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I need to create the effect of very old, shorting-out incandescent light bulbs in the fixtures that are attached to the ceiling of a basement. Does anyone know of any bulbs that I can purchase that would accomplish this effect (and not appear like candle flames), or of any way to alter the socket (safely, without damaging it or permanently changing it) or a normal incandescent bulb to make it flicker? Ideally, I would like it to randomly flicker and dim. Thank you!
 

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I don't know of any solutions, commercial or otherwise that can just screw into the socket. The only solutions I can come up with, without disconnecting the light from the J-box and doing some rewiring would be to use a screw in photocell light control, then tape a small flicker bulb next to it. You'll have to use various layers of scotch tape over the photocell as the flicker will keep the bulb off permenantly. You need to build up the layers so just a tiny amount of light from the flicker bulb hits the cell occasionally. Your light in the socket will then flicker due to the flicker bulb next to it "controlling" it.

If you don't mind doing some re-wiring, a flourescent starter, wired inline with the hot on the light will create a pretty cool effect.

I used both of the above before I went to DMX and SSR's.
 

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The Evil Apparitionist
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I found Flasher Buttons, you put them in the sockets and they flash 60 times a sec....not really a shorting out effect, but fairly neat.
I second the flasher buttons, an old but good trick. About the size of quarters
, you drop one into the socket and screw the bulb on top of it to make the bulb flicker/flash.
 

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I found them at a lighting store that fixes lamps and such. Not the major retail outlets. Unfortunately, they ran about $25 each so I skipped on them.
 
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