[Video Uploaded!] The 101st way to make a lightbulb

UPDATE: Video! (thanks Amr)

2 weeks into the ECE Project Integrated Program. I think it’s the second best decision I have made in my life, after not doing drugs. The group is awesome. We have a multi-cultural group consisting of 2 people from India, 1 from South America, 1 from Egypt, 1 from Malaysia, and 1 from Taiwan (me!). Now we just need a Caucasian and a black person to complete the set. Too bad we can only have 6 people. Not quite as diverse in terms of genders, though, unfortunately. All very talented and interesting people. A lot of close interactions with profs, too. While we are busy designing our power supplies (rectifier + filter + regulator… I feel so knowledgeable now), our very cool prof, Dr. Jesus (a cool name, too!) came to our bench, and tried to make a light bulb out of mechanical pencil lead (which, of course, is not made of lead, but graphite).

A picture is worth 1000 words. 3 pictures are worth 2999 (bulk discount) –
Shot at about 1 second intervals. At the end it was blindingly bright that I couldn’t look at it. Then it went up in smoke =P I was gonna record it, but my phone doesn’t like that for some reason.

That’s 35V running through a lead, capped at 8A (280W! compared to a regular large bulb rated at 60W). Actually, he first tried it with just 1 power supply (4A), and the lead turned bright orange/red/smoky, but no burning. Apparently that was too slow for his taste, so he turned it off, and connected 2 power supplies in parallel…

It’s a lot more fun watching it in real life. Try it sometime! (have a fire extinguisher handy, tho)

I wonder if I can try it at home… =D. I have 8 USB ports… each capable of delivering 500mA at 5V… hmm.

Oh and, if you landed on this page in your google search in the year 2020 trying to decide if you want to go to LIP or PIP like I was doing a few months ago, let’s just say, the LIP people are creating an inventory of their resistors while we were doing this =).

5 thoughts on “[Video Uploaded!] The 101st way to make a lightbulb”

  1. not true! the LIP people we soldering together a logic probe box with 8 digit display and doing cool things while the PIP people were risking their lives and potentially dying from a “lead pencil casuality”=)

    seriously, where is jimmy. i kinda miss him

  2. i like my faculty….i don’t have to risk my life, and i don’t have to cary a fire extinguisher around with me….i get to learn about human brains and parent-child relaitonships…how peacful eiii :D!!!

    so for me…neither LIP or PIP is a good choice…(cuz cary’s LIP is killing his brain cells)

  3. and I’m solving problems involving cars with laser beans travelling at significant fractions of the speed of light, Earth-saving time bombs, and planets turning blue for no apparent reason.


    1. and…..what kinda faculty is thissss??? lol doesn’t sound so safe….

      i actuallly found a threat in my faculty….what is some psycho goes crazy on me?? which isn’t so likely…..but POSSIBLE

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