Introduction: Scissor Lamp Ikea Hack

Picture of Scissor Lamp Ikea Hack

I really love scissor lamps, because they give a room an aura of quirkiness, a bit like it was the workshop/lair of a mad scientist. Also they are very functional, because they make it easy to direct light to the spot where you need it, without lighting up the whole room. This is especially helpful if you like reading at night.

Although I live in germany, where the designers of the Bauhaus came up with a lot of classic scissor lamps in the 1920s and 1930s, I could never afford one, because they are quite expensive.

Then I stumbled upon a really cheap pantograph mirror called "fräck" (no relation to the oil-drilling-procedure) in an ikea store. I imedeatly had the idea to turn it into a lamp. There are already two very nice instructables using the scissor arm from the "fräck" ikea mirror (1 / 2).

I hope you will like my Instructables and I´m looking forward to your feedback or questions!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Materials needed:

- scissor arm from an Ikea "Fräck" Mirror (costs $4.99 / €2,59)

- classic clamp-on lamp with a ball joint

- metal ball with a blind hole thread size M6 (available in online lampsupply stores. If you´re not sure about the thread-size, take the scissorarm to a hardwarestore and try out different standard nuts to find ot the right size)

- two 6 mm wall plugs ( ≈ 1/4 inch)

- two small screws (fitting the wall plugs)

Tools needed:

- drill

- 6 mm drill bit

- screwdriver

- one piece of paper

- adhesive tape

- pencil

As soon as you have all the tools and materials at hand, you won´t need longer than one hour for this project.

Step 2: Modify Lamp and Scissorarm

Picture of Modify Lamp and Scissorarm

Unscrew the clamp-on lamp from its ball joint and screw the metal ball onto the thread of the scissor arm.

Step 3: Prepare for Drilling

Picture of Prepare for Drilling

Mark the positions of the drillholes for the scissor arm. To prevent a mess, use the paper and adhesive tape to fold a little pouch for catching the bore dust. Stick this pouch right under the spot where you want to drill.

Step 4: Drill and Install the Scissorarm

Picture of Drill and Install the Scissorarm

Drill the holes, insert the wall plugs and screw the scissor arm to the wall.

Step 5: Attach the Lamp

Picture of Attach the Lamp

Attach the lamp to the scissor arm, lead the cable through the end of the scissor arm that is closest to the wall and plug it in. In addition, you can fix the cables to the scissorarm with zip ties if you like.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

I added a second identical lamp on the other side of my desk. The lamps can be adjusted precisely to the position and and angle needed. Because of this, I don´t need any big lamps that consume a lot of energy (save the planet y´all!).

Most important: The shadow-free desktop is helping me to keep focused for longer during nightlong reading sessions, especially in winter :)

I´m happy two answer any questions you might have.

If you like my Instructable, you can vote for it in the Make It Glow Contest!


BartholomewH (author)2015-06-12

IKEA furniture designers should totally include such assembly tricks as kits.

dr_peru (author)BartholomewH2015-06-15

Thanks for the comment :)

I think they are already cconsidering this. But not too long ago, Ikea also considered sueing a popular ikea-hacks website. Also, selling kits for hacking would stop it from being a hack. If you can buy a kit, it is just consuming and not doing anything new on your own - where would be the fun and creativity in that?

JON-A-TRON (author)2015-02-24

Nicely done- doesn't even look hacked!

dr_peru (author)JON-A-TRON2015-02-24

Thanks :)

TechDante (author)2014-12-24

Could I just flip the rod over and attach the lamp to the ball on the other end and use a rounded nut to capture rod on the scissor arm

dr_peru (author)TechDante2014-12-24

At first I tried it this way, but the ball on the other end of the rod is too small for the lamps I used, even when the parts that should take grip on the ball are bent together a bit more. Thats why I bought the screw-on-balls.

If you cannot find those balls, you will probably find another fine solution - theres always several different ways to tackle a problem ;)

duncan_a (author)2014-12-02

Where did you source the 'clamp-on ball lamps'?

dr_peru (author)duncan_a2014-12-02

Basically all classic clamp-on lampswith those typical big and curved wire clamps that ar fixrd to the lamp with a kind of ball joint will work.

I found mine for a very reasonable price on "ebay kleinanzeigen" ( That´s a site run by the german branch of ebay, on which private sellers can offer items for free. It´s kind of like craigslist, but only for selling stuff).

You should not use a lamp that is too heavy though, because it might put too much stress on the scissor arm and bend down all the time.

duncan_a (author)dr_peru2014-12-03

Difficult items to find where I am - I'll spend a bit of time on eBay or Amazon...


ebineesey (author)2014-11-29

Great idea, I plan on doing this soon.

dr_peru (author)ebineesey2014-11-29

If you do, i would love to see a picture of your version here.

sursula (author)2014-11-29

great stuff as always, dr. peru! with these lamps installed our home is even nicer than before!

SDX42 made it! (author)2014-11-28

Coincidence or what? I just finished performing the same hack when I went here to see that other minds think alike. I used the Fräck mirror as well, however, it seems like the lamp itself might be a bit different from yours. Great work man!

dr_peru (author)SDX422014-11-28

Indeed, quite a coincidence! : D

I like your lamp, too. I still have two more fräcks in stäck and wait till I have a good idea on how to use their scissor arms. Also I´m looking for a way to make use of all those magnifying mirrors that I have left...maybe some kind of solar death ray.

SDX42 (author)dr_peru2014-11-29

Death rays sure sound fun!

chefmichel (author)2014-11-29

Very cool idea, well done !

Now looking for an hack-idea to use the mirror.

killbox (author)2014-11-28

I love it!

seamster (author)2014-11-28

Very clever idea!

These are pretty cool looking, plus they keep the top of your desk/work space clear... no lamp bases in the way. Nice!

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