Glass Insulators as Nightlights

I have a bunch of really neat glass pieces that I found in an old barn a few years ago, that were going to be tossed. My hoarding tendencies kicked in and I had to have them. The color is amazing…a brilliant blue-turquoise. I never really knew what they were until I found some in an antique store, labeled as glass insulators. I looked online and found that these glass insulators were first produced in the 1850’s for use with telegraph lines, and then eventually for use with telephone and electric power lines. They don’t make them anymore, and there are many antique insulator collectors out there. I also didn’t realize they came in so many great colors and shapes. I found this interesting photograph online which shows a number of different insulators:

(photo by monon738 on flicker).

Here are the kind I have:

I have debating on what to do with them for quite a while. I have always liked colored glass that is lit up, by a candle or christmas lights, so I came up with an idea to make them into night lights! First I cleaned them up and hot glued a little tea light onto the inside of the open bottom. The batteries can be replaced, so no problem there. They actually last longer than you would think…I once let one run for a week straight. It’s not a really bright light, but a soft, flickering light that is perfect for a night light!

What else could you do with them??? I have read if you flip them over, they make great candle holders, tied to a post or hung up with wire or twine. I only sold one of these at the craft show, but I still think they are a cool idea!

Any other ideas of what to do with these great old insulators, other than just collect em cause they’re neat??

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. msdrpepper
    Jan 01, 2014 @ 18:46:39

    Ha! I was hoping you’d tell me what else to do with insulators!? I don’t think I’ll need THAT many candleholders or night lights! I love looking at them, as the colored glass insulators are so pretty. I’m fixing to end up with a box or two loaded with them, as soon as my husband gets home today. He’s been out of state dealing with his parent’s estate. The barn out back had boxes of the insulators – some from back in the early years when their home first got electricity (the estate is nearly 60 years old and parts of it are older.). I reckon a lot of them were picked up from the sides of the railroad as the electricity got modernized over the years (his dad worked for railroad some 30+ years.).


    • Patti
      Jun 04, 2015 @ 09:58:40

      I would love to buy 6 of them from you if your willing to part with them?


      • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
        Jun 04, 2015 @ 10:01:08

        Hi Patti, as you can see that post was written in 2010 and those glass insulators are long gone! You could very easily make some, as they are available at almost every antique store for pretty cheap (maybe a few bucks). You can get the electric tea lights at Walmart or Target. Sorry, but thank you for stopping by the blog! 🙂 maggie

  2. Terri Gilliland
    Jul 20, 2016 @ 20:49:01

    I bought 2 old tin tiles that have the insulators hooked on them I was going to put tea lights in them- but realized that air plants would look awesome in them!!


  3. Trackback: Collecting Makes Your Heart Pitter-Patter

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