Introduction: Book Lamp

The Book Lamp shines on all on its own on the bookshelf. Where once it housed pages to excite the imagination, it is now home to a lamp to liven up the space behind it.

This project can be made for $5 and takes less than half an hour to put together. Read on for the details.

Note: the bulb looks like an incandescent, but it is in fact a CFL. The spiral fluorescent is inside a plastic bulb.

Step 1: Stuff

This project is very simple and if you already have a book that you're willing to sacrifice, the cost is just $5 for the lamp from IKEA.

Some people freak out when books get destroyed for projects like this. Well, tons of unsold books get destroyed every year. If this was one of the last few copies on Earth that would be one thing, but according to the dust cover of the book I used there were over 100,000 sold so there are plenty more. Having read some of it a while ago, the world isn't missing much anyway.

Materials
  • IKEA Lampan lamp
  • hardcover book at least 2" wide inside
  • rubber band
Tools
  • Pliers
  • X-acto knife
  • safety glasses

Step 2: Free Up the Lamp Cable

The lampan lamp from IKEA is great. For $5 you get a little plastic lamp and a 7W CFL light bulb. All we need is the cord inside the lamp, though. It would be great if it was easy to separate the lamp body and the cord, but it's pretty firmly attached.

So put on a pair of safety glasses, grab a pair of of pliers and go to town. Keep snapping off pieces of plastic until all that is left is the cord itself. This only takes a couple minutes.

Step 3: Cut Out Main Space in Book

Put the bulb in the cord and place both on top of the book's pages. With a pen, outline the space that the bulb and most of the socket would need. You do not need to worry about space for the cord right now.

If you look at the picture below you'll see what I mean. Now, I was a little delusional when I made these curving lines. As I cut into the book I quickly realized that straight lines are easier and faster to do, especially when you're cutting through 700+ pages. So instead of this drawing, draw out an L-shape that would hold the light.

With the X-acto knife, go nuts on the book, slicing it up all the way through.

Step 4: Cut Out Gap

Now we'll need a gap for the cord to go through. Eyeball the cord against the pages and see how many pages you need to cut out for it. For these pages, simply continue the left cut line from before and continue it to the bottom. The result will leave the page with one straight cut across it.

Step 5: Band It Together

Place the light into the book and place a rubber band around the cord and pages to keep it in place as well as keep all the pages together.

Step 6: Turn It On!

With everything set to go, find a good place for your book lamp and turn it on. Enjoy the calming glow of the little 7W bulb and start thinking of another project to do.

other activities to do right after this:
  • drink some tea
  • doodle on a piece of paper
  • listen to your favorite album on a pair of headphones with your eyes closed
  • walk outside for a bit

Comments

author
Scarlet+Moon made it!(author)2016-01-08

can you please yell me where to get an IKEA bulb?BTW awesome lamp

author
FreckledR made it!(author)2015-12-01

I can really see these being used in cafes or pubs, really nice :)

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smartmiltoys made it!(author)2015-02-23

Thanks for interesting lamps and safety glasses. I think IKEA is the best!

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will308oliveira made it!(author)2014-05-07

Really easy and nice. And looks amazing. :D

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ClandestineIntestine made it!(author)2013-08-26

I like this. Thank you.

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Jantho made it!(author)2012-12-05

STILL... a better love story than Twilight!

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tkdgirl made it!(author)2010-12-12

It wont catch on fire?

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shellyscorner made it!(author)2011-03-06

Not with a 7 watt bulb. It could certainly catch fire if you used a bulb with higher wattage. To give you an idea of this bulb....most light bulbs that are used in night lights are 7 watts or less. I absolutely would NOT use a higher wattage though!!!

author
wannabemadsci made it!(author)2012-07-24

This is not the type of bulb used in night lights.

As noted in the 'ible this is a 7W CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp). Most all consumer electronics, including CFLs, are designed to operate (and tested for safety) with air being allowed to circulate around them. Putting the CFL in a space without ventilation will increase the temperature of the internal electronic components and in the worst case create a fire hazard and in the best case reduce the life of the CFL.

Even the new LED bulbs produce a fair amount of heat and need free air around them.

author
instructascott made it!(author)2012-04-14

This is a very nice project, well done. Does the bulb not get hot though?? I would be worried about burying a bulb in paper..

author
wannabemadsci made it!(author)2012-07-24

You have a valid concern.

As noted in the 'ible this is a 7W CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp). Most all consumer electronics, including CFLs, are designed to operate (and tested for safety) with air being allowed to circulate around them. Putting the CFL in a space without ventilation will increase the temperature of the internal electronic components and in the worst case create a fire hazard and in the best case reduce the life of the CFL.

Even LED bulbs produce a fair amount of heat and need free air around them.

author
%D8%B3%D9%84%D9%8A made it!(author)2012-04-02

Interesting, I just bought two of these lamps the other day. I didn't get a light bulb with mine though, but it's a crafty idea! Too bad I want to keep my lamps. I am determined to find a way to decorate them though.

author
NINiver made it!(author)2012-02-08

Very nice re-use of a book. Look at the gorgeous sculptures this artist makes out of books...no shame here either! http://guylaramee.com/  I'm itching to try
this!

author
Spud_Hutson made it!(author)2011-12-21

Very cool idea. I did have fire-related concerns, but the comment section has put me at ease. Definitely going to have to give this a go!

author
jabujavi made it!(author)2011-12-16

And if you add some aluminium foil to reflect the light, would you obtain better result??

Soo cool. I will do it for my brother's new house!

author
suayres made it!(author)2011-05-25

If the idea of "destroying" a book bothers you, you could alway buy one of the blank books meant for journaling. This gives you the option of creating your own title (with your name in the author spot, of course). I have seen this done for "altered book" applications. I have to admit, damaging books makes me cringe, so I have never altered nor modified a book. Mom raised me well!

author
twighahn made it!(author)2011-04-11

make the bible the light of the world

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ArcticLiz made it!(author)2010-07-08

Nice one! Can't think of any book that deserves to be cut.. but i'll get one.. :D

author
runfromnuke made it!(author)2010-09-24

I can think of four...and they're all from one series.

"Twilight"
"New Moon"
"Eclipse"
"Breaking Dawn"

author
phelandhu made it!(author)2010-09-29

Yeah, but do you really WANT those on your shelf?

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runfromnuke made it!(author)2010-10-01

You do make a very strong point.

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wamj made it!(author)2010-11-29

good gift for a gf that likes twilight

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tlockary made it!(author)2011-03-31

But but but... I wouldn't have a GF who loves Twilight...lol J/K

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abhimaster333 made it!(author)2010-09-30

i totally agree

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abhimaster333 made it!(author)2010-09-30

lol

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cyprian916 made it!(author)2010-09-28

lol great comment hilarious.

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ArcticLiz made it!(author)2010-09-25

haha guess I agree.. (: thanks btw!

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blambert1 made it!(author)2011-03-23

This is great! I am definitely going to make one of these lights. I do not know if you are in the light contest, but I vote for you..It is one of the most unique ideas I've seen so far.
At Christmas time you can find single night lights which are a cord with an in line on/ off switch at the Dollar stores...Might want to use different color bulbs in different books....Just a thought.

author
Omni+DIY made it!(author)2010-07-24

If I'm the first to say fire hazard, i'd be surprised. That said, it is ascetically pleasing.

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shellyscorner made it!(author)2011-03-06

It's only a 7 watt bulb! They're used in night lights! It shouldn't get that hot. That being said...I certainly would NOT use anything with any higher wattage for that very reason.

author
SuperCoPilot made it!(author)2010-11-13

There were so many books that deserved it why would you do it to the Illluminatus Trilogy?!

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cellopants made it!(author)2010-12-14

It's about Discoridans, dude. Eris would want it.

author
SuperCoPilot made it!(author)2010-12-15

i don't recall discordians cutting up books for lamps

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fungus+amungus made it!(author)2010-11-13

Because it deserved it.

author
SuperCoPilot made it!(author)2010-12-07

i suppose its a book of polarized opinion, i've yet to meet a person who was kinda into it, but i've met many who like it and many who hate it. i think its hilarious personally

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fungus+amungus made it!(author)2010-12-07

I tried getting into it several years ago. I don't remember hating it so much as not being into it at all.

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SuperCoPilot made it!(author)2010-12-09

its a funny book but its really surrealistic

author
ljlittleswift made it!(author)2010-12-09

Ha ha - too true!

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Jakeg made it!(author)2010-12-07

If only you could "Like" commens on here like on Facebook... =]

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catmanblack made it!(author)2010-09-29

Haha, Awesome idea! But do you have to use an IKEA lamp? Are there any alternatives?

author
kraftycrone made it!(author)2010-09-11

kraftycrone says:
another brilliant idea from you! but I chose to use a solar flashlight ( they're surprisingly cheap) because they don't need to be plugged in, the "book" can be moved around - and have cool LED bulbs.

author
Syx made it!(author)2010-07-26

An easy way to avoid the paper getting too hot, and to increase the light output, is to line the cavity with some aluminium foil - the heat and light are all then reflected out of the book and away from the paper.

author
joshuainthebox made it!(author)2010-07-19

Fungus..you have great 'ibles...thanks for sharing!! Love this one especially because we have been using old 90's can lights for up-lights behind our bookshelf for nearly a year now and I've always been concerned about the heat.. this solves that problem and definitely warrants that "where is that light coming from?" question. Can't wait to use in our new apartment!!

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miphz made it!(author)2010-07-19

nice lamp, very instructable and inspirational ... but uhm, i think better if we use any led, because they're not hot ... :)

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inkedchick made it!(author)2010-07-13

Just a side note ... you can buy a socket and cord for lamp projects ...and I don't think they are much more expensive .....Very cool project though... this may be one I actually do =P

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fungus+amungus made it!(author)2010-07-13

True, but this bulb plugs into a different cord with a narrower socket and to get both for $5 is great.

author
erillanos made it!(author)2010-07-10

I purchased a Lampan Lamp to try and make myself one of these and the one I got did not come with the same light bulb you show above. Off to the store to see if they have anything close to what is pictured above.

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fungus+amungus made it!(author)2010-07-11

Weird. What bulb did it come with?

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erillanos made it!(author)2010-07-11

The light bulbs are sold separably not sure if the lamps use to come with the light bulb.

author
fungus+amungus made it!(author)2010-07-11

Interesting. I only bought mine a couple weeks ago.

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Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.
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