Introduction: Liquor Bottle Light
- 1 empty liquor bottle (or wine)
- 1 lamp fixture kit ($10.97 @ HD)
- 1 25 watt equivalent cold cathode compact fluorescent bulb ($13.47 for a pair @ HD). Through my testing, I found this one to be the best because they produce almost no heat. They are also dimmable - a nice plus. The package I got came with adapters because the base of the bulbs are smaller that the conventional size.
- Optionally, some rope or equivalently attractive material from which to hang the light. The original design called for this, but I discovered that I didn't mind hanging the light from the cord (not to worry - the light weighs very little).
- A diamond blade outfitted in either a wet tile saw, or angle grinder.
Step 1: Bottoms Up
The first step is to find an attractive liquor bottle, buy it (full) and drink it. My liquor of choice is rum, and there are some cool bottles out there with tasty rum inside! Of course, seeing as how you will be using power tools and electricity to build this project, be sure you have slept it off before you begin!
Step 2: Bottoms Off
The bottom of the bottle, not your pants. For access to the bulb, I cut the bottom of the bottle off. To accomplish this, I used a tile cutting wet saw equipped with a diamond blade. I just pushed the bottle slowly into the spinning blade and rotated it. Alternatively, you could use a diamond blade in an angle grinder. My edges came out slightly sharp, so I lightly 'sanded' them using a wet stone.
Step 3: Let There Be Light
In the exploded view, you can see how all the parts go together. Start by drilling a hole in the bottle's cap. The hole should be sized to fit the threaded pipe that came with the fixture kit (should be 3/8"). Depending on the bottle's neck, you might have to pare away some of the rubber stopper to get a snug fit. When the stopper is done, run the wire down through the pipe and make the electrical connection to the fixture. Now attach the threaded pipe to the fixture and slide the stopper on.
Next, make sure the switch is in the ON position. Once the fixture is inserted, you cannot do this. Of course, this means the light will be controlled by another switch - by design for my purposes. Now pull the wire through the top of the bottle and feed the fixture up through the open bottom of the bottle. Press the stopper into the neck of the bottle snugly. Now place the 3/8" washer on the rim, screw on the cap, another washer, and the nut that came with the fixture.
Step 4: Hang Up and Enjoy
When it comes to hanging, you have options. As I stated earlier, the original design called for using rope twisted around the cord, but I decided against that. Whether you hang the light from the cord or from some kind of rope/cable, you will need a 'Screw Collar Loop Kit' ($5.57 @ HD). This provides the mechanism to attach the light to the ceiling/electrical box. I do not have photos of such an application because my lights are to be hard wired directly into recessed light fixtures above the bar. If you are concerned about hanging the light by the electrical cord, simply buy another 'Screw Collar Loop Kit' and screw the loop piece onto the top of the threaded rod in place of the nut (in step 3). In fact, I have a heavier bottle that I am going to do that to. Now screw in the bulb, flip the switch and enjoy.