Introduction: Plant Lamp Jam Stand

About: I'm a maker in Chicago, IL, originally from Tucson, AZ. I like things that involve electronics, art, biology, and sound.

The name says it all. This is not just a lamp. It also holds a plant, and holds my guitars. This was easy to build, made out of iron pipe with a cement base (optional). This instructable will show you how you can have your very own, three-in-one, plant lamp jam stand!

Step 1: The Idea

The idea evolved from my original inspiration to build just a plant lamp. I thought it would be cool to design a planter that incorporated a light, where the plant grows around the bulb, having it's own light source so it can be away from a window and giving a cool green ambiance to the room. After toying with a few designs of small trellis structures with which the plant can climb up around the bulb, i finally decided that a hanging planter above the bulb would be the best orientation. To hold a hanging planter, i needed something high off the ground, thus this structure became a free standing floor lamp rather than a desktop lamp. At the time i was also in need of guitar stands for my two guitars, and was trying to think of an easy way to build them. Plant lamp jam stand became the solution to all my problems.

Step 2: Ingredients

  • Various pipe fittings/segments. My list is as follows, all with half-inch pipe:
    • 1x endcap
    • 2x 45 degree fitting
    • 4x 90 degree fitting
    • 2x couple
    • 5x tees
    • 1x 4' pipe
    • 1x 3' pipe
    • 3x 3" nipple
    • 2x 6" pipe cut in half
    • 1x 4" pipe
    • 1x 6" pipe
    • 2x 1.5" nipple
    • 4x close nipples
    • 1x 8" pipe
  • a bag of cement (optional)
  • a lamp kit
  • a hanging plant that droops below the planter

Step 3: It Starts With a Design

The construction is relatively simple if you have ever worked with pipes. I will detail my design that you can copy, or you can easily tweak it to fit other orientations/purposes, though it is important that all of the purposes rhyme. How about a plant lamp web cam? or a plant lamp bandanna clamp?

The first step is to sketch the design so you know how many of each piece you need to buy. As much as i love those two-home-depot-trip days, when you get into three or four it gets to be a chore, and home depot should never be a chore.

I chose to build the base out of cement, but you could also design a stable base using more pipe.

The picture shows my drawing and the parts. The only pieces that aren't labeled are close nipples (very short pieces). You should be able to work out where the pieces from the parts list in the last step go. The only piece i forgot to include in the drawing is the second couple, which is used to hold the light bulb socket. Also, that piece that sticks up to hold the light bulb looks like it is labeled 6', it should really be 8".

My lamp stands just about 8 feet tall.

Step 4: The Guitar Stand

This part was a little tricky, because the width had to be just right in order to properly hold the guitar neck. I measured the minimum and maximum width i could have (between 2 and 2.5 inches for my guitars), then spent some time playing in the Home Depot pipe aisle until i got it right. Basically it is one tee, one 90 degree elbow, one 1.5" nipple, and then two short pieces to stick out and actually hold the neck (see the drawing in the previous step for a diagram of this). For the two pieces that stick out i actually used a single six inch piece cut in half, one half for each side. I thought the ends looked a bit better this way than if they were threaded, and it was cheaper. The pipe cutter man at home depot did the cutting for me.

Step 5: The Plant Holder

I used two 45 degree fittings to give it an arch rather then a corner. It is important that the weight of the plant comes down directly over the axis of the lamp so it doesn't tip. If you look at the drawing, the stand actually goes back a few inches at the point where it splits for the guitar stand, so that way when this curves forward the plant is centered with the axis.

Step 6: The Base

I chose to build my base out of cement, because cement is cool. I chose to do a sort of organic/geometric shape. To do this i cut pieces of foam and duct-taped it together to for a mold. Cement is easier then you think if you haven't worked with it before. Just be sure to read the directions on the package.

The pipe must also be embedded in the base. I used a couple pieces that left a fitting exposed on the top that the rest of the lamp could screw into, so that the 4' piece didn't have to be permanently attached to the base. Getting this directly upright is very important for balance. Use a level, and rig up some supports to keep it straight while it dries.

Note: cement is very fine and picks up detail really well. I was able to see the texture of the duct tape on the cement after it cured!

Overall, i like the cement look, but i don't like my implementation. If i did this again i would probably just do a cube, not a weird shape.

Also shown in this picture is a timer. I have the lamp on a timer, 11 hours a day (from about 10 am to 9 pm) to give the plant a consistent light cycle.

Step 7: The Light

Run the wire through each piece as you assemble the lamp. It will be too hard to fish it all the way through once fully assembled. Follow the directions on the lamp kit if you are unsure how to hook it up.

I found that my bulb socket fit nicely in a 1/2 inch couple. In the pic you can see that i used a tee instead because i had an extra.

I used an LED bulb. I think this is important both because the light is on for long periods of time so you want to use an efficient light source, and also because the plant will be hugging the bulb, and you don't want it to get burned. Even a fluorescent might get too warm for a leaf to be constantly touching. An led bulb runs fairly cool. I also had this glass dome from Michaels lying around that i put over the bulb to keep the leaves a bit further from the light and to help prevent water from getting near the socket in case it drips when i water (it is important to have a hanging planter with a drip tray to prevent this also, and take care to not over water it. If you are still nervous about watering around a bulb, you can always unplug it when you water).

Step 8: Enjoy!

I chose a pothos plant for its large leaves and long vines. I am glad to say it is happy and healthy a year after moving in! I wasn't sure if this would be enough light for the big guy, but it seams to be doing fine. This lamp is an excellent accent piece, adding an industrial/jungly feel to the room.

Happy making!

Lamps and Lighting Contest 2016

Participated in the
Lamps and Lighting Contest 2016