globe gallery

It takes a bit of digging on the Internet, but it is possible to paint functional light globes. You can probably pull it off with glass paints which is how some people approach it, but the safest way to do it is using heat-resistant paints such as those used on car headlights or glass artwork. I found an expensive but so far successful method is using a brand of paints called Vitrea 160, which are designed to be baked in an oven at 160 degrees Celsius to set colours on glass. My reasoning? If they can survive oven baking, they can survive a low-wattage light bulb! So far, testing has shown this is a reasonable assumption. If you intend to try this, USE LOW WATTAGE GLOBES! I chose mine because I used a non-contact thermometer to get an estimate of the surface temperature (~130 degrees Celsius). Compact fluorescent bulbs would be best if possible. Do your research before you paint! If you are unsure, don't paint at all. Heat and flammable materials do not mix very well.

Below is a gallery of light bulbs and the effects you can get from them.

Rainbow light bulb

This bulb is pretty straightforward. Rainbow layers from red to purple, blending in between so the transition is subtle. It worked pretty well! Actually this was the first bulb I painted, so I was super pleased that the colour effects worked out.

Swirly light bulb

Main idea was to paint 4 primary-ish colours (red, yellow, light blue, dark blue) in a swirling pattern, and blend in between to produce the secondaries (orange, green, purple). I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! It looks a bit better in real life.

Pigs light bulb

Not painted for the effects on the shade, but the bulb itself. My mum loves pigsā€¦ so I painted a heckload of coloured pigs all over and filled the blank space with yellow paint. Then used a pearl-coloured Vitrea 160 outliner to draw the details. It worked out, the pigs definitely stand out.

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