Desk Clamp Lamp




About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author ...

Inspired by the shape of the classic articulated desk lamp and also a host of stylish galvanized pipe lamps, I arrived at the Desk Clamp Lamp. This is a simple, robust and reasonably cheap desk lamp that can be built entirely with parts readily available at your local Home Depot. The other nice thing about this lamp is that it is easily reconfigurable to meet your needs. For instance, if you want it to be slightly taller or extend slightly farther, simply modify the legnths of the galvanized pipes. In this way, the Desk Clamp Lamp can be made uniquely your own.

Step 1: Lamp Parts

Step 2: Twist Together

Twist the galvanized pipes together as shown in the picture.

Step 3: Attach Clamp

Attach the pipe clamp to the bottom of the 12" pipe.

Step 4: Snake the Cord

Snake the cord through the galvanized pipe starting from the end with the 12" pipe.

Keep in mind that this may be easiest if you untwist some of the connections and then retwist them after it is passed through.

Step 5: Take Apart the Track Light

Remove the screws from the plastic connector base of the track light and begin to take it apart.

Cut the two wires free from the bottom of the base plate, and pull the lamp cord out from the hole in the U-bracket.

Step 6: Cut Off the Base

Use a dremel to cut the nut on two sides to free it from the bolt. The plastic connector base should now be free from the metal U-bracket attached to the light. Discard the parts from the plastic connector base.

Step 7: Wire It Up

Slide heat shrink tubing onto the white and black wire from the power cord.

Solder the white wire from the light to the white wire from the cord.

Solder the black wire from the light to the black wire from the cord.

Insulate both connections with heat shrink tubing.

Step 8: Connect

Attach a toggle bolt to the light's bracket.

Insert the toggle bolt into the end of the lamp structure until it locks in place.

Fasten the light bracket firmly to the lamp structure by tightening the bolt.

Step 9: Insert the Bulb

Insert the halogen bulb into the light socket.

Step 10: Use It

Clamp the lamp to the edge of your desk and plug it in.

3 People Made This Project!


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19 Discussions


4 years ago on Introduction

OKAY!!!!!!! Easy enough even for me! Thanks, Randy. My whole studio will be

a la industrial from now on!


4 years ago

Hi there,
Speaking as an electrician:

The pipe should be earthed (grounded). The track base of the light you removed has a 3rd lug for this grounding, which would have provided grounding for the metal chassis of the light...
Likewise the pipe should be grounded in case any metal burrs nick the sheath of the flex...
Likewise cable entry and exit points into the conduit should have a rubber grommet at least to prevent any chafing.

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

O aterramento pode ficar diretamente na tomada. Não necessita outro. E o cabo de fio já está protegido, sendo esse da foto que é coberto com capa circular de borracha.


4 years ago on Introduction

Brilliant idea of using the pipe clamp parts as the desk hold down! That seems to be the weakest part of many clamp lamps.

jeremy loa

4 years ago on Introduction

I made one , but i can't take of a photo with my new desk clamp lamp .

It was so amazing , thanks for the guide :)


4 years ago on Introduction

i love your use of the toggle bolt to hold the lamp fixture in place. Have been experimenting with various other solutions with a similar style lamp ive been making, but i think your toggle bolt idea is much more elegant and a better design then what I was doing.

Thanks for the inspiration!


4 years ago on Introduction

Wow, totally awesome! I need this in my workshop! Love it! Love the animated picture too--is it a gif? I tried to upload a gif in an instructable and it didn't work...details please! :)

3 replies

(if a GIF is too large our system automatically resizes it, most GIFs will show as just as the first frame. Try making sure your GIF is smaller than 600px wide)


4 years ago

That thing sure isn't going anywhere! Very nice project


4 years ago

I very like this and I’ll share photos when I finish