Wollah…Gags And Illusions…

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Courtesy:  TechLib

Create illusion with the ‘magic lamp’ that lights up with mere finger touch.

No, its not Aladdin’s lamp with a genie inside. This magic lamp appears to be an ordinary frosted light bulb with a rather unusual characteristic. Whenever your finger is touched across the base threads and center contact the lamp magically lights! Without wires! It is a most effective illusion if you don’t make a big production, “Hey! Check out this magic lamp!”, but instead casually remove the bulb from a package of new bulbs and pretend to not notice when it lights. When your victim gasps and grabs the bulb for further investigation just explain away the flash as some sort of static electricity effect and act indifferent.


Construction will probably involve several attempts unless you are familiar with glass working. Collect several old burned-out light bulbs and learn to remove the base without breaking the glass. The bases are glued on fairly well but with gentle prying and twisting they will break loose.

CAUTION: The broken glass is quite sharp and can easily cause a serious cut.

Try not to scar the metal base too much if you want to reinstall it or alternately just peel it off and get a pristine base by breaking away the glass on another bulb. Now the really tricky part is to break off the bottom of the bulb without shattering the whole thing. A glass cutter may be used to score a ring around the base to encourage the desired break. This break should be near the bottom so that when the bulb is remounted on the base the break will not show. Keep your fingers out of the inside of the bulb so that the frosting doesn’t get a greasy fingerprint.


Several factors should be considered when selecting a battery and lamp combination. First, the weight should be kept low if the victim will hold the bulb. Second, the lamp should be as bright as practical and should emit light in an omnidirectional pattern. Try those “super Krypton” flashlight replacement bulbs and two AAA cells or one AA cell. A simple version may be constructed by connecting the battery, bulb and base in series such that the circuit is completed when a penny is connected across the base. The more sophisticated version shown in the diagram will respond to the resistance of moist skin and therefore requires less manual dexterity. Mount the circuitry as deep in the base as possible so that it doesn’t show through the glass and mount the battery vertically out of the base by securing it with a good quality epoxy. Paint the battery, wires, and components white so they don’t show then fasten the bulb back into position with hot-melt glue. Hot-melt glue will allow easy disassembly when the battery needs changing.

4 thoughts on “Wollah…Gags And Illusions…

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