Continuing along in the categories of other things I have seen on youtube that I tried to reproduce in real life, I saw a video on youtube of a guy using lead from a pencil to create a gas lightbulb (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wucmSj7Z-dA). In the video it looked pretty cool, and so we decided to test this out.
First of all, you need to figure out a good power source. We used eight D batteries all taped together with electrical tape, but it is not clear that the connections between the batteries were strong enough to give us good power. Another option could be to use electrical power from the wall.
Second of all, you need good electrical connections between the power source and the lead. We used alligator clips to do these connections, but the clips themselves may have had some wiring challenges.
Third of all, it is not as easy as you would think to clip a piece of lead between two alligator clips and have the lead not snap in half. We used A LOT of lead in this process, and the best we ended up with was a smoking and kind of reddish glowing piece of lead.
So if you have been able to get this to work well, please share tips. The videos here are cool enough that I am really interested in figuring this out.