The unconventional uses of incandescent bulbs will be more than a surprise for most people. Because, basically, apart from providing lighting, it is hard to see any other way to use these bulbs, whether in the still of your home or the rocking atmosphere of the wild. However, there are indeed other ways you can use incandescent light bulbs, as you’ll find out soon.
3 Unconventional Uses Of Incandescent Bulbs
Using incandescent bulbs for any reason apart from lighting can sound odd, but isn’t that what makes you a prepper? You can fashion uses out of every gear, and the incandescent cannot be any different. Here we go.
There are very high chances, either by deliberate or unintended touch that you already know of the heat-radiating ability of the incandescent bulb. Asides, you may need to keep in mind that the initial Easy-Bake Ovens used only one light bulb for baking cakes. To most people, this toy sounds like an ordinary novelty that can’t work practically, but fortunately, they are wrong. By combining the basic principles of this supposed novelty with solar cookers, you can successfully meet a range of cooking needs.
So, now, I tell you that with a 100-watt bulb, you can generate low, slow heat powerful enough to make stews and soups, as well as bake. Here’s what you have to consider:
- The typical energy requirement of most crockpots is between 70 and 120 watts per hour, with the possibility of reaching 250 watts.
- Coffee making machines make a cup of coffee in 10 minutes (more or less) using about 200 watts. However, using a 100-watt bulb, an incandescent bulb burner takes between 30–45 minutes to heat water to a boiling temperature.
- A toaster oven can only start baking if there’s a voltage as high as 1500 watts.
If a comparison is drawn, the incandescent bulb is much more efficient and affordable than the traditional cooking gadgets that we’re used to.
If you want to use incandescent bulbs for cooking, you have to ensure that the housing container of the bulb is well insulated, although it would still require adequate ventilation to prevent overheating. You would also need a good reflector, which I suggest using a highly polished metal or non-flammable glass mirror for. You can use a DVD in the absence of both materials, but I do not think it is safe, particularly if the temperature surrounding the bulb is more than 100°.
Of course, you are not surprised that you can use incandescent bulbs to heat a place; after all, you already know that it generates it. Just as in the cooking use, you’d need a reflector to improve the heat’s intensity. As per disbursing the heat to necessary areas, you can try out the following methods:
- Contain the bulb in a chicken brooder. If you know how this is built, you’ll understand how it helps to distribute heat.
- Make a light bulb burner that can work just for cooking. All you have to do is add a fan to improve air circulation.
- Set up a structure similar to a candle heater using the metal center and clay pots. Depending on how this is done, you may even use this to boil water for cooking. However, keep in mind that generated heat is just like any resource — if you’re using it to boil water or do some cooking, there will be insufficient intensity to heat a room.
Remember that you will always have to combine methods or gear of heat retention and optimization whenever you’re using low-tech means of heat provision. For example, an ordinary candle heater will hardly generate enough heat for a single room. Therefore, you should know how to combine passive heating techniques that will allow you to maximize the heating ability of the incandescent bulb. This includes depriving the room to be heated of all air, either from doors, windows, or leaks, and ensuring that the walls are well insulated.
Speaking of energy efficiency and optimization, one must agree that incandescent light bulbs have a lot to offer. However, they exhaust their lifecycle after 900 hours of use. And as soon as they burn out, they can’t ever be put back on regardless of what you do. Luckily, the focus doesn’t necessarily have to be on energy — there is a purpose burnt-out bulbs can serve.
Initially, positioning plants in light bulbs may make little sense. I mean, no matter how careful you are with the watering, you’ll have to repot the plant eventually. And considering that repotting from a wide-mouthed pot is not always easy, you can be sure that doing the same from a small-mouthed light bulb will require expertise and time.
However, you’re looking at it wrongly. You can plant some crops in light bulbs and yet get good returns. Let’s look at some of these plants.
- Tillandsia (air plants): these interesting plants generate about 90% of their nutrients from thin air and can be planted in a light bulb without needing to be repotted later on. These plants can also cleanse the air of dust, as they don’t produce much oxygen. Setting up a wall or burnt-out light bulbs that can conveniently hold these crops should not be difficult.
- Herb cuttings: sure, herbs grow best in the soil, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be rooted & re-rooted in water. Like the air plants, you can easily put up a vertical garden growing up your walls and attach the bulbs.
Note that, due to space, you have to remove the inner parts of a bulb entirely to hold plants.
Concluding The Unconventional Uses of Incandescent Bulbs
By maximizing the unconventional uses of incandescent bulbs, you can save your cash and even protect the planet. Surviving the wilderness may not be as difficult as you think, don’t you think? Let’s see your light bulb burner soon.