About this project
Check out our new website! (After our campaign ends, you can purchase our planters here.)
Helpful Tip: The Crystal Waters beads will glow very brightly if exposed to strong light (like a strobe light or photography flash, for example). If the beads don't glow as much as you want them to, expose them to stronger light.
About our Light Bulb Planters
Our light bulb planters are an innovative way of bringing technology and nature together--and reusing light bulbs is eco-friendly. From the concept itself, to using hydro bubbles instead of standing water, to our original wooden stand, this planter is inventive. It brings together the old and the new, the man-made and the natural.
While we only offer bamboo plants, other plants can be used. If you were to put soil in your light bulb, you could plant anything small. If you stick with the hydro bubbles we provide, you can either use any plant that survives purely on water or supply your plant with liquid nutrients.
What else is great? You don't have to remember to water your plant every day! Just soak the hydro bubbles to rehydrate them when they get small. The plant will take the water it needs from the hydro bubbles, so they will last a long time, depending on how much water your plant uses.
To read more about hydro bubbles and how they can be used with plants, see the hydro bubbles website.
The light bulb can also be used as purely a decoration. A light bulb full of hydro bubbles displayed on our wooden stand makes a nice addition to any office or living space.
How We Got Started
I, Ryan, wanted to construct a mini, easily duplicated Molotov Cocktail for all of my (and your) pyrotechnic needs. Light bulbs have the perfect shape and consistency! I thought everyone should have access to such fine entertainment, but that endeavor was shot down asap for legal reasons..who knew. Luckily,
I, Katria, was here to point out the impracticality and highly likely danger of such a product. I suggested maybe plants were less flammable and more child-friendly.
But then we thought of the light bulb fish tank!! We were so pumped about this idea, we went all out.
But the lady at the pet store murdered the idea. She said that even the smallest fish would not have room. Then she went into the whole gallon-per-inch-of-fish rule and we realized the only thing that could survive (in even a big light bulb) was a snail. Who likes snails??
Maybe if we were in France. Also, she warned us the snails would verrry slowwwly escape out the top.
So we went back to the plant idea. Our idea leaped forward when we thought to use the HydroBubbles™. Using them instead of water makes our product more interesting, more portable, and is exactly what we were going for: a blend of nature and technology.
Then--kabamm! We realized bamboo was definitely the best plant for the job, since it can easily survive on water alone, and fits in a light bulb.
How We Make Them
The first step is gutting the light bulb. This is surprisingly more complicated than it looks. We pry off the metal plate at the base, then have to break several layers of glass inside. After removing the glass and element, and ridding the inside ring of glass fragments, we have to widen the opening to fit the shaft of the bamboo. Then we wash the white powder out of the light bulb, and then it's ready to be filled.
The HydroBubbles™ are very small beads--after soaking them in water for 12 hours the hydro bubbles are fully hydrated and ready to be put in the light bulb. We put a combination of blue and green hydro bubbles (looks the nicest) and put in the bamboo plant.
Next: the base. We designed this custom two-piece base and had it laser cut. We used a thin birch wood that lent itself well to our simple design.
Our second design was developed to enhance the contour of the light bulb.
Assembling this Product Requires:
1. Partially disassembling / "gutting" the glass and wire insides of the light bulb.
2. Checking that no rough glass exists inside the light bulb's rim.
3. Hydrating the Hydro Bubbles (takes 8-12 hours of soaking)
4. Putting hydro bubbles and bamboo plant into the light bulb.
5. Cutting the wood base with a laser cutter.
6. Sanding and Staining the Wood Base.
We don't expect differences between our prototype and our final product. We didn't sand our prototype bases, so we will be sanding those for a smoother finish. Our bamboo plants may be smaller than the plant featured in our pictures and video. They are 4 inch straight plants.
The majority of the work must be done by hand. Laser cutting the wood is the only component of production that will use machinery.
We plan to train and employ a manufacturing team (depending on the number of orders we get) to assemble our planters. We will hire people to prepare the light bulbs and sand and stain the wood stands. We have estimated that preparing, filling, and packaging the light bulbs will take 10-15 minutes per light bulb. This cost has been fit into our budget.
We've been communicating with our contact at HydroBubbles.com and have prepared to do bulk orders. Crystal Waters will also be supplying some select water beads for our Glow in the Dark planters! (Please note: they are different entities and may provide slightly different products.)
My friend owns a Laser Cutting Business - Caren's Laser Creations, and will be our choice for outsourcing the laser cutting work.
We estimate manufacturing to take 3 weeks after our project is funded. Our planters should be shipped by December 14th, so they can arrive to our backers in time for the holiday season. Shipping should take 5-7 days.
Why Kickstarter? / Funds Allocation
We wouldn't be able to launch a product like this without kickstarter. Creating one of these planters is costly and time consuming, however, getting funded on kickstarter will give us the funds to buy in bulk and train/hire a manufacturing team to produce these efficiently at significantly lower costs. We're hoping to create future lines of creative uses for light bulbs (candles, fish bowl, lanterns, etc) for all to enjoy! We're excited to see how Delight Bulb Planters go on Kickstarter!
Risks and challenges
Our risks and challenges rely mostly in that some of our supplies will come from a different manufacaturer more friendly to bulk orders (ex: having a wider bamboo width would necessitate a wider hole in the top of our light bulbs.)
Also, we are not sure if the people we can employ will have the same skill we have when gutting the light bulbs & widening the opening, however, we feel that with training and practice we should be just fine.
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