I needed to light up my basement but didnt want to spend hundreds of dollars on Florecent lights. And retail string lights are way too expensive. So i decided to hack my own $100 string lights. This instructable will show you how to make effective, efficient and reconfigurable work lights! This will provide you with 3 movable lights (one fixed) that plug in to one outlet. All for approximately $19.62; less than that if you have extension cords and CF bulbs already.
Step 1: Retail Version
$100 is very expensive!
All you need are 5 parts!
You can get these in the electrical department of any hardware store. I've found that the plug to light socket adapters take some poking around, but they're there, just keep looking and bugging the staff until you find them.
One four-pack of CF Bulbs ($5.85)
Three indoor extension cords ($5.98, 2.99ea)
Four plug light bulb socket adapters ($5.27, 2.09ea)
One light bulb socket to outlet adapter ($2.52)
Step 3: The Bulbs
Strongly recommend you use CF bulbs for low wattage so you don't blow a fuse or overload a circuit. You can have four 14 watt bulbs and still be under a 60 watt bulb drawing only 56 watts. You still produce as much light as 4 standard bulbs running at a combined light output of 240 watts!
Step 4: The First Light Socket to Outlet Adapter
(Optional) Start with this if you want the lights to turn on with your existing light. Plug this into the switched light socket, screw in a bulb and plug in your first extension cord. Run the cord to the location of your next light.
Step 5: Staring Point
This is the socket to outlet adapter that the first extension cord plugs into. You can also just plug the first extension cord into a switched outlet. I did it this way just because I already had this light in the ceiling.
Step 6: Plug in Your Plug to Socket Adapter
Plug this in to the end of the extension cord you ran in the previous step, then screw in a CF Bulb. You should still have 1 or 2 outlets available for the next length of cord. See next step for my setup.
Step 7: My Setup
Keep adding cords and lights until you finish.
Step 8: Optional More Rugged and Expensive Basket
Replace the light duty adapters for each light with this and you can be more confident your lights wont be busted. Hope you enjoyed lighting up your work area on the cheap!