Building your own lightbulb this wayÃ‚Â is not economically feasible (the author estimates $50 to do one bulb), but it’s just so dang cool.Ã‚Â I may seriously have to try this out myself and then do it with my kids.Ã‚Â I think they have enough of my geek genes to appreciate the cool geekiness of this project.Ã‚Â And I’ve learned about how lightbulbs work just reading about how to build one.
It’s a whole lot easier to just displace the air with an inert gas that’s at the same pressure as the surrounding air, which is how most modern bulbs work. Common household lightbulbs use a mixture of argon and nitrogen. Fancy krypton flashlights and xenon headlamps use those eponymous heavier noble gases to allow the filament to burn longer and hotter.
So you don’t even need a good vacuum pump – just a reliable way to get inert gas into the bulb.Ã‚Â The article even covers that (he used helium).