Simple Vector Light Bulb Tutorial Using Illustrator
Light bulbs are one of the best and simplest symbols/icons for ideas and enlightenment. If you want to utilize your own brand of light bulb for specific graphics in your website or even in your prints such as for flyer printing and catalog printing, it is typically better for you to compose one yourself. There are tons of other light bulb cartoons out there, but creating your own vector light bulb shape gives you the added advantage of originality and of course, easy scalability and image quality for your poster or catalog prints.
So, in this tutorial, we will help you create your own simple vector light bulb using illustrator. Follow the steps below and you will easily see the steps in getting the graphic icon that you need.
1. Open a new document in illustrator and size it appropriately for your purpose. Play with the resolution settings, and if possible make it a high value, especially if you will be using this icon for printing. 300ppi is a good value for print, and 72ppi is the standard for web. Just choose as needed.
2. Now, let us start drawing our light bulb elements. First, use the ellipse tool to inscribe a slightly longish oval/ellipse much like how the top part of a light bulb looks.
3. Next, use the direct selection tool and click on the bottom anchor of our main ellipse. Drag it slightly to the bottom to elongate only the bottom part. This gives us a better more light bulb looking shape.
4. We will now add the bottom metal part of our light bulb. First create a rectangle shape at the bottom of our light bulb. Try and align in properly so that its edges come into contact with the edges of our light bulb of course. Align it as well with the center of the ellipse of course, watch out for the alignment tips.
5. Next, using the rounded rectangle tool, create a small wide rounded rectangle at the bottom of our main rectangle.
6. Merge the rounded rectangle and the main rectangle by going to the pathfinder and selecting the option to “unite”.
7. Finally, add another small rounded rectangle at the bottom. Send this to the back of the shapes.
8. Now, we will make the grooves. Using the rounded rectangle tool again, draw a thin and wide rounded rectangle across the bottom part of the light bulb that we created.
9. Next, go to Effects -> Warp -> Rise. Adjust the rise value as needed to simulate grooves that slant in the bottom metal part of the light bulb.
10. Once you have the first groove, duplicate it several times and position the duplicates evenly on the bottom of our light bulb.
11. Finally, using the line and pen tools, inscribe the metal filaments and filters of the inside of the light bulb.
12. You should then of course color your light bulb. First use a dark grey to black gradient on the bottom most part of the light bulb.
13. Use a grey and light grey gradient on the larger base of the light bulb.
14. For the grooves, use a lighter grey gradient with a thin black stroke.
15. Finally, for the main glass part of the light bulb, use a yellow to white gradient in a radial setting to make it look like the light bulb is on.
16. Then, just add a few shine/gloss accents by adding white transparent spots on parts of the light bulb like so.
17. Great! Now you have a light bulb vector icon for your own use.