Steampunk, as a genre of fashion and decor, is all about the aesthetics. If it’s brass, has knobs or gears, and looks like something your great-grandfather would have had on display in his parlor room, than it’s steampunk. For reasons no one can quite put their finger on, makers are naturally drawn to the steampunk style. If that applies to you too, these gorgeous UV-Fluorescence steampunk lamps are the perfect weekend project.
Junophor’s tutorial will walk you through how to build these display-worth pieces. The centerpiece of each lamp’s design is a glowing fluid-filled flask. That fluid is quinine lemonade. Quinine is technically a medication, but it’s also used as a beverage flavoring due to it’s popularity in the gin and tonic drinks that British colonials used to treat malaria in India. It also glows when exposed to UV light, which is why it’s used in this project. Lemonade is used instead of plain tonic water because it disperses the light better.
The flask should be made from borosilicate glass, as it allows UV light to pass through unhindered. To avoid potential skin or eye damage, you should only use UV LEDs that produce wavelengths between 385 and 415 nm. For the rest of the components, you’ll want to spend a lot of time in the plumbing section of your local hardware store — remember, brass and copper are king. A solid wood base and gauge add to the aesthetic. Finally, good ol’ fashioned knife switches complete the look and feel of these decorative lamps.