Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DIY Jar Light Fixture


When we painted the upstairs hallway, we took the opportunity to swap out the strange 3-light fixtures that were there for something a little more contemporary.  At the time, I wanted something sleek, contemporary and cheap, but not so cheap that it was obvious, and not so contemporary that it was eye-catching.  I wanted them to blend into the wall enough so that you didn't even really know they were there.



A couple months down the road, and I think we made the right temporary choice.  Eventually, I'd like something that matches the rest of the decor in the house.

However, in the interest of recycling, I didn't throw the old fixtures out, as awful as they were in this application:



During the process of fixing up the workshop, I discovered a bunch of glass jars that Becky had saved me for keeping screws and bolts in.  A few were very large and matching (from pasta sauces), and I got an idea to do an impromptu DIY.  The fixture in the band garage/workshop was not even worth taking a photo of - picture a cheapo round fixture without the glass, just a ring with a couple bulbs in it - so I figured this would be a welcome replacement.

I started taking the things apart, trying to figure out how they were assembled.  It was fairly simple construction.  All three wire sets were connected to a common set of black & white with wire nuts, so I just separated all the wires, took the bulbs out, took out the screw that held the bulb socket to the frame, and that revealed the nut that held the housing on.  I removed that nut on all three housings and was left with just the center piece and the three adjustment arms.

I then determined the size of the arm's threaded end and drilled holes in the top of each of the jars, trimmed away the excess metal, and secured them to the arms.


I then reattached the bulb sockets to each of the arms, threading the wires back through the arms and into the center where they could be reattached with wire nuts.


I then taped off the wires and took it outside to spray paint with a flat white enamel.  After that, it was simply hooking up the wires, attaching to the existing round junction box in the ceiling, adding the bulbs, and screwing the jars back on.



Works like a charm, and although it looks small compared to the huge ceiling, with three bulbs it lights up the room sufficiently - better than the old fixture for sure.

I put these together while I was waiting for these to dry:


Since there are so many joints, and I only have 3 sets of clamps, I had to do these in shifts.  They're planter boxes that I made for my mom's birthday.  Becky found the tutorial online and thought they'd be perfect.  They were pretty easy to put together, just super time consuming.  If you want the full tutorial, including materials and cut list, head over to Home & Away with Lisa.
 

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