Rocket Ship Lamp

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Introduction: Rocket Ship Lamp

Super simple Rocketship lamp can be easily made, modified and upgraded!

Supplies

Step 1: Assemble the Base

Start with a circle wood base, 8 in diameter.

Drill holes for the wire and stain it.

Then work your way up, feeding the power cord thru the floor flange, 45 degree elbow, the rod, and the 90 degree elbow.

Step 2: Assemble Your Lights and Switch

Next assemble the lamp sockets in 3 of the 4 90 degree elbows.

Drill a hole in the lamp mount for the toggle switch.

Assemble the elbows to the lamp mount and rod.

Step 3: Wire and Complete

Connect all the wires using twist-on plastic caps or wire nuts.

Position and tighten everything.

Add your bulbs and blast off!

Step 4: Rocket Ship Lamp

Space Challenge

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35 People Made This Project!

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121 Comments

0
TheEmJay
TheEmJay

Question 5 weeks ago on Introduction

Hello there! I am a bit confused by the size of the elbows vs the size of the sockets. According to the parts list, all 4 sockets are the same size. However, the 90 degree elbows are 1/2" and the coupling fitting in the centre ends in a 3/4" female opening. From OP's pictures and parts list, it doesn't look like there is another adapter. Do I need different socket sizes or am I missing something? Thank you so much!

0
dberkel1
dberkel1

Answer 5 weeks ago

I used the coupling with the ½ nipple for the center. Hope that helps?

PXL_20210628_155257179.MP.jpg
0
TheEmJay
TheEmJay

Reply 5 weeks ago

Yes and that would be to attach the coupling to the light base, right? Where I am not clear is with the other end of the coupling, since it's a 3/4" opening as opposed to the 1/2" openings on the 90° elbows. How do you fit your E12 light socket in the coupling without it falling if it's larger than the other elbows? Thanks again so much!

0
dberkel1
dberkel1

Reply 5 weeks ago

Ah, yes I ran into the same problem. I did end up gluing the E12 light socket into the the 3/4 coupling. You could use a 1/2 coupling and it would fit like the others but I liked the look of a larger coupling for the center light.

0
Hegemon4242
Hegemon4242

Reply 13 days ago

I'm still a little confused about the socket sizes. The candelabra sockets have an outside threaded diameter of 3/4" correct? For the 90 degree street elbows, they look like 1/2" on both the male and female ends. If that's true, how did a 3/4 male socket fit in a 1/2 female hole? Or am I reading the socket size completely wrong?
Thanks!

0
george.gigiolio
george.gigiolio

Question 2 months ago on Step 3

need help on the wiring, do you have a diagram? Shorted the basement!

0
Radio Dude
Radio Dude

Answer 2 months ago

google "how to wire a toggle switch" Theres a video that explains how it works and should be wired. Unlike a light socket, the toggle acts as a circuit break and is wired in line with either the white or neutral wires.

0
shingdao1
shingdao1

Tip 3 months ago

So I thought I'd share a few tips based on several recurring questions about the assembly:

1. In order to install the E12 sockets into the 90 elbows, you need to cut off the hickey fittings on the E12 sockets which are the simple metal parts that look like a frame or hanger on the bottom of the socket that allows you to connect the threaded nipples of two different sizes to an electrical box...you won't need them for this project and you won't be able to screw the sockets into the elbows with them on. I cut them off with a pair of tin snips and the sockets screwed right into the elbows with no problem.

2. For the socket intended for the 3/4 to 1/2 inch coupling, you will either need to purchase a 1/2 adapter for the 3/4 end or just go with a 1/2 inch fitting here, although the coupling has a flare shape which makes that piece look more like a rocket engine IMO.

3. In terms of wiring: I strongly suggest that you first strip the leads a bit longer on the exposed wire ends for all connections to give yourself more room to wire everything. With the security light socket, toggle switch, power cord leads, and the 4 other E12 socket lamp leads, there are 6 to 7 wires that need to be connected into one wire nut for each colored wire. I suggest using a 14-6 AWG winged wire nut as anything smaller will be difficult to ensure a solid connection. Splice all white pigtail wires together. Wire the black (line) lead from the power cord to one end of the toggle switch (it doesn't matter which end), and splice all other black wires (light sockets) to the other end of the toggle switch.

4. Ideally, the base of the rocket ship (security light) should have a 1/2" strain relief to keep the power cord connections secure and from being pulled away.

Good luck!

0
CrackersUSN
CrackersUSN

Reply 2 months ago

Prior to final assembly I wired the light sockets, switch and two pronged power cable together. With the switch in the “off” position I plugged it in. Surprisingly, as the switch was in the off position, the lights came on. I flipped the switch to the other position (on) and the lights turned off. Unfortunately now when I toggle the switch no more lights. All my white wires are connected to the ribbed black power wire and all my black wires are connected to the non ribbed black power wire. Any advise on how to correct my error? Thank you for any guidance you can provide.

0
just4747
just4747

Reply 3 months ago

Thanks for the tips. As I said in my other comment reply, aren't you forgetting to mention that all the white wires as well as the negative wire from the plug (usually the side of the plug that has ridges all along the black wire cover) all have to be grounded by connecting them to the green grounding screw inside the light base. Proper way I think would be to splice them all together and connect/solder them to a ring terminal then put the ring terminal under the screw.
This is what I did and it worked great. Did I do something unnecessary here? Would all the white wires already be grounded because the bulb sockets are already grounded themselves? What about the negative side wire from the wall plug?

0
andyv444
andyv444

Reply 3 months ago

I’ve been following this thread and I think I know the problem. If shingdao1 is using a 3-prong/grounded plug, then the neutral wire from the plug will be white. So it’s easy to just say “splice all white wires” - when you connect all the white wires together, you’re connecting the neutral/white/ribbed power cord wire to the white/neutral wires, thus completing the circuit loop and allowing power to flow from the hot lines through the sockets and back to the wall through the neutral wires. HOWEVER, if you’re using the 2-prong/non-grounded plug, the neutral wire will be BLACK (and ribbed) so it will be spliced with all the white wires.

I myself tripped the circuit breaker wiring it with the black/ribbed/neutral power cord wire spliced in with all the black wires, essentially creating a continuous loop with no loads (a bad idea). This discussion really helped. It led me to get a grounded plug since, like many of you, this is a gift for someone else I don’t want electrocuted. Hope this offered some clarification. Beautiful project and a fun challenge.

0
shingdao1
shingdao1

Reply 3 months ago

I forgot to mention that I used a 3-prong/3 wire cord with grounding wire instead of the standard 2 prong/2 wire version. But otherwise, yes, the fixture should ideally be grounded.

Don’t splice ground to neutral. If you get a loose neutral downstream of your lamp, the metal housing of your lamp will become hot. If bonding ground to neutral was ok, then we wouldn’t bother having ground wires at all. I would swap out your 2 prong with a grounded 3 prong cord and be done with it.

0
just4747
just4747

Reply 3 months ago

Ah ok, thanks. I twisted all the hot/black wires together tightly in a wire nut which seems pretty secure and didn't seem like it would come apart, and for the white neutral wires and the neutral side of one side of the power cord wires, I twisted and soldered them together and then soldered them to a ring terminal with heatshrink around it, which I then tightened under the grounding screw inside.


Can you explain more what you mean by: "Don’t splice ground to neutral"? I'm not exactly sure what you mean or what I did wrong there. Do you mean I should NOT splice the white wires from the sockets AND the power cord's neutral together at all? Instead should I be splicing just the white neutrals together (and that's it for them, nothing else) and then separately comnect the power cord's neutral side wire to the grounding screw in the housing?

Thanks.
0
shingdao1
shingdao1

Reply 3 months ago

I meant not to connect the neutral wires to the ground on the fixture as you have done for the reasons previously explained as that is a potential safety hazard. Although, in the event of a ground fault it is likely you'd trip your breakers first.

I went with a 3-prong/3 wire cord largely because two-wire cords should only be used with appliances that are “double insulated”, meaning that the parts you touch are insulated from the compartment that contains the wiring. This is most commonly done by using a plastic housing and not exposing any touchable metal at all. In this lamp's case, there is no double insulation and therefore a ground wire is needed.

Again, I recommend you swap out your 2 wire plug for a grounded 3 wire and bond to the fixture's ground screw and be done with it.

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed electrician, just a DIY enthusiast. If you don't understand or feel comfortable with anything I've suggested, please consult a licensed professional.

0
just4747
just4747

Reply 3 months ago

Understood. In the case that I don't replace the 2 wire with a 3 wire (at least right away), do you think I'd be good enough to just wire only the whites together with a screw cap and then connect the power wall plug's negative wire to the ground screw on its own and that's it?

0
shingdao1
shingdao1

Reply 3 months ago

I would not connect the wall plug's neutral to the fixture's ground screw as you are potentially energizing the fixture in the event of a fault...Google the path of an electrical circuit for more details on how this occurs. Neutral and ground wires are not interchangeable. Neutral is not a ground nor is a ground neutral. I would remove the negative ground you have for now until you can get a proper ground wire attached vis-a-via a three prong plug. I trust this makes sense.

Also, it's good practice to wrap stranded wires with electrical tape around the lower portion of the wire nuts for more stability.

0
just4747
just4747

Reply 3 months ago

Also, would you recommend either of these 3-wire plugs? (one is dimmable):
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091329SJK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_M6SG9TA3GXST4222F2K1?psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W89KRHB/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_NW0YWW1BA3K4R5V8J3MB?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Also, how would I wire one of these up? Is it still the plug's line/lead wire to the black wires of the sockets just like before, the new third/ground wire to the green screw in the housing, and the neutral I'm not sure...

Just want to confirm to be safe.
Thanks again.
0
shingdao1
shingdao1

Reply 3 months ago

Either of these would work as long as your bulbs are dimmable. I don't believe the flame lights for the E12 candelabra sockets are dimmable, so keep that in mind.

Your hot and neutral wiring remains the same e.g. black to black (one toggle lead is wired to hot wire of the plug and the other is wired in with the remaining black wires from the 5 sockets) and all white are wired to white. The plug's green ground wire is bonded to the fixture's grounding screw. Done.

0
just4747
just4747

Reply 3 months ago

Everyone keeps saying that all white neutral wires from the sockets are wired together but still no one is mentioning the black neutral wire of the power cord. Sorry if I am missing that but where does the neutral (ridged side) of the power cord go to?

0
shingdao1
shingdao1

Reply 3 months ago

I really don't know how I can further assist you. Did you have the lamp wired previously and was it working? I recall you wrote that all was working great before we began this very lengthy and somewhat pedantic discussion about grounding the fixture. The neutral wire from the power cord gets spliced in with all other white wires. For as much time as we have spent going back and forth on this, you could have already purchased a 3 prong plug and had the lamp successfully wired and grounded to boot. At the end of the day, it isn't rocket science.