How to Make a Hole in a Light Bulb

Making a hole in your light bulb can be an important tool in the construction of certain crafts and projects. Whether you are making a terrarium, candle holders or even lamps, creating a hole in your light bulb can help you create one-of-a-kind designs that you wouldn’t be able to make without this technique. It is also a great way to upcycle old light bulbs into beautiful home decor pieces or gifts.

How to Make a Hole in a Light Bulb

One of the main advantages of making a hole in a light bulb is that it is a relatively easy process. With some basic tools and materials, anyone can accomplish this task. It also allows for more creative ways of utilizing light bulbs in various projects and decorations. For example, one could use a string of different colored lights tied together through the holes in each bulb, creating a unique and eye-catching effect. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to make a hole in a light bulb in this blog article.

Tools & Materials You Will Need

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Glass Cutter
  • Tape Measure
  • Marker
  • Safety Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Light Bulb
  • Sandpaper or Nail File
  • Drill Bit (optional)

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Make a Hole in a Light Bulb

Step 1: Inspect the Light Bulb

Make sure the light bulb is not cracked or damaged in any way. If it is, discard it and find a new one. Before making a hole in the light bulb, ensure you are working in an area with plenty of ventilation. This will help dissipate any toxic fumes that may be emitted from the light bulb. 

Step 2: Prepare the Light Bulb for Burning

Carefully break off the metal base from the light bulb using a pair of needle-nose pliers or two pairs of scissors. Be very careful not to drop any shards of glass on yourself. Gently tap the bulb with your fingertips to ensure it is not cracked in any way. Secure the light bulb using a pair of rubber gloves and a pair of clamps. Make sure that it is firmly held in place to avoid movement or breakage during the process of drilling a hole in the light bulb.

Break Off the Metal Base

Step 3: Put on Safety Gear

Put on safety glasses, a dust mask, and thick work gloves. This will help protect you from tiny shards of glass or other debris that may be emitted during the process. Attach your drill bit to the drill carefully. Use a 3/32” diamond-tipped drill bit to make the hole in the light bulb.

Step 4: Drill Into the Light Bulb

Holding your drill straight and steady, carefully position it over the area you want to drill into on the light bulb. Apply pressure and slowly begin drilling. Start with a low speed and gradually increase as needed. As you drill, be sure to keep your arms steady and the drill bit level with the light bulb.

Step 5: Monitor How Long You Drill

Be mindful of how long you are drilling into the light bulb. If it takes longer than 5 minutes or smoke starts coming out of the light bulb, stop immediately and let it cool down. Once you have finished drilling, gently remove the drill bit from the light bulb. Ensure that it is still securely attached to the drill so that shards of glass do not fly off in any direction. 

Step 6: Check That You Have a Hole

Once you have removed the drill bit, take a good look at the light bulb. You should see a small hole that has been created by the drill bit. If it is not large enough, you can continue drilling until you get your desired size. Once you are satisfied with the size of your home, use super glue or epoxy to seal the edges of the hole and cover the jagged areas. This will help prevent any further breakage in the light bulb. Allow the glue to dry before using it for whatever purpose you had in mind.

Use Super Glue or Epoxy

Precautions for How to Make a Hole in a Light Bulb

  1. Ensure that you always wear protective gloves and eyewear when drilling into a light bulb to avoid cuts or shards flying into your eyes.
  2. Always secure the light bulb firmly in place with a clamp before attempting to drill into it. This will prevent any slipping or movement during the drilling process.
  3. Be sure to use the right type of drill bit and size for the job. Sizes range from 1/16th inch to 1/2 inch, depending on the desired thickness and shape of the hole.
  4. Always keep your hands away from any moving parts or sharp edges when drilling into a light bulb.
  5. Avoid touching the filament inside the bulb, as it is fragile and can easily be damaged.
  6. Be sure to safely dispose of broken bulbs in a designated recycling container to avoid burns or other injuries from contact with potentially hazardous materials.
  7. When drilling into the glass, always use a drill bit and motion perpendicular to the light bulb’s surface—this will help avoid any weak or uneven drilled holes.
  8. Lastly, always be sure to unplug the light bulb from its power source before attempting to make a hole in it. This is essential for safety and for avoiding electric shocks.

Following these precautions for Making a Hole in a Light Bulb will help ensure that you successfully and safely complete the job.

How Much Time Will It Take to Complete the Project?  

Making a hole in a light bulb is not difficult and can be completed in less than 30 minutes. The actual time will depend on your available tools and how precisely you want to make the hole. If you are using a drill, it could take longer if precise measurements need to be taken before drilling begins. You will also need to allow for time for the bulb to cool down after drilling.

Using a Drill

Additionally, you should expect that you will break a few bulbs while learning how to use them, as this technique takes practice and finesse. Once you have mastered it, making a hole in a light bulb can be made quickly and easily. Overall, the time it takes to make a hole in a light bulb will be dependent on your skill level and the tools used. However, with some practice, you can become proficient at this task and complete it in less than 30 minutes.

How Can You Prevent the Glass From Breaking When Making the Hole? 

Making a hole in a light bulb is tricky, and you must take all due precautions to prevent the glass from breaking or shattering. To begin with, make sure that the light bulb is clean and free from dust. An accumulation of dust can cause tiny fractures on the glass surface, making it prone to breakage during drilling.

Additionally, use a sharp drill bit that is specifically designed for glass drilling. A dull bit may cause the glass to crack under pressure. Furthermore, it is important to go slow and steady when drilling into the light bulb. If you press too hard or drill too quickly, the heat generated by friction can cause thermal shock on the glass, leading to breakage.

Moreover, make sure to keep the light bulb cool by running cold water on it every few seconds during drilling. This will help to prevent thermal shock and reduce the chances of breakage. Finally, reinforce the hole in the light bulb with a bead of super glue around the perimeter once you have made the hole. This will give extra strength to the area, strengthening the glass around it and helping prevent breakage.

By following these steps, you can successfully make a hole in a light bulb without breaking the glass. While drilling, remember to go slow and steady, use a sharp drill bit, keep the light bulb cool with running water and apply super glue at the end for extra reinforcement.

Are There Any Special Techniques or Tips for Making a Hole in a Light Bulb? 

Yes, a few special techniques and tips can be used to make a hole in a light bulb. One of the most important tips is to wear protective eyewear when drilling or cutting into the glass. It is also important to use a drill bit that is specifically designed for glass so it won’t crack or shatter the bulb. A diamond drill bit is the best choice for making a hole in a light bulb because it will not heat up and cause the glass to crack or shatter.

Use a Drill Bit That is Specifically Designed

It’s also important to use proper safety techniques when drilling or cutting into a light bulb, such as wearing gloves and using clamps or other tools to secure the object while drilling or cutting. Additionally, it’s important to have a steady hand and slow, even strokes when making the hole in the light bulb. This will help ensure that the glass isn’t damaged during the process.

Finally, it is essential to remember that safety comes first. After drilling or cutting into the glass, always inspect the area for any sharp edges or pieces of glass that may have been left behind. This will help to prevent any injuries or further damage that could occur as a result.


In conclusion,  making a hole in a light bulb is not an impossible task. With the right tools, precautions, and techniques, you can easily create beautiful pieces of art or functional devices from ordinary light bulbs. Be sure to wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from any potential glass shards or electrical shocks. Additionally, observe proper ventilation when working with aerosol sprays. I hope reading this post has helped you learn how to make a hole in a light bulb. Make sure the safety precautions are carried out in the order listed.

Photo of author

Jennifer Branett

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