DIY Colander Overhead Light Fixture


Constructing a ceiling fixture using a colander as the shade gives you an opportunity to display your creative talents and basic electrical skills at the same time. When the project is completed, you will have an unusual lighting fixture. Light will be reflected downward off of the curved inside surface of the colander and will exit through the draining holes as well. Using many of the same lamp components, there are several fixture styles you could build.

Flush Mount

  • The easiest fixture to build would be a flush mounted type attached directly to a ceiling-mounted box. If your colander is a typical aluminum model, you'll need a number of electrical parts, including a lamp socket and the hardware required to attach it to the ceiling box. And any design you develop will require some amount of lamp cord. Once the fixture is installed, you might decorate it further by hanging some crystal prisms or similar ornaments along the rim.

    If your colander is a newer plastic type, you have the advantage of creating a colored "shade" for your fixture. However, you may not be able to install a regular incandescent bulb because the heat could melt the plastic or cause a fire. A better choice might be an LED or compact-fluorescent bulb. They generate little heat and are now available with standard "Edison" bases.

Pendant Light

  • You might also choose to build a pendant style fixture suspended some distance beneath the ceiling. The light could be held in place by threaded lamp rod. You could use a single long section, or link two together with a decorative connecting nut. Threaded lamp rod is also available with a satin nickel finish, which would nearly match the color of your aluminum colander. If the ceiling box is not controlled by a wall switch, use a socket with a pull chain. You can add additional ambiance to your homemade fixture adding a fancy charm to the end of the chain.

    Another option might be to attach hooks to the colander legs and suspend the fixture from lamp chain. Instead of a standard frosted incandescent bulb, you might use a clear glass bulb, a globe, or depending on the lamp's location, a tinted or colored bulb.

Stainless Steel Chandelier

  • If your colander is the larger stainless steel variety, like those found in restaurant kitchens, you might even construct a chandelier. Instead of a single lamp socket, you could incorporate a multi-socket fan light kit as your illumination source. The kits are fairly inexpensive and are available with either standard or candelabra style sockets, which expands your bulb choices even more. You could add clear glass or colored acrylic prisms along the rim or attach beaded glass chain to enhance the appearance of an otherwise ordinary steel colander. Ultimately, the design possibilities are limited only by your creativity and budget.

    All of the components mentioned, with the possible exception of the colander, are available at most hardware, home-improvement, and specialty lighting stores.

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