Picture of Parking Meter Lamp
This is an Instructable on how to convert an old parking meter into a stylish lamp. Difficulty may vary depending on what shape/ kind of parking meter you choose. I was lucky in the fact that the meters that I acquired had no mechanical insert so I did not need a key. If you get a meter with the key this will actually be even easier! I have made a few variations of this already so many variations can be made that I will point out along the way.

Time: Dependant on type of lamp or base you have/ decide to create but generally they take me somewhere between 6-8 hours, a great weekend project.

Cost: Dependant on materials, the base costs me $100 to make at a metal shop. If I go with CF lights it will cost less than $10.00. In this project I will be using LED strips because my cousin wanted one where the color changes . You can get LED strip kits for about 50 bucks.

Skills needed: Basic soldering and electronics will be an asset. Welding if you choose to make your own base.

One of the most difficult parts of this project will be making a sturdy enough base so that it cant be knocked over easily (they are very heavy...). The ones I had came with a stand that was wallmounted at one point but I didn't want to use heavy hardware to attach them to the wall. I made a shorter lighter version and 2 taller "fullsize" versions that use some heavy steel. As for the rest of the project there is basic soldering for the lighting, cleaning, and getting everything to fit! if you have a key already you can skip the step where you disable the lock cylinders. The cylinders need to be disabled so you can easily access the bulbs if they need replacing and you can also get to the money compartment where I like to stash all of the wiring. It can also be a fancy hidden compartment!
VinZent7774 months ago

Do you have the instructable of the "easy and strong portable work space"?

mrandle (author)  VinZent7774 months ago

Though now I am thinking of it and am drawing up some plans. I will post it when it is finished!

mrandle (author)  VinZent7774 months ago
Nope it's just some offcuts of fake wood flooring that you snap together when you need it.
LP26 months ago

My Very First thought when I saw this one was the Movie, Cool Hand Luke.

Make an Interesting walkway or driveway lighting system.

mrandle (author)  LP26 months ago

Yes this should be very easy to waterproof. I've been thinking of a way to maybe use solar charging.

How does one even get a parking meter?

mrandle (author)  shizumadrive1 year ago

Legally I would hope haha! Lots of places are upgrading from mechanical to digital or getting rid of them altogether in favor of one machine for one parking lot. EBay has some as well or something like Craig's list. An antique store maybe?

I should have thought of ebay or Craig's list. Never thought to try them. I do look for weird things at antique stores all the time and never see any
I didnt get the whole jest of this project after looking at your photes I can figure if you created a mood lamp or a flood light and where would a lamp like this fit in? i have a parking meter and it weighs 80lbs not too easy to mount on the wall but if i was to put a light in it and make it work then i think that maybe worth doing. Right now i use my poarking meter for crank jokes i put it up in front of whoevers car and have some phony realiastic looking tickets i write out to go along with it. Its more fun than it sounds like writing about it took all the laughter out of it.
mrandle (author)  fixitnotbroken1 year ago

When I used the CFL bulbs it wasn't all that bright and was more or less mood lighting yes. With the LED's however it can be quite bright. They work great in a living room setting as a replacement for a standing lamp as it would give off relatively the same light as a regular lamp with a shade. I have a smaller version of this one that is my bedside table lamp. Its great in the morning because its not as harsh on your eyes. These ones were actually originally wall mounted to cement walls I assume but they aren't near 80 lbs unless you include the stand itself. In theory it is wall mountable but you would need some serious TV hanging hardware to pull it off safely. Your other idea sounds good though lol a friend of mine used to have a handicapped parking sign and he did the same thing to his friends. It was also much lighter haha. If your parking meter still has all of its insides you might be able to retain them and add the LED strips inside to accent it a bit.

That's awesome. I've never ever seen one of these reused. :D