Painting a Bulb?

I would like to use LED bulbs to alert for certain events, for example, a button press or motion detect.

I’m thinking it would be nice to have a green bulb, yellow bulb, and red bulb.

I’m not too eager to spend $50 for something I can change dynamically – don’t need that. What I am thinking about is painting the top of a bulb with some kind of semi transparent, heat proof, spray paint. This would be like the older Christmas tree bulbs.

Has anyone tried this or have comments (like, you’re nuts)?


I haven’t tried that but you can pick up ceramic, translucent or fluorescent colored bulbs for between $3 - $10 a piece if that is all you need.

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3 cheap smart bulbs are $45 plus the time to paint them and need three sockets, 3 dumb led bulbs are cheap but 3 switches to run them expensive. A single Lifx bulb at $60 or less if your lucky and your done, plus infinite color options for alerts.


Has anyone tried wiring up an old stoplight they got from a flea market/yard sale for something like this?

That’s a good point.

I was thinking of GE Link bulbs. These can be had for $15 at HomeDepot. I have two currently, a 2700 Kelvin and a 5000 Kelvin, and they seem to work great.

You can purchase bulb sockets that plug into a wall outlet. I purchased for four for $7.50 on ebay.

The 5000 Kelvin would only recognize as a “Thing” and I had to go onto the developer website and manually change its configuration to a GE Bulb.

I like the form factor of some of the color tunable bulbs. Maybe I will have to put my cheapness aside and just bite the bullet.

Heat diffusion is a challenge for any light bulb. Don’t paint.

You can safely use different color lamp shades if you want.

Another alternative is the Homeseer 200, a Zwave night light with 8 colors. It also has a motion sensor and a lux sensor (although the lux sensor is a little weird). There’s a community device type. It costs about the same as a hue bulb, but does have the motion sensor as well if that’s useful.

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I like it.

I can see all sorts of uses for this: bathroom occupied notification, child out of bed notification, mail arrival, garage door open, front door outside motion, cell phone fully charged (if using SharpTools).

Pretty much anything you could do with a TTS notification could be done here.

The only issue I could see is using it for too many different items and having one happen right after another, meaning you miss one of the color changes in there.

If I had some outlets up higher in locations other than the kitchen and bathroom, I could definitely find multiple uses for this. Maybe once I am out of an apartment.