Steampunked Craftsman Festoon Lamp




About: I love to invent and create new things in a "steampunk styled way" working with brass, copper, vulcanized-fibre, brass gears and (ply)- wood. On one side I am fascinated in neon lights and small electronic ...

Hi everybody

One year ago I started my first real DIY project, and nearly at he same time I realised that I`m a Steampunker in my thoughts and doings.

DIY means to me "Keep it short and simple K-I-S-S" in its best way. So I chosed this first DIY-Project also to my avatar.

The "K-I-S-S" Tools: You only need a folder rule, a small screw driver and an universal pliers, nothing more!!!

Now I want to present it to you. This instrutable is very !!! detailed and contains two parts.
In the first steps you will see how to build one single festoon lamp module.

In the second part I show how to make a very stylish festoon lamp for steampunk craftsmen using four of these modules. If you watch this short video you can get an impresssion of its impressive light.


Step 1: The Festoon Lamp

In the following pictures you can see the festoon lamp. This minature light I saw first in my life when my father built a dollhouse for my sister in the early sixties. Since then I was always fascinated of this wonderful warm and glowing light.

Nowadays I use several of them taken from the indoor light of wrecked autombiles. As an instructor for volontary fire fighters in Germany we need a lot of wrecked cars to train with. So I get these lamps for free.

If you like to buy them there are also festoon lamps with LED inside on the market.

Step 2: What Do You Need for One Festoon-lamp-module

Here you see all the parts you need for this project.

-a small srew driver
-a combination pliers
-a folder rule

For the holder:
-two pieces of a welding wire
-a string of six srew terminals with both sides open
-four smaller luster terminals as connectors for the power supply
-two blind rivets made of aluminium which fit in the srew terminals
two pieces of electric wire in different colurs for the optical effect;-))))

an at least a festoon lamp.

Step 3: How to Make the Festoon Contacts

We start the constructrion with cutting two pieces of the electric wire and the welding wire. The length depends on your own construction.
To make the contacts for the festoon lamp, we take one electric wire, and one blind rivet head. After dismanteling both ends of the wire we put one end in the hole and crimp the rivet´s neck carefuly two times, one time turned clockwise with the pliers.

Step 4: Screw All Parts Together

The first picture shows you -as the result- one single festoon lamp module.

In this step we only need a small screw driver.

Now we screw the holder step by step together:

Step 5: Various Possibilities

In this step you see first some single modules, a combination to create a double holder and my most beloved first single holder with an very old festoon lamp from the thirtees with brass ends. You can also see this lamp as my avatar.

Step 6: Working Lamp of a Steampunk Craftsman

Now let us build a steampunk craftsman lamp:

We need a normal craftsman lamp ant put the normal bulb and socket away. We only need the metal cage, the glass and the rubber made holder. In this lamp we place a group of four single festoon lamp modules (with four 12 Volts needing festoons). All these modules are connected together as you can see on the picture. Be careful with it and maybe you ask an electrician after finishing your work to control the safety berfore yo turn on the switch.

I took an used halogen light transformer with a switch and a plug to 230 Volts from an old halogen lamp. Then I connected the two pairs of wire from my new lamp, the orange and the yellow one with screw terminals to the outgoing wires of the transformer (11,5 Volts). And that is it.
Screw the lamp together, control everything, switch on the light and

enjoy it;-))))

At the end I think this instructable is an universal one and I´m really interested in your own creations and ideas with. Have fun and a lot of inspiration.

Yours Aeon Junophor



    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019
    • Party Challenge

      Party Challenge
    • Gardening Contest

      Gardening Contest

    14 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Love this! My long term goal now is to self-learn enough about electronics to be able to make things like this.

    Q: When you say "four 12 Volts needing festoons" could this be powered by a 12v battery (the kind used in Dolphin torches? Just thinking of an unusual 'topper' for a staff.

    PLEASE continue making instructables.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes they can be powered by battery even a 9 Volt torch lamp battery will do it but not for long. There are also 6 Volt festoon lamps to get. That´s why I made this explanation;-)))


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very Creative. I wonder if you have any continuity issues after it runs for a while?
    With expansion and contraction due to heat it seems like the contact will loosen up. I thought maybe a couple of springs on one side of the screw terminals would keep the connection tight? Great construction technique! And I love the craftsman lamp it really looks antique. I am assuming this can be purchased new in Germany? - not sure I have ever seen anything like it new here in the US.
    Looks great!
    - Phil

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi pbates123

    Thank you for your answer. Iet this lamp just run for a few moments beacause it´s really getting warm but it looks so funky.....

    These Lamps are quite normal in germany and easy to find look here or in the internet as well


    I´m sorry about a possible missunderstanding but in Germany it clearly means: "Keep it short and simple" and that was the only idea behind this statement nothing else.
    So I hope that this explanation will help you to understand this instructable in the right way!!!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Schön gemacht! [I hope I got that right!]

    I have a few dozen of those 12 volt bulbs I have "collected" from old broken and wrecked SAABs' I have loved... always wondered what I could do with them. Now I can build a Rememberance Light for those long gone autos.


    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi avatar_i
    I´m so proud about your german congratulation. Thanks to all, I think that i´m on the right way with my projects ;-)))))

    So you can understand my ambition for these old bulbs. It was really an big wish to me for a very long time to let them shine again. Plese do it and create your Rememberance Light and please present it to me and at that place.

    Thank you and good luck
    Yours Aeon Junophor


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi: Looks elegant. BTW i still have a bunch of old vacuum tubes. Loved that blue glow of the 83 Hg vapor rectifier.

    I  liked Arc lights. As a child, we used to go to the theatre, we sat way in the back where the man had his spotlights (read cheap seats). He would give me old, fat, 3/4 inch or so spent carbons from the lights; i would come home and make my own arc light. You can still find carbon rods inside "heavy duty" (NEVER OPEN alkaline or lithium) batteries. A series resistance (two ceramic heating coils)  from an early DIY welding outfit worked nicely as current limiters. A large can made a good holder/reflector after wrapping the rods in old asbestos insulation (call out the men in the space suits:). This was before the nanny state ruled such devices, dangerous, might kill you, kids shouldn't play with them, etc.

    There is a site, i don't remember the url, that describes all sorts of ancient electric illuminating devices. On that ancient lights site the "Nernst Glower" and "electric candle" were interesting. Way before Edison.

    Well, i guess i'm a bit off-topic but thanks for the instructable. Jogs old memories. Makes me want to get busy and do a project.

    BTW: When you write a comment always before posting make a CMD-A, CMD-C copy. I sometimes forget to login and then by the time i get back to the comment the original is gone forever, and it never comes back as good as original. If you do the above a CMD-V puts it all back.

    Winged Fist

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Yet again another brilliant steampunk lamp! Here in the US we have a phrase, I don't know if it translates well in German; "Reinventing the light-bulb..." It looks like you've come pretty close with this Instructable;-) Certainly at the very least reinventing the hanging work lamp! Great job!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent instructable. Your website looks very interesting but i can't read German. Incidentally, I Am a firefighter also.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi nocode54

    You nearly miss nothing if you can´t read german homepage. The projects are all in english here at this side!!
    On my homepage I only desccribed them in an old styled way of talking/writing like the people have done it around 1880 to 1900 in Germany. This homepage is for my role as a steampunker and I play an german engineer with his steam lab; a little bit like Mr. Bell, or Mr. Edison, or Mr. Tesla, or Mr. Siemens ........

    But If you like to know more about my projects just follow me;-)))

    The next projects are already planned

    Yours Aeon Junophor

    Don´t let the fire win!!!!!

    This is really cool it reminds me of the old vacuum tubes in my grandparents old tv's and radio's.