Introduction: Easy Sliding Lamp

Picture of Easy Sliding Lamp

This easy sliding lamp uses tension to be easily repositioned vertically along a steel cable. The design was inspired by the Parentesi Lamp which I saw in the book Nomadic Furniture 2. While the design is very similar, my version uses easy-to-find parts such as a bike handlebar, exercise weights, and a bolt-on adjustable work light. As such, this take on the lamp can be made for significantly cheaper than the $550 list price of the Parentesi Lamp.

The nice thing about this lamp is how customizeable it is. Aside from being easily positioned, it can also be expanded to include multiple lamps on the same steel cable. With a bit of redesign, it could potentially be mounted horizontally or - really - so long as the cable is kept tensioned, at any angle you would like. Any which way you decide to go, this is a cheap, easy, and stylish weekend project.

Step 1: Lamp Materials

Picture of Lamp Materials

You will need:

(x1) Adjustable Mini Arm Light
(x1) Bike handlebar
(x3) 5 pound round weights
(x1) 3D Printed Lamp Bracket***
(x1) 4" steel cover plate
(x1) 1/4-20 turnbuckle
(x1) 10' x 3/16" plastic coated steel cable
(x2) 3/16 compression sleeves
(x2) 3/16 wire rope thimble
(x1) 6" x 3/4" spring (or similar)
(x1) 1/4-20 x 1" bolt
(x4) 1/4-20 x 3/4 hex head bolt
(x4) 1/4-20 nut
(x1) Threaded bolt hook
(x1) Light bulb
(x1) 15' 2-wire black fabric cord (optional)
(x1) 2-prong power plug (optional)
(x2) 1" sections of heat shrink tubing (optional)

***See the next step for more information and alternate solutions.

Step 2: 3D Lamp Printed Bracket

Picture of 3D Lamp Printed Bracket

3D print a lamp bracket using the attached STL file. This bracket will hold the lamp to the bike handlebars (assuming the handlebars have a 1" diameter).

If you don't have a 3D printer, you can use a service such as Shapeways to print the file for you.

If you don't have a 3D printer or want to pay for a 3D printing service, you can likely replace this part with zip ties. Two standard black zip ties should be enough to firmly fasten the lamp to the bike handlebars. However, to be on the safe side, you may want to consider getting some steel zip ties.

Alternately, steel hanger strap and some bolts may work.

Step 3: Bend the Handlebars

Picture of Bend the Handlebars

When this step is completed the handlebars should lie flatly on the table roughly in the shape of shrugging guy's arms (i.e. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ like this).

The trick is to find handlebars already bent roughly in that shape. However, none will be perfect and require some modification. Typically the handles are bent back towards the rider and need to be bent in the opposite direction to make it flat.

The easiest way to do this without entirely destroying them is to clamp it in a table vise. It is also advisable to put clean work rags over the jaws of the vise to keep the paint job from getting scratched and scuffed up.

Next, find a metal bar - preferably a square steel tube - to insert into the end of the handlebar as a lever. Gently - or not so gently - wrench back on the lever until you bend the handles into position.

Check your handlebar against a flat surface once completed and make any necessary adjustments.

Step 4: Base Hook

Picture of Base Hook

Remove the eyebolt from the 1/4-20 turnbuckle that has standard threading.

Fasten the turnbuckle to the 4" cover plate using the 1/4-20 x 1" bolt.

Once completed, the plate should be able to lie flat on a table with the remaining hook of the turnbuckle pointing up in the air.

Step 5: Weights

Picture of Weights

Neatly stack the three weights atop the cover plate such that the hook from the turnbuckle is protroduing out the center hole.

Step 6: Insert the Cable

Picture of Insert the Cable

Insert the steel cable through the handlebar.

Step 7: Rewire (optional)

Picture of Rewire (optional)

The cord that comes with the mini arm light is not exactly the most aesthetically pleasing and potentially not long enough for some applications. While not entirely necessary, it is probably best to replace it with a longer more aesthetically pleasing cord.

To do this, simply disconnect the existing lamp cord, and solder in place a 15' black fabric cord. Make sure to insulate any exposed solver joints with heat shrink tubing.

Step 8: Wire a Lamp Plug (optional)

Picture of Wire a Lamp Plug (optional)

After replacing the lamp cord, the cable is going to need a new plug. Simply connect a wire from to each of the plug's prongs and close it up.

Step 9: Clamp Together

Picture of Clamp Together

Affix the adjustable mini arm light to the center of the handlebars using the 3D printed lamp bracket and 1/4-20 nuts and bolts.

Step 10: Modify the Spring

Picture of Modify the Spring

Make sure that one side of the spring has an opening large enough to hook through the base's eyebolt.

If it is not wide enough, bend or cut it so that it is.

Step 11: Loop the Spring

Picture of Loop the Spring

Slide a compression sleeve onto the end of the steel steel cable.

Pass the end of the steel cable through the closed hook on the spring (assuming one side is closed).

Next, pass the end of the cable back through the compression sleeve and insert the rope thimble in the middle of the loop.

Pull the cable tight around the thimble. Use the proper diameter compression tool to compress the compression sleeve and lock the cable in place.

Without the proper diameter compression tool, the sleeve can still be compressed using a hammer, chisel and very hard surface. Simply bang the heck out of the compression sleeve with the hammer and chisel until the cable is locked in place.

Step 12: Top Cable Loop

Picture of Top Cable Loop

On the other end of the cable, use the remaining compression sleeve and thimble to make another loop.

Step 13: Attach the Hook

Picture of Attach the Hook

Anchor the anchor hook firmly into a wooden ceiling beam.

Step 14: Hook the Cable

Picture of Hook the Cable

Insert the ceiling hook through the top cable loop.

Step 15: Hook the Base

Picture of Hook the Base

Hook the open end of the spring into the eyebolt in the base.

There should now be tension on the wire, and the handlebar should be locked into its current position.

However, there should not be so much tension that the weights are floating off the ground. If they are, adjust the height of the eyebolt until they are not.

Step 16: Light Bulb

Picture of Light Bulb

Insert the light bulb into the lamp.

Step 17: Using the Sliding Lamp

Picture of Using the Sliding Lamp

Plug it in, and turn it on

The lamp can easily be repositioned by lifting the weights off the ground, sliding the handlebar, and lowering the weights once more.

Comments

dashhsad (author)2015-06-24

lovely idea, defenitly a build i want to make

however I would modify and put the spring at the top, just in case someone pulls on the the cable it will be softer on the ceiling hook.

have you tried this configuration?

randofo (author)dashhsad2015-06-24

Nope. Have not tried doing it that way.

makendo (author)2015-06-22

Very cool. How easy do you think it would be to thread the power cord through the handlebars? Too much friction with the other cable already in there?

jcook20 (author)makendo2015-06-23

You could replace the power cord with a coiled telephone-style cord that winds around the cable and exits at the base. It'd be short enough to be fully coiled when the lamp was low but have enough give to reach a comfortable height.

randofo (author)makendo2015-06-22

Not sure. Maybe a little bit, but it shouldn't be too terrible if it doesn't get twisted around the cable.

pandrews8 (author)2015-06-23

Now this I really like. The simplicity, and that it works so well is what good design is all about. Floor standing lamps have one basic fault, the stand and the tube that attach. These are normally built to a price and fail within a year. This will not. The fact that the majority of floor lamps once put in place, are only moved for cleaning the floor, is accommodated within the design. I am off to the hardware store to get the parts. Thank you.

wgb7718 (author)2015-06-23

You can find the original in the book "Nomadic Furniture" by Victor Papanek. Way out of print but it has tons of great ideas.

ProjectGeek (author)2015-06-23

What a great design

samalert (author)2015-06-23

The wire for sourcing the power should be meticulously hidden. It somewhat gets into eyes and disturbs the minimalistic design.

Kaljakaaleppi (author)samalert2015-06-23

When I saw this instructable I immediately thought of a vacuum cleaner cord which would retract automatically.

nepperhanman (author)2015-06-23

Ahhh, Nomadic Furniture 1 & 2. Years and years later and they still inspire. I lent my son my copies, under pain of death return them, when he just moved out into his own first apartment. They are full of great ideas that I still want to try even though I am not exactly nomdadic any more!

diy-master (author)2015-06-23

Make upgrade with LED and rechargeable batteries. And cut off ugly black cable:)

nodnodwinkwink (author)2015-06-23

Nice idea, well executed.

Lindie (author)2015-06-22

I love it! Great picture and very nice idea!

Honus (author)2015-06-22

Very cool- this would make a great garage/workshop light.

About This Instructable

20,512views

278favorites

License:

Bio: My name is Randy and I founded the Instructables Design Studio. I'm also the author of the books 'Simple Bots,' and '62 Projects to ... More »
More by randofo:Build a RobotSimple MachinesAdjustable Bookshelf
Add instructable to: