In the 80's it was the fashionable ideal, spotlights everywhere that resemble an art gallery. It could not be bright enough! But times change and now most of us change to economical LED lights, and perhaps a bit more dimmed atmosphere. So I pulled down the 80's spotlights from the ceiling and rebuild them into tiny lights near my art objects. And with almost no costs, in fact savings in the time to come, there is a new light shining!
Step 1: Some Old,some New
Okay, nothing is entirely for free.
I bought the led driver 12 volt, 18 watt. With 4 1,5 volt lights it works perfect. And I bought 4 led lights GU 5.3. Together with my old halogen spots, some 12 volt wire, a bit of 230 wire and a plug, 8 big paperclips and 4 pearl like bottle caps from detergent bottles you are ready to roll.
For tools I used round nosed pliers, little screwdrivers and an x-acto knife
Step 2: Paperclip Stands
Instead of hanging the light back on the ceiling wires I wanted the lights to stand in a cupboard. A very simple adaption of some big paperclips is all you need. Bend the paperclip open in a triangular shape. Cut a small piece of the smaller end. Bend the end to a complete circle. You will need 8 of these for four lamps. Later on when these stands are attached to the lamp holders we will modify them a little.
Step 3: Attach the Feet
On the sides of the black lampholders there are two screws. The tiny one to fix the light to its socket, the bigger one to attach "feet". Note that these screws are also the way in and out for the current. In the next step we will attach the wires. First attach two paperclip feet to the socket and stand it upright. Make sure both are in the same position and not one forward and one backward. You will have to spread the feet a little apart to make it stable.
Step 4: Wiring
The wiring is simple. With a piece of normal 230 v wire connect the primary ( way in) ends of the driver. On the other end of that wire you can attach a plug. ( You cán attach a plug , eh?). Cut 8 pieces of low volt wire. The length depends on where you want to place the light later. Mine are aprox. 50 cm. Make loops on the ends of all wires. Now attach all sockets to each other and the last one to the sec (way out) of the 12 volt driver. So almost each screw holds two loops, only the first lamp has on wire on each side.
Step 5: Caps
I thought it might be a good idea to cover the lightbulbs, and the pearl coloured bottle caps from some detergent bottles seemed to fit the bill. Just cut off the protruding cylinder at the bottom. Then go round with your knife inside the broad rim of the cap and remove the smaller ring inside. Without any further attachment place the cap over the bulb. The heat resistance of the cap is more then enough for the led bulb. I use them everey night for several hours without any problem.
Step 6: Placement
I could fit the wires behind an open cupboard and placed the lights in different spaces in the cupboard. To my astonishment it did not work! I had placed one of the lamps on a metal stand of an artwork. And that just does not work! As the feet of the lamps are connected to the + and - of the electrics you should not place them on anything that conducts the current. So don't place them on a metal surface.
Don't be afraid that there is an not isolated current flowing through the lamp feet, It is low voltage and touching does not harm. Not only is the new light more atmospheric, but the cost is a fraction of the old lights. So: enjoy!