Industrial Pipe Lamp
Have you seen the ‘industrial pipe lamps’, which seem to be one of the new trends? They have a Steampunk look, don’t they? Yes, they are so unique! They also have a hefty price on them but how difficult would one of these be to make at home? And at what cost?
While you and I may not be savvy with all the plumbing paraphernalia, here, Jon-Michael, who works at the local Ace Hardware store, has come up with an easy DIY project! How cool is this? Can you imagine the impression made when you turn the red handle on the gate valve and the light comes on?
Jon-Michael put this first one together as I took photos of the process. Then, using the directions, I put together a second one, which will be on the wall in the game room.
This may look like a disparate group of items, but when assembled together in a particular way, the end result makes a real conversation piece!
Note in this picture, this type of light socket was changed to the kind in the picture and the materials list below. It will be safer for this project. After roughing this up, we realized there was a possibility of the socket causing a potential short and we chose the safer light socket.
For this project, you will need:
You Will Also Need :
Electrical tape, an adjustable wrench, a plumber’s wrench or vice, and quick -setting epoxy. You may need Teflon tape.
Spacers for mounting on the wall (This will give enough room for the cord to slip between the wall and the flange.) or you could mount the lamp on a board, plaque, or piece of a pallet. You could create a channel in the back of the wood to accommodate the cord.
This multi-tool from Gerber really came in handy for this project. These were a Christmas gift last year for my son and he uses them all the time! (We are an Amazon affiliate and may receive a small percent of any purchases through this link. Thanks for supporting this website!)
The Lamp Cord we chose is an 8′ Silver cord.
Disclaimer – A word of caution here, work with a licensed electrician or a certified professional to help with wiring your lamp. We are not responsible for any action taken as a result of the information or advice on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com.
Industrial Pipe Lamp Instructions
Thread the male end of a 90° Street Elbow into one end of the 1″ Tee. (Each thread can be slightly different. Not all the threading starts in the same spot. If the elbow, once tightened, is not at the right angle, wrap with 2 – 3 turns of Teflon tape and retighten. )
Cut two pieces of the smaller vinyl tubing about 3″ long and slide one over each of the rotary switch wires, stopping about an inch from the switch. The tubing helps prevent the plastic coating on the wire from being damaged on the abrasive interior of the pipes. The plastic coating on the wire is to protect you from being electrocuted! You don’t want to damage that wire!
Insert the switch into the elbow and Tee fitting with one tube covered wire extending from each end.
Loosely thread the 1 – 1/4″ to 1″ Reducing Bushing into the 1-1/4″ coupling.
*Do not tighten at this time.
Loosely thread the 1″ close nipple into the 1-1/4″ to 1″ reducing bushing from the previous step.
Insert the socket, wire ends first, up through the 1-1/4″ coupling and out the top of the 1″ nipple.
Connect the black wire from the light socket to the wire from the switch, using a wire nut. (Remove the small piece of plastic insulation from the end of the switch wires and the socket wires first.) Twist the ends of the wire slightly before covering with the wire nut. Then, twist the wire nut catching the wires inside. There should be no bare wire showing once the wire nut has been tightened! Be sure to wrap the wire and the wire nuts with electrical tape. I have seen where some say this is not necessary but I prefer to err on the side of caution!
The correct way to wrap the wire with electrical tape is to pull the tape tight and start wrapping the wires going into the wire nut, wrap across the wire nut, wrap back to the middle, and then cut the tape. I cut a piece of tape about 8″ long so it was more manageable.
Cut 1″ of the 1/4″ tubing and carefully press this onto the brass tip of the rotary switch. Press down and then continue pressing back and forth when it becomes difficult. It needs to completely cover the brass tip but not the threaded plastic piece. (My first instinct was to heat the tubing but I was informed not to do this! It distorts the plastic. Slow, steady pressure, and wiggling back and forth slightly finally worked.)
Place the 1/2″ gate valve into a vice or hold in place with a plumber’s wrench.
Taking a second wrench, unscrew the stem from the valve and remove the brass tip from the end of the stem.
Mix a small amount of epoxy following the directions on the package.
Place a small amount on the threads of the stem and thread this into the reducing bushing. *Do not over tighten!
Wipe off any excess and let dry for 10 minutes.
Set the 1″ to 3/4″ reducing bushing and stem from the previous step in front of you.
Now, take the valve Stem – Bushing piece, press the other end of the tubing from the rotary switch onto the end of the stem firmly and thread the bushing into the top of the tee. (If you are having difficulty pushing the tube over the end of the stem, and I did, rock it back and forth slightly, while pressing the bottom of the rotary switch from inside the tee.)
To prepare the lamp cord, pull the two end wires of the cord apart for about eleven inches.
Cut an 8″ length of the 3/8″ tubing and insert the neutral wire all the way through the tubing.
Next, run the tubing with the wire inside, through the tee – elbow fitting. (You might have to loosen the switch assembly to allow the tube with the wire to pass through. Remember to tighten afterward!)
On the specific lamp cord used for our project, the ribbed wire is the Neutral. The smooth wire on the cord we used is the HOT wire! It also has the black wording on it. (Be sure to check the package for which wire is hot on the cord you use.) We wrapped a small piece of black electrical tape around the hot wire for easier identification.
Connect the two neutral wires with the wire nut, the neutral from the socket and the neutral wire from the lamp cord. Wrap with electrical tape like before.
Now, connect the two hot wires, (the one from the lamp cord marked with the black electrical tape and the one from the switch), with the wire nut and wrap with electrical tape.
Unscrew the close nipple and thread it into the street elbow, guiding the wires through the center as much as possible to keep the wires from being skinned.
Next, unscrew the 1-1/4″ to 1″ Bushing and thread it onto the nipple from the previous step.
Gently press the wire nuts and wires back up into the reducing bushing and then thread the coupling onto the reducing bushing.
*Do not twist the socket as you spin the coupling!
Finally, thread the 1-1/4″ Coupling onto the bushing. (Note the socket is still loose and not seated in the bushing.)
Wrap the light socket, behind the raised rim 2-3 times with electrical tape. Then, take hold of the light socket, twist it counterclockwise 1/2 turn, and then press firmly into the 1-1/4″ bushing another 1/2 turn clockwise.
Carefully insert the prong side of the cord into the remaining pipe nipple and guide the cord through.
*The prong on ours was snug, but it was able to be eased through the pipe.
Guide the rest of the cord through the pipe, keeping it away from the sharp pipe edges, and then thread the nipple into the tee.
Guide the cord through the flange in this same manner and thread the flange onto the pipe nipple.
To mount this to the wall, you will need 4 drywall anchors (if not mounting into a stud) and 4 nylon spacers (these will allow the cord to hang down the wall without being pinched when mounted).
You could also use a wooden base of your choice for the lamp. Just drill a 1/2″ hole through the wood to allow for the cord. You might want to create a channel down the back for the cord, too.
We opted to buy and use one of the Edison light bulbs. Don’t they look neat in this industrial pipe lamp? When lit, they just look like regular light bulbs.
Create your own AMAZING industrial pipe lamp! It’s really pretty easy!