bulbdial clock (Custom).jpg
emsl bulbdial guts Bulbdial clock has no moving parts, casts shadows for hands

This clever clock kit from EMSL has an analog-style face, but no hands. Instead, kinda like a sundial, it has a “gnomon” that sticks up in the middle. Three rings of inward-pointing LEDs are positioned around the rim, each a different color and each at a different angle relative to the face. The blue ring is at the shallowest angle, and thus casts the longest shadow representing the “seconds” hand. The red ring is at the steepest angle and casts the shortest shadow to make the “hours” hand. The green ring, in the middle, is minutes. Check the video above, courtesy YouTube user amandachou, to see it in action.

The “Bulbdial” clock is available as a kit with four different case options, but the clear/black variety shown above is definitely my favorite because it shows off the cool retro-futurist logo on the circuit board. Here’s a time-lapse video of YouTuber jcorsaro building one from a kit.

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Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


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