Introduction: Recycled CDs Lamp

Ever got a stock of useless CDs? Don't throw them away! make a beautiful CDs lamp instead
This brief tutorial will show you how to make a very cheap and sustainable lamp out of your old CDs collection

Tempted about this?

Budget = 10 - 20 EUR
Time = 4 - 8 hrs
Tools = basic toolbox
Difficulty = easy - medium
Size = diameter 40 cm / height 28 cm


* CDs (1000 pcs.)
* MDF wood circle (1 pcs.)
* Electrical connector (12 positions)
* Iron wire (5 mt)
* Lamp holder
* electric wire + switch + plug
* E27 energy saver fluorescent lamp (1 pcs.)
* Silicon sticks (2 pcs.)
* Rubber feet (3 pcs.)


* driller
* claws
* pincers
* screw driver
* glue/silicone gun
* compasses
* pencil
* square ruler
* cutter

Step 1: Getting Ready

Before you start making your own lamp, you should collect some parts and check if you have all the required tools.
Don't worry, most likely you have most of the stuff already. If not, they are easy to find at a very affordable price.

How many CDs do I need?
To build a lamp of the suggested size, you need between 900 and 1000 compact discs (around 15Kg).
In case you don't have such amount of old CDs, spread the word around your friends, schoolmates, co-workers: they will be enthusiastic about getting rid of their old crappy CDs (e.g.: old music from the 80s, magazines freebies, burned copies)

The other stuff

Circle of MDF wood
diameter 20cm / height 1.5 cm
easy to find at bricolage stores

Electrical connectors
12 connectors
The size of the connector should be determined by the diameter of the iron wire: the iron wire should fit in the hole of the connector

Iron wire
5 mt of diameter 2mm iron wire should be ok

Lamp holder + electric wire + switch + plug
You can easily find a pre-assembled package or you can build your own. Choose electrical wire size and style according to your preferences. I would recommend at least a 2 mt wire

E27 energy saver fluorescent lamp
Any regular energy saver (e.g.: E27 7-11 Watt) fluorescent lamp would be ok. If you like to install a smaller size lamp, make sure you buy the correct lamp holder accordingly

Silicone sticks
Makes sure you buy transparent silicone, take 2 large size sticks

Rubber feet
3 pcs.
tiny rubber feet should have approximately a 2cm diameter

The toolbox
Most likely you need a small set of common tools:
* driller
* claws
* pincers
* screw driver
* glue/silicon gun
* compasses
* pencil
* square ruler
* cutter

Step 2: Making the Bottom

Take the MDF wood circle and using the compasses and ruler divide the circle into 12 sectors.

Trace with the pencil the points for inserting the lamp holder, the iron wire  and the rubber feet as shown in the picture (photo of the bottom with measures)

Use the driller to make the hole following the points traced with the pencil

Cut 6 pieces of iron wire using the claws, 1 mt each
Curve each piece as a U shape using the pincers like shown in the picture

Now you have all the pieces to assemble the bottom, proceed as follows:

1) mount the 3 rubber feet with screws and screw driver
2) mount the lamp holder in the central hole

as a result you should see the lamp holder in the center

Step 3: Making the Cage and Preparing the Sphere of CDs

mount the 6 U-shaped iron wires by inserting the two wire endpoints into the holes

now you should curve the iron wires using your hands and the pincers

shape the cage of iron wire like a sphere (SEE PICTURE)

cut the exceeding iron wire with the claws

as a result you should have a regular grid of 12 iron wires shaped like a spheric cage (SEE PICTURE)

Now you can start making the piles of CDs

At first you have to fill with CDs only the 6 piles of CDs that are closer to the center:

place alternatively a layer of 3 CDs through the iron wires at a time (SEE PICTURE)
each CD should be placed on top of the adjacent two CDs
every 5-10 layers make sure the CDs are placed regularly and fill in the space between the hole of the CD and the iron wire with silicone using the glue gun

repeat this operation until the the adjacent curved piles of CDs do not overlap, this should be when each pile of CDs is about 6 cm tall

at this point you start placing alternatively 6 CDs per layer (SEE PICTURE)
like before, every 5-10 layers fill in the space between the hole of the CD and the iron wire with silicon
as a result you should build 12 piles of CDs

repeat this operation until 12 CDs won't fit any longer, then start again placing 3 CDs per layer like before
the 6 piles of CDs should converge towards the center and the central hole is too small, do not forget to install the E27 lamp

* for the last 5 to 10 layers do not use silicone, so that the lamp can be unmounted to change the lamp
* while placing the CDs you should check and curve the iron wire to make sure they keep a regular shape

Step 4: Preparing the Top

when the height of the structure is about 26 cm you should curve each iron wire towards the center
cut the exceeding wire using the claws
as a result you should have something like in the PICTURE

now it's time to prepare the circle for locking the 12 iron wires
divide a circle (e.g. two overlapped CDs) into 12 sectors
on each radius trace the 2 points for installing the electric connectors
use the driller to make the 24 holes
make sure the distance of the 2 holes on each radius is compatible with your connector

disassemble the electric connector and extract the 12 metal connectors

mount the top placing each iron wire end through the electric connector and lock the screw with the screw driver

Step 5: Enjoy Your New CDs Lamp

Now it's time to enjoy your beautiful CDs lamp !

If you like my Instructable please vote for it. Thanks

Lamps & Lighting Contest

Participated in the
Lamps & Lighting Contest