I have a thing for these lights… getting rid of them that is. Over the years, I’ve had a few of those “boob” lights as I call them, in my sights a few times. And, they don’t often last long.
This one had a immitation red spray-paint looking finish to it. Trying to be bronze maybe? Not sure. Whatever it’s trying to be — it’s not working. It’s time to break up — Let’s upgrade a ceiling light with a drum shade!
So here’s the thing. Once I started to take the light apart, I thought there HAS to be something that can be done with this light. Once the shade is off, its just a couple of burning bulbs sitting in a fully-functioning light fixture. No more “boob”. But how do I cover up the bulbs?
A-Ha! A lamp shade. I had a couple of those taking up space in my storage room. Win-win. Pop a shade on there and badda-bing, new light AND more room in my storage room.
Hmm. First attempt was kind of a dud. The shade colour was off, and without a diffusing panel on the bottom, the light looked like it was about to “beam me up, Scotty.”
So, that gave me two main problems. I really want to be able to flip the shade over, so the metal “spider” frame is on the bottom, and can then hold a diffuser panel. And, second, improve how the fixture base looks with the shade.
Then, my a-ha moment. I had switched out a light in the hallway that was strangely identical to this light, only… wait for it… smaller! Perfect! That meant I should be able to switch the light base to the smaller one, and it will tuck nicely into the shade. Much better scale.
But what about the weird red colour? Enter paint! Two quick coats of some black paint I already had kicking around, took care of this, quickly. (*I was careful to keep the paint to the outer edge only. Away from any electrical and away from any heat source*).
Okay, it’s getting better… but the shade… how do I flip the shade?? The post in the centre of the original light fixture was way too short to reach the bottom of the shade.
Off to the hardware store I went. And I found EXACTLY what I needed! Yes. Love it when that happens. Go figure, the lighting section carries accessories and parts you may need when fixing/creating lighting.
Like… extra long metal posts, and a new decorative screw cap to hold the shade in place. Under $10 later, and I’m done.
Once I got everything home, I dry fit everything one more time.
I took a little measurement of what needed to be trimmed off the metal post, and marked it with some tape.
The hacksaw took care of trimming the post. Another dry fit, and decided –– I didn’t like the shade I was using. Boo. Lucky for me, I had another one kicking around…
Mmm… much better…
Now, to find the diffuser panel. Right… THAT they did not have kicking around the hardware store. I wasn’t sure what to do. I was obviously worried about it being a material that was suitable for the heat from the bulbs, and did not pose any fire hazard. Then… I passed by the giant fluorescent light panels… for $4? Seems promising…
I traced my shade, and made my cuts. Wait… I made that sound easy. I traced my shade, and tried 3 different tools to test out how to cut through this strangely fragile… plastic? I’m not sure what it is.
I shattered my way through the panel with the first few cuts. I was definitely headed toward an epic fail. Then, success! Tin snips. But even they only worked in one direction, and with a very gingerly touch.
We got there (even if there is a few lingering imperfections). I was able to file down most of the rough edges. It’s not perfect, but shhh! If you don’t mention it, no one will ever notice. If I find myself repeating this project in the future, I will definitely find something else to use.
Ok, so the hard part is over. Now, it’s just time to assemble this baby, and we’re done…
See? Paint, longer post, and diffuser panel. Done, done and done. Now I have a “new” light for… about $15. (Of course, I’m not including the cost of the shade, or paint, as I already had them around the house).
**FUN UPDATE** To see a new post of what this ENTIRE room looks like now, CLICK HERE! My little light even got a little update to match the new black and white decor…