Red light special
September 22, 2008 10:17 PM   Subscribe

Lighting question - I'm looking for the lights featured in the first few seconds of this youtube clip...

Warning NSFW - Anger / Nation. There's a few more shots throughout, but the first few seconds are the best.

I'm interested in either how one might go about building lights like those ( there's water or some other liquid bubbling away in there ), or if they are available for purchase anywhere? Prop stores? Halloween speciality stores?

I've tried searching google, and some of the types of sites listed above, and haven't come up with anything.
posted by zap rowsdower to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
just a guess: looks like large, homemade versions of the bubble lights you may have seen on xmas trees or jukeboxes. the liquid is dichloromethane which has a very low boiling point, just barely above room temperature, so that the incandescent bulb makes it bubble. you could probably get some "industrial" fixtures like these and fill the glass with DCM and give it a nice tight seal.

you'd want to be careful and make sure the glass and seal are strong enough to contain your boiling solvent or you'll have a toxic glass fragmentation bomb when you're done.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 12:56 AM on September 23, 2008

The type of fixture you're looking for is called a "jelly jar" and they're usually sold ready to install, so the light you'll probably buy comes attached to a junction box with wires coming out of it. It's simple enough to stick a cord and plug on with wire nuts if you're looking for a quick, temporary solution.

As for the rest of it, I keep thinking I know how they did it, but I'm hesitant to write it down here since there are about a million ways this project can go wrong. Frankensteining a light can go very badly and wiring it wrong is just the beginning. Many times heat and weight get overlooked and the materials you put together exceed the limits that they're rated for, causing damage to them and possibly you and your stuff. Throw in some toxic liquid and an electrified socket and you could really be in for trouble.

But I'm not trying to be unhelpful or a crank here, it's just something to be aware of. Honestly I'd email Radiohole and ask how they did it. (I'll bet there's some silicone caulk involved...) They're a pretty small operation and would probably be happy to tell you since they're the ones that had to get it past the fire marshal. Eric Dyer does most of their scenic and lighting design- I'd ask for him.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 11:06 PM on September 23, 2008

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