DIY Northern Lights

DIY Northern Lights


This video is sponsored by Squarespace. Whether you need a website, a domain, or an online store, make it with Squarespace. Check the link in the description below for 10% off your first order! Hey Guys, I’m Nate welcome back to the workshop. Not long ago we had a video where we showed you how to make your own tornado tube using a couple of 2-liter soda bottles. My favorite part of that video was the look of when we had the wirling glow-in-the-dark water next to a blacklight. I thought that the glowing swirls really resembled the look of the Northern Lights, But in that vortex all of it drained out and stopped working very quickly. So the purpose of today’s video is to see if we can build a lamp that gives us that continuous glowing swirl, that I think looks like the Northern Lights. Here are the supplies that we’re gonna be using for this build: I have a clear plastic jar with a lid that screws on water tight, A simple backlight keychain, A low-volume submersible water pump, Some extra wire, Some heat shrink, A couple of on-off switches, The top of a bendy straw, And some glow in the dark paint. To help with the build I also have soldering iron equipment, some wire strippers and a heat gun. I’ve also got a glue gun for attaching some small pieces together and making sure everything is watertight. As a first step let’s drill a small hole in the bottom of the container where the cord to the pump will come out of our hole lamp *drilling noises* Now we need to cut off the cord so we can fit it through the hole. Now with our cord split we need to run one end through the hole in the bottom of our container. In a video where I showed how to build a desktop vortex fountain some people pointed out that my cord- splicing technique was pretty poor so I’ve tried to upgrade that and improve it so it’s a little more safe. So instead of just twisting the ends of this cord together, I’m going to twist them then solder them then heat shrink them together. There we go; those pieces are now nicely soldered together. Slip our heat shrink over the soldered parts, Now just to keep the two wires from coming apart, I am going to wrap a little bit of electrical tape around the joint Now some of you may be wondering why I didn’t add a switch in since I already had the cord spliced, Well I am planning to add an on/off switch, But it isn’t the type of switch that requires a cord to be cut like that. So I had to cut it just to fit it through the edge of the jar But now I need to add the switch in a little bit farther up the cord. So here’s how this type of switch works with our wires; We’ll take our electric cord and split it down the middle a little bit, We won’t cut it across, so we’ll still be intact . While we’re splitting our cord We want to make sure that we don’t cut into any of the wire itself, just through the plastic housings. Now let’s clip in the middle, and just to make sure that it will fit and line up nicely without the wire ever touching; Let’s clip off just about eighth of an inch. So that we now have a gap even if we lined it back up One side of our wire goes around to the side, and the other side has a split in the middle at the plastic partition. Now we should be able to take the other side of our switch, fit it back on and have those spikes stab down into our split wire And just like that we’ve installed a switch in the middle of the cord. With the cord cut pass through the wall of the plastic container spliced together and with the switch added in the middle of the line Now let’s attach our pump to the bottom of our plastic container permanently. We want to make sure we have our pump lined up where we know we want it We’ll gently pull it out And then let’s add some hot glue to the bottom both on the suction cups and on the main body itself. After that’s applied We’ll lower it back down into place and hold it firmly there until the glue has begun to cool With the pump where we want it We can pull the cord back out so it’s as tight as it can get and then seal up the hole around the cord using more hot glue. With the pump in place let’s take the cut section of our bendy straw and fit it down into the nozzle in our pump Now I’ve got the straw pointed back in the same direction that the cord is going That’s because we’re going to be adding a small light Into the side of the container and we want the flow of the straw to be aimed Almost directly at that light this way We can keep the light and the wires coming out of it pointed in the same direction as our power cord. Now this little backlight keychain is an extremely simple mechanism. It does have a small switch you can turn or it can be activated just by squeezing it. on the inside of this one of the wires coming out of the Light bulb is being held up at an angle So it’s not making contact with the power source which is a couple of button cell batteries We want to remove the light bulb, but still use the casing and the power source Because of that we have to add in our own switch somewhere else in the line We’re going to remove the small LED light bulb and that will end up being installed in the side of the plastic container up here. We’ll then use some extra wire to connect the power source to the light bulb through the switch And see we’ve got our button cell batteries It says three volts which means that the two of them together is giving us six volts to power our LED Let’s take a length of four or five inches from our red and black wire and cut that off Separate the wire These are wire strippers and take off just a small bit at the end of our wire less than half an inch about one centimeter Now we want to fit this wire back into the casing one on top of the batteries and one on the bottom of the batteries There you go, I think we’ve got the wires in contact with the battery so now let’s put the screws back in place We also aren’t going to need these keyring pieces, so let’s get rid of those Let’s actually split this wire all the way down, so we’ve got two separate wires coming out of our battery pack Let’s pull off the ends of these wires and see if touching the ends of our LED will get it to light up And go We have light Just what we want to see Now before we start Permanently attaching wires together we need to get some good measurements So let’s drill a hole in the side of our container where we can attach our LED light bulb. There we go now let’s use a drill bit the same size as the body of our LED and drill a small hole through the side of our plastic container Our LED now fits very smoothly into the side of our plastic container Which is just what we want so now we can have one wire Go straight from our battery pack up to the bulb and the other wire We’ll take a small detour through our switch before it goes to the bulb as well (finally a break for the subtitlers thank god) Those Solders and heat-shrink should do a pretty good job of making sure that our bulb is well attached to the wires and that it’s Not in any danger of shorting from any wires touching each other however It just to be sure because is going to be near liquid Let’s use a little bit of hot glue and make sure that the leads on the back of the LED are completely covered And we have it. I think every bit of exposed metal is now covered with our hot glue at this point we just need to connect the other end of the on/off switch to the other end of the battery pack and we Should have a complete circuit Before I solder these together just holding it together as soon as I turn the switch Perfect that’s exactly what we want to see. on. off. There we go at this point we have our complete circuit our switch is working our light bulb is working everything is working Perfectly just what we want to see now the light bulb will go right here Battery pack will go right here and our wires Will all run together like this, so I just want to tape these all together so we have one consistent cord One more step to make this nice and permanently attached is to use some hot glue to go all the way around this light bulb So no water or liquid can leak out of that gap (note to self: never subtitle long videos again.) At this point I think we’ve got all the electronics sucked up, so it’s time to make our glow in the dark fluid and fill Our lamp we don’t want to necessarily mix up our glow in the dark fluid inside the lamp container itself I’ll show you why in a minute So we’re going to be using a separate larger container to mix it up in and then we’ll transfer it once We’re ready to make sure we have the right amount but not too much Let’s fill our container all the way up pour it into this container and then add a little bit more to the pitcher This is also gonna work as a test to see how well our two holes filled with hot glue are doing so far perfect It’s all the way to the very very top Now let’s pour that into our pictcher And now let’s add mmm, maybe another cup or so It’s not very important. We want to make sure we have enough But not so much that we’re going to end up with a ton of extra liquid in the pitcher Now we want to take our bottle of glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint and pour about half of it into this water now Let’s stir that up until it’s all dissolved into the water At this point if we use our Blacklight and hold up against the water turned on we should be able to see it picking up the glow from the paint There you go. It’s pretty faint right there, but I’m in a well-lit studio, so it’s not gonna show up, too well
But you can still see it swirling away to increase the contrast between the glowing portion of our liquid and the non glowing portion Let’s also add several drops of blue food coloring this will darken the liquid overall but it will still shine brightly when it’s glowing We’re not trying to make squid ink here We’re just going for a little bit darker of a shade There we go we have our glow in the dark liquid and we now want to transfer it back into the smaller container but we are going to go back to the sink to do that because we’re going to fill it so much that it’s on the Brink of overflowing now, let’s start adding the liquid and as I said we’re going to fill it up to the very very top It’ll be so full that when we put the lid on the jar that should actually cause more of the liquid to spill out over the container here goes Combination of the glow in that art paint and The blue food coloring you can’t even really see any of the internal components the pump is now invisible Fill and let it overflow even a little bit to try and get rid of some of those bubbles There we go now as I’m filling It’s just running down the sides of the container, which means it is very full Which is just how we want it so now while it’s still overflowing like that let’s carefully put our lid on and screw it down tight as You can see as I’m screwing it on. It’s actually squishing some extra liquid out perfect There we go nice and tight and by doing that we minimize the amount of bubbles that show up There’s still a couple of them, but for the most part They’ll just be hidden up inside the cap and we’ll never see any of the bubbling We have our glow-in-the-dark liquid our pump and our blacklight in the jar so at this point We should be able to plug it in turn on those switches and have a swirling glowing liquid All right light on pump on I think we’re getting a good effect now. We are still in a very well lit Studios So you can’t see almost anything of this, but let’s turn out the lights and see how this is looking So while we are trying to get some shots of this aurora borealis lamp? We’re having a hard time picking up some of the contrast that we can see with the naked. Eye It looked best on camera right where the pump was Pointing all of the glow in that arc liquid right at the LED light bulb But the LED light itself gave off so much light that was pretty distracting so to add to the decor effect what I did was take some opaque black tape and Cut it in the profile of a mountain range So now it looks like we’re kind of seeing a moon rising behind a mountain with some Northern Lights flowing around the sky as well I’m actually really happy with the look So there you have it. I think we have fairly successfully built a Northern Lights lamp. It looks pretty cool There’s a lot of good swirling motion going along and that’s what I really wanted I really wish that our camera could capture. How it shows up to the naked Eye, because the contrast between where the LED is and the green swirling lights is not quite so exaggerated So it really looks like this slight blue glow behind a mountain And then the swirling green of the aurora borealis behind it once again Thank you to Squarespace for sponsoring this video Squarespace provides a wide variety of designer templates so your website will reflect your vision they’ve got award-winning 24/7 customer service to help you build the site that you need and it’s easy to set up or transfer an existing domain Over to Squarespace head to Squarespace calm for a free trial and when you’re ready to launch go to Squarespace Comm slash king of random for 10% off of your first purchase of a website or domain Thanks for joining us for this project today and remember to come grab your hats shirts and other cool merch at the king of random Comm see you there Right Hey guys, thanks so much for caring about our content in our channel so much It really is amazing to have great people like you Jumping in to watch every new video that gets uploaded and watching it to the end you really are Amazing and we appreciate you for that


100 thoughts on “DIY Northern Lights

  1. I think you should have put the pump on the cap with a little stand and use the jar upside down to have all clear on top instead of the white cap.

  2. As someone who grew up in Northern Canada, the Northern lights are every color of the spectrum, the farther south you go, the more prevalent the green spectrum is.. No offense but this lamp, looks nothing like the aurora borealis

  3. We can use two concentric jars with the glowing liquid lying between the two jar walls. Thoughts @king of random?

  4. The ratio of easy to find things vs things you would find in an electronics supply store baffles me. Why would you use the keychain when you could get an LED and some batteries at the same place you would have got the switches? The end product looks cool, but the way you got there is a little clunky. You could have tied the light into the motor easily and bypassed the batteries. And why did you attach the wires for the light at an apex instead of in a straight line like you did the motor wires? Overall, this is the most confusing build you have done. However, thank you for continuing to produce content to get people thinking about how to make cool things around the house.

  5. What will happen if you put lithium in gasoline and liquid nitrogen and light it
    And I am just a nine year old I love tools and such too hopefully you will add this in your vidoe

  6. Noone wrote this right, so i will be the one who will.

    Aurora Borealis? At this time of year – at this time of day – in this part of the country, localized entirely within your jar?

  7. when you make a butt splice you should fray the ends, put them together and then twist them and solder. This makes it virtually impossible to pull apart.

  8. I clicked here expecting the marijuana strain 'Northern Lights' in a jar… But i left happy knowing how to do this. Really cool video.

  9. This is pretty cool! Though, one thing, it might be more water-tight if you put the hot glue on the inside of the holes instead/also. Since the pressure of the water pushes outward on the container, if the hot glue is on the outside then it can easily pop it off of the side. Conversely, if the hot glue is inside, the water simply pushes it more tightly onto the hole.

    Please let me know if I'm wrong, but this would seem logical to me.

    Thanks for the interesting vid!

  10. I thought I had every thing for this but then I needed soldering iron equipment where do I even find that

  11. So, your trashcan foundry can melt glass, and your solar scorchers can melt metal…. What I want to know is if your solar scorchers have enough power to melt glass like the trashcan foundry can. I also think it'd be interesting to see some chemical reactions involving phosphorus or magnesium mixing with other chemicals or elements.

  12. Ok, I have a question. What makes a blacklight a black light, isn't it just a purple light? Or is there something that makes it a blacklight?

  13. The battery pack right next to the power supply seems like a weird choice. Especially since youre already bothering to solder and rewire things. You guys try some interesting projects, but theres no finesse to any of it.

  14. Would it be possible to combine this idea with that of the glow stick fountain and put glow in the dark paint into a fountain for a permanent glow in the dark fountain as opposed to the temporary effect with the glow sticks?

  15. Aurora Borealis! At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localized entirely within your kitchen?

  16. Another improvement to your splice would be to make the ends a different leangth so that the to wires once spliced will not short together.
    This way bith splices can be covered with one heat shrink and give a thinner profile

  17. Wow. Just when I started to watch this, I paused the video to go for a smoke at the balcony to see northern lights in the sky.

  18. Hi kings! Can you guys put links to the previous videos that you mention? Like the soda bottle tornadoes! I binge watch all of these videos, using mostly the recommendations, so it’s been hard to find some of the mentioned ones.. Every time I hear, “Last time” or “Awhile ago..” Im instantly pausing and searching for the video before watching the rest! Haha😂

  19. great job with the splice. the only thing i think i would have done differently is use a western union or lineman splice before soldering. the rest was dead on and the splice i mentioned makes it a little more difficult to pull apart. just a suggestion. not a must. 😀

  20. DO you guys actually think people are going to go to all this effort and actually DIY this or try to to this hahah

  21. Nate: I’m gonna show you how to make “simple and easy” northern lights.

    * starts doing all this complicated wire stuff *

  22. You talked about cutting the wire and your joints being made poorly. Question why not cut the end on and simply replace with a new male plug cap? Limiting one place for failure.

  23. It would be awesome if all the required components and tools were flashed on the screen for 2 seconds to take a screenshot of.

  24. use a square box type container, and where the light hits strongest make a circle just barely allowing a ring of light to peak around it would look like a solar eclipse

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