a ball of fire
August 18, 2012 1:36 PM   Subscribe

Bob Kyp invented the flicker bulb. Kyp-Go Inc, his company was a garage start-up.

His most famous bulb is the Balafire. He also invented the Electric Flame bulb. He was granted six patents for light bulbs and radiometers.

He had an interesting life and his family obviously loved him very much.
posted by warbaby (11 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I survived exactly 43 seconds of that documentary before I couldn't take it anymore, but I did find this neat demonstration video on the Kyp-Go website in which they explain the (ingenious, elegant) workings behind the bulb and also provide a nice example of how AC and DC can cause very different behaviors in electrical equipment.

These bulbs are definitely on another level from the "fake fire in a pot" and "flickery LED tea-light" effects that you find in novelty stores and Halloween shops. Definitely much older tech and in my opinion a much more interesting effect as well.

Thanks for the post!
posted by Scientist at 1:45 PM on August 18, 2012


Fucking magnets!
posted by Ad hominem at 1:51 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting, but that documentary film needs to vary the soundtrack. It's the same bass line over and over and over...
posted by axiom at 1:52 PM on August 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


The light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.
posted by yoink at 2:08 PM on August 18, 2012


Back in the 70's I had a small table lamp made from a 7-Up can, and it had this big-ass flicker bulb in it. It really was kind of cool the way it jumped around in there.

Still have the lamp. The bulb burned out one day. I think the filament ended up beating itself to death against the inside of the bulb. You could always hear a slight tink...tinktink...tink...tink as it did its thing.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:29 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Back in the 70's I had a small table lamp made from a 7-Up can, and it had this big-ass flicker bulb in it. It really was kind of cool the way it jumped around in there.

Would you be able to elaborate about the 7-up commercial mentioned in the linked article that apparently used some of the Kyp-Go bulbs?

And is there a connection between that and your lamp?
posted by loquacious at 3:37 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


We need a citation of your illumination vis a vis carbonation.
posted by hal9k at 4:43 PM on August 18, 2012


What particular need did these bulbs address? Are they just a novelty?
posted by Brocktoon at 8:12 PM on August 18, 2012


I visited a house in which the dining room fixture had been fitted with these bulbs only. It was not bright enough to read or play Bridge. Novelty or d├ęcor item I guess.
posted by Cranberry at 11:40 PM on August 18, 2012


Wow. I hadn't thought about these things in years. I remember the neon flicker bulbs were common enough. But for whatever reason, these carbon filament flicker bulbs seemed so exotic. I think I only ever saw them in a lightbulb specialty store, where they had the status of the disco lights and other such stuff that I dreamed of filling my room with.
posted by 2N2222 at 12:12 AM on August 19, 2012


Here's the 7-UP commercial.
posted by warbaby at 7:24 AM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


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