Friday, July 23, 2010

DIY Industrial Lights

Remember my post awhile back about needing to find a new closet solution (HERE)? Well, we finally came up with a solution, and I will do a post for it later, but in the process it was one of those “if you give a mouse a cookie” situations. We realized that with the new closet, we had to move our bed, and we had to get rid of our old nightstands, and old lamps, and suddenly needed new lighting for our bedroom. Our bedroom doesn’t have ANY ceiling fixtures, or other hard-wired lighting. So here’s when a trip to Home Depot became a necessity. We wanted lighting that looked somewhat industrial to match our industrial closet system (I promise I will post pics later), but we didn’t want to pay a fortune for lights. Since we live in an apartment, we also couldn’t do any electrical wiring in our bedroom so this creates quite a challenge (To find lighting that we could mount to the wall and/or ceiling without hard-wiring and not costing too much money).

We came up with a solution, eventually, but I have to say this one was really all my husband. He found these great lights at Home Depot and instantly figured that we could spray them to give them a galvanized steel look, but there was one tiny problem….these lights are meant for hard-wired fixtures. Well with Dan the Man as my husband, this didn’t mean we couldn’t have these, this just meant a little bit of DIY work. And he was up for the challenge. So here is the DIY (courtesy of Dan) on how to take hard-wired fixtures and turn them into mounted non-wired lights.

1) Here is one of the lights straight out of the box. Purchased at Home Depot for $11 a piece (not too shabby).

2) Here’s the beginning of the deconstruction. The insulation needed to be removed to make way for the these LED lights we would be using from IKEA. Since we didn’t have hard-wired lighting in our room, we found some super bright LED’s at IKEA that we wanted to place inside of these fixtures. We put two LED’s in each fixture, which provides plenty of light.

3) Note the gloves. Very important. Dan wore gloves, eye goggles, and a face mask during the deconstruction. You don’t want to get fiberglass in your fingers, eyes, or throat. Saftey first people. Dan was able to remove the majority of the insulation just by pulling it out with his glove-covered hands.

4) Here’s the light fixture disassembled from the front. You can see where the old hard-wired fixture is that Dan will be cutting out.

5) The insulation was glued on to the fixtures, so it left a bit of sticky residue on the back. No worries here, we can fix this on step 7.

6) Dan cut out the old fixture (the front view of this fixture is shown on step #4 above). He used a Dremel tool with a reinforced cut-off disk. He made the opening wide enough so we could slide in the alternate LED lighting that we purchased from IKEA (seriously these babies are bright! And Eco-friendly, we will basically never need to replace them).

7) Next Dan removed the excess insulation & glue (and cleaned up the cut area from step #6) with a wire brush. The cut-off disks don’t leave the cleanest lines, so the wire brush really helps smooth out the edges.

8) Here are the lights insolation free and ready for primer.

9) Here are the lights primed….

10) Here’s the paint we used for our light fixtures. We seriously LOVE this paint. If you are looking to spray paint ANYTHING where you want a metallic effect this is the stuff to use. The spray seems uneven, but not to worry, it gives a great hammered texture (which is the idea).

11) Here’s everything painted and drying.

12) The end result. Notice the texture on the fixtures from that spray paint? Really awesome effect.

OK OK. I know you want to see them mounted now right? It's just not the same without seeing them in action! What a tease this post is…well you will just have to stay tuned. Next week I will post pictures of these babies mounted in our closet/bedroom (considering our bedroom is basically a closet with a bed now, lol).

I also noticed we didn’t show how we put the LEDs inside the light fixtures, but it’s fairly simple and we couldn’t really put the lights in until we were ready to mount the fixtures. You will see the end result when I post the pictures of the new closet system. Intrigued? Stay tuned.

Have a great weekend! Maybe you'll do a little DIY-ing yourself. :)




  1. Well I say, that's incredibly crafty of you two! I am very impressed!

  2. Aww my brother is so darn manly!

  3. lol. Yes Dan fits the "man" stereotype when it comes to building, deconstructing, and using tools. The fact that our side table in our living room is an impromptu toolchest is proof of that! Very handy to have around. :)

  4. both are amazing...Well done!!! I really love how it looks:) Kisses,sweetie and have a fantastic weekend:)


  5. What a great DIY! They look great. I can't wait to see what you ended up doing about the lack of closet space!
    xo Josie

  6. So Cool! You 2 are very creative & I cant wait to see the lights the closet!!! How will I know when its posted? Thank you for sharing & pleeeeease let me know when I can see :)


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