A proper mad science laboratory requires mysterious potion-filled test tubes lit with eerie colors to flicker in thier rack. Build this display for maximum creepy effect!

Flourescent pigments mixed with water make for a creepy-cool luminescent potion when lit with ultraviolet light, especially as they flicker and blink based on a microcontroller pattern you design.

You can use this technique to make test tubes glow in a standard test tube rack, or build your own from black iron pipe fittings and laser-cut acrylic for some next level spookiness!

Don't have any UV pigment? No problem -- get some tonic water instead! The quinine in tonic water fluoresces a cool blue color under UV light.

Lighted Test Tube Parts


Materials and Tools

  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Wire strippers
  • Heat shrink tubing

Optional Test Tube Rack Parts

  • 2 ea. 1/2" threaded pipe nipple, 6" length
  • 4 ea. 1/2" threaded pipe nipple, 8" length
  • 2 ea. 1/2" threaded pipe fitting, 90 degree elbow
  • 3 ea. 1/2" threaded pipe fitting, coupling
  • 4 ea. 1/2" threaded pipe fitting, locknut
  • 2 ea. 1/2" threaded pipe floor flange

Optional Tools

  • Drill with 1/8" bit for pilot hole
  • Screwdriver

This guide was first published on Oct 17, 2016. It was last updated on Oct 17, 2016.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Jan 19, 2021.