Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Inexpensive Steampunk Industrial Desk - Accent Light

I was picking up a few things at my local home and builders store yesterday and came across some parts for an idea for a project that has been rattling around in my head for some time.  I wanted to build a desk - accent light that had an industrial look to it.  Kind of steampunk feel to it if you will.  I had seen several different light housings online that I thought would be good for this project and was lucky enough to come across exactly what I was looking for while browsing. 

This was exactly the housing that I wanted.  It is definitely industrial looking and is just the right size standing only 7 inches tall with a diameter of 4 inches.  Galvanized steel construction and only $11.88.  

I did a little more searching in the store for all the necessary parts I would need for the lamp as you can see in the photo above.  I thought I would go with a red LED light bulb to give my light some color when it was lit and also being LED it would not produce the heat of a regular bulb.   The only other pieces I needed were an electrical box to mount the light to, a small extension cord for the lamp and a rotary switch to turn the light on and off.  Total cost for all the parts including the light came to $31.48..... tax included.  So I thought it was a pretty good deal. 

I started with the electrical box and removed the two inner clamps that were attached to it.  These were simply not needed and actually would have caused problems with resting the box on a desk top because of the protruding machine screws that came through the back or should I say now base of the box. 

I was lucky enough to find some felt pads in one of my work drawers in the shop and mounted four of them on to the base of the electrical box.  This keeps the box off of the desk top and protects any nice surface that I will rest the lamp on to.

I next removed one of the tabs on the side of the box so that I had a place to run the electrical wires into the lamp to connect everything up to make it. 

Here I disassembled the light so that it would be easier to connect up the wiring that would come into the electrical box that will be the base for the light.  I also was able to figure out how the light would actually mount to the box. This is simply done with a couple of machine screws that are already in the electrical box.  Another simple task to do for the assembly of the lamp.

Hooking the wiring up was a piece of cake. cut of the unused end of the extension cord making sure not to cut off the end that would be  needed to be plugged into the wall. Next I fed the extension cord wiring through the opening in the electrical box and tied a knot on to the end of the extension cord so that it could not accidentally be pulled out of the lamp.   The cut ends of the wires were then separated and stripped so that the orange wire acorns could be used to connect the extension cord wires to the wiring of the lamp.  

About five or six inches from the lamp I mounted a rotating on and off switch per the directions on the package for this part.  This again was a simple task of splitting the wire where I wanted the switch to be then cutting one of these wires in half.  The wires were then mounted into the housing of the switch and two small metal teeth got clamped to the ends of the cut wire and the assembly was put back together.  It worked like a charm and only took a couple of minutes to connect up.  I then added the red LED light bulb and plugged it in to test it.  First time out it fired right up with no problems.  YAH!

Now with the light and switch working it was just a simple matter of assembling the light to the electrical box with the two mounting screws and reinstalling the glass cover and wire cage over everything.  Another two minute job at most. 

Here is how the light looks lit with a bright red LED bulb.  I got a chance to turn the light on tonight and as I suspected it was way to bright.  Had to put sun glasses on just to look at it.  

I returned the red bulb and found something much more suitable for my little light display. In the photo above is a 40 watt bulb similar to what Edison had made back in his day. The light is much softer and easier on the eyes to look at so now I can honestly say it is completed.

 This had to be one of the easiest projects that I've put together in a long time.  It will be a nice addition to either my computer work room or even sitting in my living room just as a decoration.   Either way I would call this project a huge success for ease of construction, fast build time, and inexpensive cost. Always pluses when it comes to projects in my book!

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