When you glue the LEDs to the glass using transparent epoxy glue you will be able to create a light guide with matching index of refraction from the LED to the glass. This way you can get the light into the bulb without it reflecting off at the glass surface.
I have my own magic light bulb, which is a frosted, broken incandescent lit from behind with a green LED. The LED is attached to the glass with clean epoxy and the light appears to be coming from within the bulb - it almost looks like an X-ray image of the filament on an old fluorescent screen.
perchance is that beautiful bottle in the shipping frame an RK-65 ??
I was a In a ham club as a young tyke that built a 75meter linear running a pair of RK-65s that could do the legal limit at half throttle. (A very conspicuous bolt in the front panel limited the rotation of the variac that throttled the plate supply.) Seeing that beautiful bottle started me geezin'.
@Max: "The only problem occurred when I turned this beauty over and discovered its $275 price tag."
$275?... Are they practicing for a move of their business to ebay? Well... regardless, that is a great collection, and will certainly make a spectacular addition to your project with any kind of lighting!
Sorry to hear about Mock Electronics closing, though. We used to have several surplus-electronics places right here in the Fresno area. Now they're all gone... and it's approaching the End of an Age.
@Rcurl: "we don't want to generate too much ultraviolet light - or even worse- X-rays."
If you want to worry about X-rays then just ask your dentist, on your next visit, if his equipment is all properly calibrated. Then ask him if you can borrow that lead-apron for use during the next lightning storm!
That one tube with the yellowish glass bits (looks like a WL327) is actually uranium glass (used to get the right coefficient of expansion to match the lead-in wires at high temperatures). That glass will fluoresce a beautiful yellow-green when illuminated with UV light. For that one, I'd include at least one UV LED.
Maybe lasers scanning over the tube structures - maybe in a criss-cross pattern so that they look like those 3d modelling programs? I don't know how you could do that though - I think you can get disco laser projectors that do that??
Those old tubes are things of beauty indeed. Did you take a pic of the $275 one - I'd be interested to see what kind of tube they can reasonably charge that much for in this day and age....?? Do you know what it was - maybe a travelling wave tube or something similar??
@Rcurl: I'm thinking it might be difficult to properly illuminate the internal structure of the tubes with LEDs.
I have a cunning plan; indeed, a plan so cunning we could pin a tail on it and call it a weasle -- let me play with my class etching on the regular bulbs this evening (I'm not touching thise vacuum tubes until I'm 100% sure what I'm doing) and get back with you... watch this space...
I think some of those tubes may be mercury rectifiers. If they are, we've got to come up with a high voltage source so you can get a nice blue-green glow out of them. We don't want too much current, though, because we don't want to generate too much ultraviolet light - or even worse- X-rays.
As for the light bulbs- I have heard that some bulbs will act like a plasma globe when energized with high frequency, high voltage AC.
I'm thinking it might be difficult to properly illuminate the internal structure of the tubes with LEDs. Have you considered small lasers, as used in laser pointers? They're easily available and pretty cheap.