Lights and lamps are crucial accessories in any home. A light must be not only functional, but also aesthetically pleasing. A lot of store-bought lights feel sterile and, although they give off light, they don't add much warmth to a home. Making a light yourself gives you the option of personalizing the light so it will not only function well, but also look good--at least to you. Birdcages are natural structures to make lights out of because they are equipped to hang or display and they work to both spread light and protect the light source.
Things You'll Need
- Bulb cover
- Light bulb
- Ceiling hook
- Light kit
- On/off switch
Choose the type of birdcage you want to use to make your light. Depending on the type of room and variety of light you want, select from a wide variety of birdcages. Birdcage shapes vary from square and rectangular to tiered and rounded and can have frames made from materials such as plastic, wood, metal, iron or other durable materials. Birdcages come in two main styles: those that hang and those that rest on stands.
Choose a way to cover the light bulb. The bulb in your birdcage will need to be covered and protected. A plastic cup, fake flowers or high-grade paper all work as bulb coverings. Just make sure the bulb wattage isn't high enough to melt the cover.
Paint the birdcage and bulb cover if you wish, to add color or creativity to the birdcage light. it. Take the cage and bulb cover outside and spray paint them in any way you want. Let them dry for at least 12 hours before continuing.
Add the electric elements to your birdcage light. The specifics of this step will vary, but most home improvement stores should supply light kits that include everything you need.
Wire the light socket that comes in the lighting kit through the top of the birdcage and into the bulb cover. By wiring the light socket through the top of the birdcage you can attach the bulb so it will hang vertically in the middle of the cage, thus distributing light equally. Once you plug in the light socket, your birdcage lamp should turn on.
If you want to avoid using a cord, you can try battery-powered lights; however, these are far less efficient.
Add an on/off switch to the cord if you want to be able to turn the light on and off without unplugging it. On/off switches can also be purchased at your local hardware store and are easy to install. One simple type is a small box that plugs into a wall socket; it has a receptacle for the cord plug and a toggle switch for controlling the light. Alternatively, some light kits come with a cord switch already attached.
Wrap the electrical cord around the stand of the birdcage in order to reduce visibility. This will minimize the visibility of the cord and make it less likely that someone will trip on it.
Hang your birdcage light if it's the hanging variety. You can hang the light in a variety of ways. One common way is to screw a ceiling hook into the ceiling and hang the birdcage by a string or chain from the hook. When hanging your birdcage light, make sure the hook is strong enough to support the cage and that you will be able to plug in the light once its been hung without the cord becoming a trip hazard. If you're hanging the light near a wall, consider wrapping the cord up the chain and tacking it across the ceiling and down a wall to the outlet.
Tips & Warnings
- Making a light from a birdcage should a fun and inspiring project. Don't get hung up on minor details or being a perfectionist. Birdcage lights are easy to redesign and can be reappropriated for different rooms and lighting needs.
- Photo Credit bird cage image by Photosani from Fotolia.com