Picture of Fluorescent Tube Floor Lamp

This post modern vertical fluorescent lamp is a bold interpretation for a lighting solution, inspired by Gian Nicola's Gigante floor lamp (c.1981). Today, Nicola's lamps are a rare find, only sold at auction fetching anywhere from €900 to €1200. I decided to try making my own, with the additional challenge of only using parts found at my local home improvement and do-it-yourself store, The Home Depot.

I was able to recreate this lamp for $200 using off the shelf components. The most costly component was the chrome bars that made up the frame, if you have an alternative you can make this lamp for about half as much.

Ready to see how I built this vertical fluorescent lamp? Let's make!

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Kiteman1 year ago

That's really nice, although it's too big for my own home.

With my health-and-safety nerves twitching, I wonder whether it would be safer* to replace the fragile fluorescent tubes with acrylic tubes stuffed with LEDs?

* For homes with small children or inebriated youths.

Florescent tubes are actually surprisingly strong. Try smashing one with a hammer some time. Generally takes a couple hits before they will break.

You can also get plastic covering tubes fore them as well. They sell them in the same section as the bulbs themselves, usually for a few bucks a piece.

They are very easy to break when body weight is involved...a hammer strike is quite different to someone's full body weight crashing through... Also the murcury is highly toxic in them so GAS MASKS haha.

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/t8-series-tube/... this website sells fluorescent sized LED tubes

This would simplify the wiring also ... nothing to be routed up the side tube. But you would not have the "all around" lighting that the fluorescent tubes would produce ... hmmmm wheels turning ....

Why not put multiple strips in one tube and then you would get the all around look you are going for as long as it was diffused. maybe stick them around some kind of small pipe or something. Or maybe twist the led strip and get some sort of twisty spiraling light effect.

Those are cool.

The LED tubes sounds good however if you're considering acrylic anyway, you could simply place two frames over each side of the lamp frame and that would protect the tubes. Don't worry, I share your health and safety nerves! My first thought was "what if someone falls on it?!"...

The problem is a clash between my aesthetics and my over-active H&S reflexes - it's the exposed tubing that really makes this piece.

Anyhoo, the argument is bootless, since, as I said, I don't have spare floor to install one.

why does it have to sit on the foor? attach it to the ceiling?

You could use iron pipe rather than chrome... more industrial feel and no modifications to the pipe. You could use "T" fittings for holes rather than drill them. Lowes cuts the pipe for you (don't know about Home Depot)

Love the way you hid the wires.

The only problem would be getting the black pipe in the exact size. If you can't then you would have to cut it back and rethread it but I don't know how you would do that withouht some special die tool. I like the idea though its the first thing I thought of when I saw this too and would be much cheaper that the chrome.

Restaraunts in many places are required to have a plastic sleeve over their overhead flourescent bulbs. They are clear - for a couple years, before yellowing. But they are cheap, so can be replaced when that happens. I have purchased them at Home Depot's.

Not a prefect answer, but less messy if something did happen.

There are a lot of sizes of tubes. Down scale it to fit. And if kids are a concern I think this could look interesting with a screen or mesh on each side. I'd probably put those shop light safety tubes over the bulbs too.

sseagrave4510 months ago
Forget the light! I want to build that bench/room/nook in the background. I've got a closet perfect for that. Could you make and instruct able for that?
domenic31 year ago

WOW amazing instructable :)

bsv-win1 year ago

Very good! )))

For cutting metal pipes, I'd use a pipe cutter, then there will be more careful

mjhill4341 year ago

Thanks for Sharing.. Looks Great! :)

alcurb1 year ago

An unrelated question:

In the first picture's background there is a modern seating tunnel with a green screen behind it. What is that from, a movie set?

alcurb1 year ago

Beautiful work. Nice 'ible, especially the photography.

This is the sort of thing that you need to put museum rope around it, not only because it's an art piece but mostly because a little accidental tap with your elbow and you'll find yourself sweeping up the broken glass, phosphor dust and mercury. I suggest that perhaps you might consider adding a clear acrylic tube around the fluorescents.

You definitely don't want children and pets near it. However, around it you do want adults with an ample amount of cash in hand ready to buy it from you! Then you can make a better one for yourself.

Very impressed. This would make a great kit. Move aside, IKEA.

scoyne891 year ago

Well done and well thought out plans, thanks for sharing


is there an Instructable for that room the light is in on the very first picture? :D

canida1 year ago

Looks great! Let's swap in black lights for the next party.

mikeasaurus (author)  canida1 year ago

It's happening!

rgl11001 year ago

This is a great project. I love the design. I think a great addition to it would be a "touch" on/off switch rather than the remote. You see this type of switch often on china cabinets and display cases. Either way, great job and thanks for the posting.

mikeasaurus (author)  rgl11001 year ago

Good idea, maybe on the next one.

mmaxvill1 year ago

Very cool. How well does the wood box hold up to the heat from the ballasts?

mikeasaurus (author)  mmaxvill1 year ago

There's enough of an air cavity in the box so heat gain isn't an issue.

Eldalote1 year ago

This is epic!

There is usually written on the ballast, Mount Tubes within 4" of grounded (PE) Metal Reflector. Mostly on the older Magnetic ballast. I've grounded many intermittent fixtures with great success. If you insert into the circuit it will amaze you how you'll scream! Bulb socket to ground is HV, Low Current, at 400 Hz or so. You'll live. Majjuss is entirely correct on all points. Make a great Baby Gate though.


majjuss1 year ago

Hi ,

I really love the design of your lamp! The design is awesome and I would love to build one if I find the space for it. However, I'm concerned about your safety and the safety of everyone building it from your instructable. So, please don't take this the wrong way, I'm trying to be a friend and give a good advice here.

Looking at your wiring, I don't see the PE-wire (protective earth) anywhere. I would recommend connecting all exposed metal pieces to the protective earth. You also have connected the tubes and elbows with tape in between, which does not ensure an electrical connection between them. Thus, you would need to connect each piece seperately to the PE wire or ensure a good electrical connection between the tube pieces.

In your current setup, if one of the wires that run through the tubes has a faulty insulation and touches the metal tube, the person touching the tube could get an electric shock. If the safety ground is connected, the current flows through the path with the least resistance (through the PE and not the person), keeping the metal pieces at ground potential and the person safe. Also, the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (if one is installed) can trip before a person even touches the tube and shuts off the current. This does only work if all exposed conducting surfaces are connected to PE with a sufficiently low resistance.

Again, thank you for this great instructable!

cturnr1 year ago

you should use less jpg when saving a photo of txt. PNG files work much better.

demudd1 year ago

Great Lamp! Great instructable! Do they have ballast that handle 2, 3 or 4 bulbs?

Pick up (new or used) a four light shop light and you have all the hardware and electronics you need.

randofo1 year ago

This came out amazingly. Nice job Mike.

mikeasaurus (author)  randofo1 year ago

Thanks pal

spunk1 year ago

Really cool look! It reminds me of some sort of teleportation device / dimension gate :)

mikeasaurus (author)  spunk1 year ago

Oh, there's a switch on the back that turns it into one. Did I not mention that in the last step?

clyman11 year ago
Really well done. A perfect mix off art, practicality, and 'making stuff'.
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