Book Lamps

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About: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.

Intro: Book Lamps

The Book Lamp shines on all on its own on the bookshelf. Where once it housed pages to excite the imagination, it is now home to a lamp to liven up the space behind it.

This project can be made for $5 and takes less than half an hour to put together. Read on for the details.

Note: the bulb looks like an incandescent, but it is in fact a CFL. The spiral fluorescent is inside a plastic bulb.

Step 1: Stuff

This project is very simple and if you already have a book that you're willing to sacrifice, the cost is just $5 for the lamp from IKEA.

Some people freak out when books get destroyed for projects like this. Well, tons of unsold books get destroyed every year. If this was one of the last few copies on Earth that would be one thing, but according to the dust cover of the book I used there were over 100,000 sold so there are plenty more. Having read some of it a while ago, the world isn't missing much anyway.

Materials
  • IKEA Lampan lamp
  • hardcover book at least 2" wide inside
  • rubber band
Tools
  • Pliers
  • X-acto knife
  • safety glasses

Step 2: Free Up the Lamp Cable

The lampan lamp from IKEA is great. For $5 you get a little plastic lamp and a 7W CFL light bulb. All we need is the cord inside the lamp, though. It would be great if it was easy to separate the lamp body and the cord, but it's pretty firmly attached.

So put on a pair of safety glasses, grab a pair of of pliers and go to town. Keep snapping off pieces of plastic until all that is left is the cord itself. This only takes a couple minutes.

Step 3: Cut Out Main Space in Book

Put the bulb in the cord and place both on top of the book's pages. With a pen, outline the space that the bulb and most of the socket would need. You do not need to worry about space for the cord right now.

If you look at the picture below you'll see what I mean. Now, I was a little delusional when I made these curving lines. As I cut into the book I quickly realized that straight lines are easier and faster to do, especially when you're cutting through 700+ pages. So instead of this drawing, draw out an L-shape that would hold the light.

With the X-acto knife, go nuts on the book, slicing it up all the way through.

Step 4: Cut Out Gap

Now we'll need a gap for the cord to go through. Eyeball the cord against the pages and see how many pages you need to cut out for it. For these pages, simply continue the left cut line from before and continue it to the bottom. The result will leave the page with one straight cut across it.

Step 5: Band It Together

Place the light into the book and place a rubber band around the cord and pages to keep it in place as well as keep all the pages together.

Step 6: Turn It On!

With everything set to go, find a good place for your book lamp and turn it on. Enjoy the calming glow of the little 7W bulb and start thinking of another project to do.

other activities to do right after this:
  • drink some tea
  • doodle on a piece of paper
  • listen to your favorite album on a pair of headphones with your eyes closed
  • walk outside for a bit

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    91 Discussions

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    Scarlet Moon

    2 years ago

    can you please yell me where to get an IKEA bulb?BTW awesome lamp

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    FreckledR

    2 years ago

    I can really see these being used in cafes or pubs, really nice :)

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    smartmiltoys

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for interesting lamps and safety glasses. I think IKEA is the best!

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    will308oliveira

    4 years ago

    Really easy and nice. And looks amazing. :D

    temp_-584825938.jpgtemp_1829398008.jpg
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    Jantho

    5 years ago on Step 6

    STILL... a better love story than Twilight!

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    shellyscornertkdgirl

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 6

    Not with a 7 watt bulb. It could certainly catch fire if you used a bulb with higher wattage. To give you an idea of this bulb....most light bulbs that are used in night lights are 7 watts or less. I absolutely would NOT use a higher wattage though!!!

    This is not the type of bulb used in night lights.

    As noted in the 'ible this is a 7W CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp). Most all consumer electronics, including CFLs, are designed to operate (and tested for safety) with air being allowed to circulate around them. Putting the CFL in a space without ventilation will increase the temperature of the internal electronic components and in the worst case create a fire hazard and in the best case reduce the life of the CFL.

    Even the new LED bulbs produce a fair amount of heat and need free air around them.

    This is a very nice project, well done. Does the bulb not get hot though?? I would be worried about burying a bulb in paper..

    1 reply

    You have a valid concern.

    As noted in the 'ible this is a 7W CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp). Most all consumer electronics, including CFLs, are designed to operate (and tested for safety) with air being allowed to circulate around them. Putting the CFL in a space without ventilation will increase the temperature of the internal electronic components and in the worst case create a fire hazard and in the best case reduce the life of the CFL.

    Even LED bulbs produce a fair amount of heat and need free air around them.

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    سلي

    6 years ago on Step 6

    Interesting, I just bought two of these lamps the other day. I didn't get a light bulb with mine though, but it's a crafty idea! Too bad I want to keep my lamps. I am determined to find a way to decorate them though.

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    Spud_Hutson

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool idea. I did have fire-related concerns, but the comment section has put me at ease. Definitely going to have to give this a go!

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    jabujavi

    6 years ago on Step 6

    And if you add some aluminium foil to reflect the light, would you obtain better result??

    Soo cool. I will do it for my brother's new house!

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    suayres

    7 years ago on Introduction

    If the idea of "destroying" a book bothers you, you could alway buy one of the blank books meant for journaling. This gives you the option of creating your own title (with your name in the author spot, of course). I have seen this done for "altered book" applications. I have to admit, damaging books makes me cringe, so I have never altered nor modified a book. Mom raised me well!

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    ArcticLiz

    8 years ago on Step 6

    Nice one! Can't think of any book that deserves to be cut.. but i'll get one.. :D

    2 replies
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    runfromnukeArcticLiz

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 6

    I can think of four...and they're all from one series.

    "Twilight"
    "New Moon"
    "Eclipse"
    "Breaking Dawn"