Thursday, January 28, 2016

DIY Light Fixtures




I am so glad that I have these pictures saved. I look back at them for a CLUE as to WTF is going on in some areas. For example, see that back wall with the two speakers? Well all I saw when I moved in were cords dangling. #surprisesurroundsoundFTW

Something else I saw? See on the left by the dark brown peg board some, ah, exterior lighting hanging? There's some on the right as well, but those were not to be found when I moved in! So the lights on the left I always thought were decorative, because aren't they CUUUUTE?!

Kidding. They had a bulb in them but I couldn't for the life of me figure out HOW they turned on. Every switch hath been turned! So I figured the bulbs were out? Replacing them meant taking apart the entire fixture, and I knew if the bulb trick worked I would want to get rid of them anyways. So, I destroyed the fixture one day.


And brought it down to just a cord and a socket. Once I was to this point I could get to the cord and trace it, all inspector gadget style. It brought me THROUGH the pegboards and under the staircase to an outlet. Seems legit, cords are made for being plugged in. 

BUT, with a new bulb it STILL wasn't working. BEHOLD, a tiny, almost impossible to detect, switch hidden within one of the pegs. DO YOU SEE IT?!


OMG. Lights worked, Check!



SO, I noodled what to do there for awhile and finally came up with a plan! I bought one of these brackets 2 years ago to do this as a bedside lamp, but never got around to it so it sat hoarding away. I went to ikea last weekend to grab another and complete the pair. I also grabbed a little copper pipe, 2 new sockets, and some little bulbs (the big ones were much too bright for this space #moodlighting). 


To begin, I unplugged the wires at the outlet, because being electrocuted wasn't on my to-do list.


Next I unscrewed the two screws holding in the wires to detach the old socket. I COULD have re-used it, but it has an on/off switch at the top that just WASN'T in the plan. So new one FTW.



Then I threaded this cord through the top hole in the bracket (these came pre-drilled as IKEA doesn't want to ASSUME how you'll hang the brackets.)

It was tough to photograph this AND hold a million things, so here are the next few steps:
- Thread the wire through the brass screw & copper piece (the copper is purely aesthetic while the brass piece came with the socket and will screw into it).
-Take apart the socket (screws are on the inside) so you can get at the screws for the wire
-Wrap each wire around a screw and tighten, then re-assemble the socket.


Are you following? OK. Then I stapled the wire to the top of the bracket, you could let it hang, do you! Then I attached the bracket to the wall.



Woo! It works!


A little paint job later and BOOM, done.



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