Introduction: Outdoor, Weatherproof Fixture for Lifx or Hue
I wanted to illuminate my garden with my Lifx Color 1000 bulbs, for evening enjoyment as well as the occasional backyard rave. Given the bulbs vulnerability to moisture and heat, I could find no fixture on the market that would adequately protect them. Moreover, I wanted the bulbs to project up and horizontally, rather than downward.
The solution herein will cost about $10 USD per fixture, and are very easy to produce. These fixtures will keep the bulbs perfectly dry, and allow enough air space and surface area to avoid heat accumulation that might otherwise damage you bulb. I use these in a hot, wet tropical climate with no issues so far. I power up the bulbs only when in use during the evening.
Step 1: Materials
The design is based 1 gallon pickle jars, the rest of the components are readily available from any home improvement store. I will not describe the connecting wiring harness, nor provide direction on how to run line voltage wiring in your garden.
- n count, 1 gallon pickle jars and metal lids - cleaned, dry, with label removed.
- n count, plastic Edison base lampholder - small enough to be mounted on the underside of the lid, with room to allow the lid to be screwed back onto the jar.
- Insulated outdoor 2-conductor wire, 6 to 8 inches per fixture.
- n count terminal blocks for connecting the fixtures to you garden grid.
- 2 x n count, screws, washers, lock washers and nuts, to mount the lampholders to the lid.
- n count round plastic planters, to serve as stands for the jars. 12" to 16" tall.
- Elastic sealant, such as Bostik Vulcaseal.
- Clear silicone sealant.
- n count legal size paper, light weight - this is for a diffuser.
- Transparent tape.
- Razor knife.
- Drill & bits - a hole cutter bit is useful but not required.
- Soldering iron and consumables.
- All proper safety gear, as recommended by your local Association of Trial Attorneys.
Step 2: Lampholder Assembly
- Center the lampholder on the underside of the lid, use a hand punch to score your drill points for the screw holes. Drill these holes with a bit appropriate to the size of screw.
- Score a hole somewhat off center for the wiring pigtail. Drill this holes with a bit appropriate to the size of the wire. Ream this hole with needle nose pliers to take off the roughest of the edge.
- Cut your and strip the wire to the appropriate lengths, tin the leads with solder.
- Mount the lampholders with the screws, washers and nuts.
- Seal the the top of the lid with elastic, waterproof sealant, as shown, and let cure.
Step 3: Jar Mount
Bring a jar to the hardware store to find a suitable round planter. I found one with a reinforcement ring larger than the diameter than the jar lid,yet smaller than the diameter of the jar, so it worked perfectly - I just cut around the interior of the reinforcement ring. I used a hole-cutting bit to make numerous cut points around the interior edge.
I was unable to re-oriend one of the pictures
Step 4: Assemble the Lamp
Diffuser: make a roll with the white legal paper and tape, just small enough to fill the diameter of the jar, and stay clear of the bulb itself.
Clear silicone sealant: lay a thick bead on the inside rim of the lid. This ensures a watertight seal when the lid is screwed on. I forgot to photograph this step.
Install the bulb!
Screw the lid firmly onto the jar.
Using a brush, spread a protective layer of silicone all around the assembly where the lid meets the jar. In this case I used cheap rubber cement/sealant rather than expensive silicone - that's why it looks brown in the photo.
Run the line voltage wire from your garden grid THROUGH the hole in the planter. Connect the terminal block. Wrap the crap out of it with electrical tape. Paint THAT junction with sealant for good measure.
Rest the jar, lid-end down, in the plastic planter.
Wait until evening, enjoy the show.
Best practices indicate that you power down the entire grid when not in use.
Note: Admitting to customer service that you used your bulb outdoors, in an enclosed fixture may void your warranty.