diy plasma globe high voltage

Simple plasma globe


When I first started experimenting with high voltage, flyback drivers were among the first supplies I built. I did a lot of weird experiments, but never got around to make a plasma globe since I wanted to do it with a big clear bulb.

Now I bought a big bulb, I have some better flyback drivers… 1 + 1 … it is time!

Warning: Touching the globe can give some nasty shocks as the current is much higher in a home made globe, I only tried at very low input voltage and it was easily felt as sparks to the finger.


WARNING!: Working with electricity is dangerous, all information found on my site is for educational purpose and I accept no responsibility for others actions using the information found on this site.

Read this document about safety!

The experiment

1st September 2009

I bought a 125 mm diameter Paulmann globe, the biggest the store I popped into had around.

There is a few conditions that have to be met to get discharges inside the bulb.

  • An AC high voltage supply, old flybacks without rectifiers are perfect.
  • One lead is connected to both terminals of the bulb
  • Second lead is grounded to earth.

Then its all about getting a high enough voltage for the discharges desired.

I noticed that the gas surrounding the actual streamers was glowing green, at first I thought it was overexposure to the eyes optic nerve, but when I got a photograph of it, it got me wondering. Normal light bulbs are mostly filled with Argon and some nitrogen / krypton, but none of these gasses, pure, will emit green. So for now it must be the mix of gasses in the bulb that results in a green glow around the streamers.

Beautiful green glow can be a sign of x-rays, but the supply voltage here is below the limit for x-ray generation. If the supply voltages gets above 50-60 kV the risk of x-rays being generated is present.



This is an easy and fun experiment to do, if you already have a high voltage AC power supply at hand.



3 thoughts on “Simple plasma globe”

  1. can u plz do a video about how u connect all the materials together plz i have a science fair but i cant connect the things so here is my e-mail plz send me the video of how to do it

  2. Hi Sharbel

    I do not hand out direct instructions upon request, all you did was ask for a complete recipe on how to make a plasma globe, bring it to a science fair and tell everyone you made it yourself, if you know about electronics and high voltage, the description of the experiment is enough for you to replicate it. If you want help, show some interest, read up on the subject and ask questions about details where you are in doubt.

    Kind regards

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