Saturday 18 June 2022

Fallout New Vegas inspired "Sunset Sarsaparilla" lamp

In Fallout New Vegas there is a fictional drink - Sunset Sarsaparilla - and in various locations throughout the game there are these bottle lamps, which served as the inspiration for this project.



I'm not trying to make a perfect replica, but instead just follow the general format of the design.


The base lamp I am re-purposing is a basic  bedside lamp. It has a simple stem that lends itself well to this kind of project


I found a beer bottle which had no embossing or branding on it other than an easily removed label.

To drill the hole in the bottom of the bottle I created a single-use jig to hold the bottle upside down. I filled the curved base of the bottle with water to act as coolant and lubricant, as excess heat can be a big problem when drilling glass. An abrasive drill bit, normally meant for drilling tile, was used, which worked very well.

In it's simplest guise, the project would just be "Drill hole in bottom of bottle, thread lamp through bottle, done."



Although I didn't want to make this project an on-the-nose gaming build, I do have some Sunset Sarsaparilla branded bottle caps, which I wanted to use as the switch. However I don't want the sharp-ish edges of the cap exposed, so I encased it in two-part epoxy resin.

This sat atop a simple toggle push-switch poking through from the bottom of the base.


Starting with the stem of the lamp, I drilled a small hole in its side, to thread the fairy lights through.

Then the connector end of the fairy lights are threaded through that hole, and the lights themselves wound fairly tightly around the stem

A second, plain brass, bottle cap was drilled to fit the stem of the lamp, and threaded onto the lead for the main bulb.

This was then attached to the top of the stem, and the lead threaded through.

This assembly was then put into the bottle. Before pushing the bottle cap down entirely, by pinching the end of the fairy lights and then rotating the stem, the lights could be unwound, so that they expanded into the bottle.

At this point the fairy lights were tested (with just battery power) to ensure no wires were broken or damaged during assembly.




The original lamp runs on regular mains voltage.

However I'd like to reduce it so that I can add some fairy lights in the bottle for some additional lighting.

There exist 12v DC bulbs for the type of fitting this lamp has (E14 SES), which would typically be used in caravans etc. Obviously it's not just a case of switching the bulb over, else the 12v DC bulb will just get destroyed.

So firstly, I'm removing the plug from the lamp, so it's not connected back to direct mains by accident.

I intend to simply use a 12V wall-wart, which the new bulb can be powered directly from.

The fairy lights that I'm using are powered by 2 CR2032 coin cell batteries (6v), so I'll still need to reduce the voltage to power them.

To do this I'm using a LM317 regulator, with 4.7k and 1.5k ohm resistors to create a 5.4v output voltage

I'm also including a small current-limiting diode on the output to the fairy lights for added protection.


The base of the original lamp, aside from a weight, was hollow. I took the base and flattened it into a simple metal disc.  

My router was broken, so had to be
creative with a forstner drill
I took a piece of chestnut wood, and cut a new base from that, hollowing out the enough to recess the original base disc, and house the additional electronics.

 In the top another hole was drilled from the button

The button that the bottle cap will sit on


End Result

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