeps the Party Spinning

  1. For those playing at home machining wood on metal lathes is very hard on them and causes them to wear out a lot faster. The wood contains a lot of silica and they just tears things up, get mixed into the oil and basically becomes a lapping compound. If you use a metal lathe for wood it is best to cover everything or run the machine with dry lube.

  2. A beautiful job, and clear that a lot of effort went into it!

    It is just a pity that so few of the mirror tiles were actually illuminated by the LED. I guess it was just too close to the mirror.

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