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How to make a lightbulb vaporizer

Updated April 17, 2017

Instead of smoking your herbs, do your lungs a favour and vaporise them. Vaporising heats up your aromatherapy herbs to the temperature at which their essences evaporate into a vapour, which, upon inhalation, provides the same olfactory and gustatory satisfaction of smoking but without all of the harmful carcinogens of burning your herbs. Vaporisation cuts down on the harmful chemicals released when herbs are burnt because there is no combustion and therefore no smoke, only vapour, which contains the essence and all of the active properties of your herbs. Most commercially available vaporisers cost more than £65, but you can make your own light bulb vaporiser from home supplies.

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  1. Cut off the bottommost part of the metal portion of the light bulb with your serrated knife to create a hole through which to insert your herbs. Sand off any jagged metal edges.

  2. Empty the light bulb completely of its filaments using a small pair of pliers. Clean the light bulb's interior by shaking a mixture of salt and water around inside to remove dust or glass particles that are unhealthy to inhale. Empty and dry the light bulb.

  3. Confirm that the 2-liter soda pop bottle cap fits on your light bulb. Larger bottle caps are acceptable as long as you duct tape them on to prevent any vapour from escaping, but smaller bottle caps do not fit.

  4. Make two straw-sized holes in the bottle cap.

  5. Insert the straws into your bottle cap and ensure that they connect the inside and outside of the light bulb by trimming them to size with scissors.

  6. Insert your herbs into the light bulb and screw on the bottle cap. To ensure that the seal on the light bulb hole is airtight, duct tape the circumference of the bottle cap where it connects to the light bulb.

  7. Light the bottom of the light bulb with a lighter to vaporise your herbs. Evenly heat the herbs by moving the lighter in small circles where the bulb touches the herb for maximum vapour yield. Heating your herbs between 121 and 204 degrees C causes the oils within (which contain the active ingredients) to boil off into a vapour that you can inhale through one of the straws.

  8. Tip

    The ideal temperature for vaporisation of herbs varies with each herb. Grind your herbs before inserting them into your vaporiser.


    It is difficult to control the temperature at which you vaporise with a homemade light bulb vaporiser. Do not overheat the light bulb or you can scorch the outside of your herbs while leaving the insides lukewarm, thereby wasting herbs and creating smoke, which defeats the purpose of a vaporiser. It is illegal to use this device to vaporise marijuana or other illegal substances.

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Things You'll Need

  • 100-watt light bulb
  • Serrated knife
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • 2 drinking straws or glass tubes of similar size
  • Cap of a 2-liter soda pop bottle

About the Author

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