Covering an Ugly Light, With a Modern Aesthetic

About: electronics

Here is a quick and easy way to cover and convert an ugly/broken mall mounted light into one which is plain, modern and far more subtle. The light from it is also much better, in that it is warmer and more ambient as it reflects off the wall.

Note that in the picture above, the original light does not actually shine through the paper so brightly, this is just the camera's fault.

You will need

A3 or A4 paper depending on the size of the ugly-light, preferably thicker painting paper which is less flimsy and diffuses the harsh light better.

Double sided tape - one sided will work too though

A solid ruler to fold with

Step 1: Measure the Lines

These two lines will become the folds, the part of the paper that mounts to the wall.

Measure 1.5cm from each end of the piece of paper, making marks at the top and the bottom, then connect them with a light pencil line.

You should have two thin rectangles, one on each end of the paper (landscape).

1.5cm is a good width for me as it allows the paper to fully cover the light we are trying to conceal, but making this wider allows you to change the shape and size of the paper to suit your purpose. This is the reason I needed A3 paper, as A4 did not reach the whole way around the light, which protrudes quite far from the wall.

Step 2: Fold the Paper

Since it is quite difficult to fold paper in such a long, thin strip without leaving an ugly or uneven crease, I used two metal rulers to make these folds, rather than using my less-accurate fingers. You can fold it however, of course, but this way worked well.

I put one ruler on top of the paper, against one of the lines from the previous step and pressed down hard. With the other, I slipped it underneath the paper, pushed it as close as possible against the ruler on top, and carefully bent the paper upwards.

You can then finish the crease normally.

Do this for both sides in the same direction.

Step 3: Add Adhesive

I tried using Blu tac, but it did not work at all - the paper is too heavy.

I used some 3M double sided tape, which worked well. Alternatively, you could use regular tape, but this is more subtle.

Stick the tape on the outside of the fold so that it is facing away from the paper when it is flat on the table (like in the photo).

Put at least two pieces of the tape on each thin folded strip, at the top and bottom.

Step 4: Mount It

I mounted the paper lampshade as if it were landscape on the wall, meaning there light comes out vertically, from the bottom and top of it, and the ugly light cannot be seen

Before you stick it on permanently, work out how to mount it properly.

It should be

It should be perfectly vertical, with the folds parallel to eachother

The paper should be perpendicular to the wall - if the folds are too close the paper will bulge outwards, which does not look good.

Alternatively, if the light does not protrude as much as my one, you can move the folds further apart to give a more gradual curve to the shape, but this was all I had room for to conceal the light.

Once you are sure it will look good, stick it to the wall - obviously the folds should be inside the paper so they are as hard to see as possible.

Step 5: Done!

This is a quick solution - it's not ideal but I think it works quite well. You could try coloured paper or even watercolour paint the paper.

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