A few days ago, on my drive in to work, I noticed a fallen lamppost on the side of the road.  It had been raining for several days straight, and the jellied dirt had slumped in a mini-landslide, taking the lamppost down with it.  The next day, I kept an eye out for the lamppost, and it was still there, untouched.  The day after, it was still lying in the mud, and late that night, a prius screeched to a stop on the wet roadside and a friend and I jumped out, armed with wire cutters and socket wrenches.  Slogging through the mud and keeping an eye out for flashing blue lights, we proceeded to harvest the lamp from the pole.  Minutes later, setting a world record for most efficient lamp-heist, we threw the lamp in the trunk and sped off, leaving nothing behind but soggy footprints and the trailing bass beats of Poker Face.
Back at the shop, we hauled the 40-pound lamp in and laid it out on a desk, eager to examine our spoils.  To our dismay, the lamp housing was filled with painfully pungent mud, two birds nests, a diverse and unfortunate assortment of poop, and buried deep in the stinky muck, the lamp electronics. 
Undeterred, we set to work.  With paper towels, simple green, chlorox, an air compressor, we painstakingly scooped out the muck and chased the antisocial smell away.  Two hours later, tired and covered in bits of poo, we had the lamp cleaned out.  I grabbed an old computer power cable and wired up the power lines.  My friend stuck a powerful pose of readiness next to the surge protector's power switch.  We took cover behind a convenient pile of crap and, hearts in our throats, hit the switch.  A dim, sickly white leapt from the bulb, which hummed an off-key fluorescent tune.  We glanced at our feet, underwhelmed.  Moments later, we noticed a subtle shift in the room's lighting.  Our shadows seemed to be shifting direction and growing longer.  Although it was midnight, the room was lit up bright as day.  The bulb caused instant headaches if we so much as glanced at it.  Our grins grew as bright as the bulb, and we knew that our efforts had paid off.  Our little girl just had to warm up, that's all.

Step 1: All Lit Up and Nowhere to Go

I stumbled home at 3am, clumsily balancing the lamp with dangling cord on my shoulder.  My girlfriend heard my stomping up the stairs and was groggily getting out of bed.  "Why are you getting home so late?" she mumbled.  Excitedly, I dumped the lamp on the kitchen table and plugged it in, flooding the house with light.  "Look!" I said, "It's glorious!"
"No," my girlfriend said, "it's 3am and you're a crazy man.  Turn that thing off and go to sleep"
She had a point.  I tucked it away under my futon and collapsed in a real pile.
For the next couple days, the lamp languished there, while I had no real idea what to do with it.  And then a light bulb went off in my head, or, more accurately, in front of my eyes.  I saw my humble gooseneck desk lamp and I knew what I had to do.  I had to make the world's dumbest desk lamp.
That evening, I walked in to my friendly local hackerspace and saw my friend the muffinator hard at work on a giant pegboard array of LEDs.  "What's that for?", I asked him.  "Oh," he said, "we've got an idea for a crowdsourced LED array where people add LEDs wherever they want.  We're bringing it down to the Providence mini maker faire tomorrow." 
"Mini maker faire, eh?" I said, mental gears revving.  "How are you getting there?"
"I dunno.  Train?"
"Let's drive down!  I'll bring this light sculpture I'm working on"

And so it was done.  I had an idea and I had a deadline.  I accepted the inevitable all-nighter, picked up a caffeinated 2-liter, and got to work.
<p>The lamp was clearly beyond civic service, judging by the poop jam inside, so in fact you did the city a service in removing garbage and up cycling into a kick-ass man-lamp. Proud of you :)</p>
<p>Nice hack. Poor celebration of theft.</p>
@.mickeypop: just for that, we're gonna tell the cops you did it. :-P
Typical city street lamps cost between $400 and $600.<br> <br> You realize you committed a felony by stealing the lamp that was city property.<br> <br> On top of that, you admitted to it and even posted your picture to boot.<br> <br> You best not tell anyone around town about it, and certainly don't tell it's on the web.<br> <br>
Should have done it during daylight. During the night lampposts are lit and therefor have live wires :)
Your writing is awesome! Love the story, I could read a whole book by you...
That has to be the best insane 40 pound desk lamp I have ever seen! <br>You, sir, are utterly barking. Keep up the good work!
You just cost your county/city a few hundred dollars. Neat light though. It's like looting. You looted it to protect it from being looted by someone just like you? <br> <br>I prefer to obtain true surplus legally.
Since it was a street light, I think I would have made it floor mobile, with the ability to raise and lower as well as move around the shop.
Great Instructable, not just for the content, but also for the style. You've inspired me. Thanks.
Fun ! <br>Watching the first pic I thought you made the lamp post and shade from a old chait on wheels !!!!&hellip; ;))) <br>So maybe that's an other idea ?&hellip; ;)) <br> <br>Nonetheless your instructable is very valuable ! Thank you. <br> <br>BTW : I noticed that you had a special tool for bending tubes : never saw that before. Is home made ? Can you buy it ? Where ?&hellip; <br> <br>Thanks again
It's a standard pipe bender--you can buy them at most hardware stores. They're handy for bending conduit and other smallish pipes.
thank you !&hellip;
thank you !&hellip;
I hope you did your civic duty to anonymously report a downed street light. <br> <br>Conduit bending is an art, I think you need to compensate for tubing stretch and compression to calculate the proper cut length for the desired circle. It's marked on the conduit bender. <br> <br>Most people would have put in a UV LED array. You can get a tan while exposing your PCB to print. <br> <br>And...you left a girlfriend sleeping alone in the middle of the night to go scavenging? You are a crazy man.
It was even a perfect idle dreamer wearing a hat flowers, wonderfully crazy sentence!
Nice. How long can you tolerate to use this for?
your question does not compute good sir

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Bio: here: http://www.artiswrong.com But really, I'm just this guy. For up-to-the-minute, action-packed updates on my life (and occasional drawings of tapeworms getting ... More »
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