I wanted an industrial ceiling light for my little workshop, so I figured I could try and build it.
Reclaimed electrical conduit (27lbs) $27
Metal cage light figure (3) $20 ea
Edison bulbs (3) $10 ea
Reclaimed safety switch $10
Conduit straps (a lot) $5 a bag
Conduit elbows (3) $5 ea
Wire, screws, and fuses
Step 1: Head to the scrap yard for parts
One of my favorite places to find unique project starters is Apex Electronics
in Burbank CA. This place has anything from oscilloscope to airplane wings. Some of the really interesting pieces are unfortunately only for rent (set dressing/props). So here is where I found the safety switch and electrical conduit.
Step 2: Start small
I wasn't sure if this whole light fixture was actually going to work out, so instead of trying to build the whole thing at once, I started small with just one lamp. This little test taught me how to bend pipe, well actually some guy on Youtube demonstrated the art of conduit curves.
Step 3: Wire up the Safety Box
I was liking how the single lamp was looking, so I figured I'd try to wire up the safety box. I just used whatever wire I had laying around, probably not gonna pass any building inspections.
Step 4: Add two additional lamps
Everything was really coming together so I just started bending and cutting until I found an interesting form to hold the other two lamps.
Step 5: Finished
I think the parts and tool purchases added up to about 300 dollars.
Flipping the safety switch probably requires 10x more strength than a regular light switch and it's so satisfying.
This light enjoyed over a year of illumination and conversation. Sadly, it did not pass building inspection and I was instructed to take it down. So a little pro tip would be to either follow building code or bribe the inspector ;)