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I am in the process of making a DC desk lamp out of all salvaged garbage materials. I am going to be using some christmas lights(AC bulbs, but running off DC, I know this works) for the main light but want to add some colored lights into the base. The base is an old bottle I plan on filling with water(Looks cool and counterweight). Is it safe to just submerge the bulbs in the water? Is there poetential risk? Any suggestions?

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  • At low voltage, no risk. At high voltage, lots of risk. – keshlam Nov 25 '16 at 21:10
  • If everything is clean and distilled water is used it may work. If tap water is used the electrical connections in contact withe water will corrode quite quickly. – Ed Beal Nov 25 '16 at 21:13
  • @keshlam Its probaly only going to be arouns 12v dc. At the most 19v if I use a laptop brick(prob wont) – user2860253 Nov 25 '16 at 21:21
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Even if you use deionized water (which is a great insulator) it won't STAY a great insulator if you expose it to copper, brass, etc. in unsealed connections, which will leach ions and cause the water not to be deionized, nor a very good insulator. This will cause the lights in the water to fail, and may also offend your power supply.

If you want liquid, for some reason, mineral oil (USP) is clear, non-toxic, and a good electrical insulator that will stay an insulator. It will also make a mess if you tip the lamp over.

I'd suggest pouring the bottle full of epoxy, which will harden so it can't spill, and is an excellent insulator as well. Alternatively, find a size of marble or glass bead that fits through the neck opening and fill with those.

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  • I was thinking of putting some solid into the bottle instead. Mainly I was afraid of leaks and tips. Now I see electricity isn't the best for this. Epoxy is a good idea but id rather a nicer bottle for that. Think I may use little rocks for now – user2860253 Nov 26 '16 at 14:05

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