DIY Pickle Light

DIY Pickle Light


I have always wanted to try this!

1. Get a pickle.

2. Jam electrical wires into opposite ends of said pickle.

3. Plug wires into AC socket.

Notice, “Plug in…” comes LAST! Keep in mind, you are dealing with LIVE AC! Use common sense and all possible caution! I grabbed ahold of one of the wires while discussing it infront of a group of Physics Pholks at Rutgers a few years back and got a rude awakening! Made the demo much more interesting for the audience, but ruined my day (not to mention my shorts…).Link

Update: Here’s a video I found of it working and here’s a link to an explanation.

Something from the comments- FYI: I would recommend doing it in a well-ventilated room. Electrified pickle is… aweful.

12 thoughts on “DIY Pickle Light

  1. japroach says:

    I wonder if they make power bar with a GFI, or if it only applies to outlets? It might provide a bit of safety when doing something like this.

    Also use a bar with a resettable fuse (10/15A).

  2. beeboo says:

    My highschool physics teacher used to do this every year. It was pretty legendary. FYI: I would recommend doing it in a well-ventilated room. Electrified pickle is… aweful.

  3. mwproductions says:

    I built a pickle lamp in high school (thanks to Penn & Teller for inspiring me). It’s pretty sweet and it always entertains people. I’ll try to find it and upload some photos to the MAKE Flickr pool.

  4. dansdata says:

    A GFI/RCD will only protect you from picklecution if the pickle in question is correctly earthed in the first place.

    I am unaware of any gherkins which provide this feature.

    The circuit breaker idea is not a bad one, though, if only because it’d be quite possible for deeply inserted contacts to touch and short out as the pickle does its thing.

  5. dpr says:

    This was done a long time ago at a DEC laboratory where they tested the luminescence of a few varieties of pickles in a study called “Characterization of Organic Illumination Systems.” Search Google for “digital pickle luminescence”.

  6. bentheo says:

    we used to do this all the time in college. my roommate and i built a rig by stripping the end of an extension cord and attaching a fork at each end. we picked up a bunch of the ‘pickle in a pouch’ from the local walmart so could do it whenever requested. i recommend doing it outside, and if you want a real treat try eating the pickle afterwards.

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