Fluorescent Lamp




About: Furniture hacker. Author of Guerilla Furniture Design, out now. Find me on Twitter and Instagram @objectguerilla.

I made this lamp in an attempt to strip down a lamp to its absolute basics: the electrical mechanism, a support structure for the bulbs, and some way to diffuse the light.

The electrical parts came from an old plug-in, fluorescent shop light witha pull chain and two four-foot bulbs. I disposed of the reflector and pull chain, salvaging the sockets, ballast, and wiring. I made a new structure for the bulbs with 5/8" and 1/4" glavanized threaded rod welded into a tripod. The bulb sockets were threaded onto hort segments of threaded rod welded to a cut washer. To keep the bulbs from tipping over, there are two retaining rings attached to a wood plate and bolted to the threaded rod. The ballast and a push-button switch are attached to the structure with magnets.

Having reduced the support structure and electrical mechanism to an elegant, bare contraption, I did not want to mess up the minimalism with some sort of bulky diffuser. So, I decided to make the bulb its own diffuser. Using spray adhesive and spray lacquer, I coated two three-foot long, 1" diameter fluorescent bulbs with superfine, high-quality glow pigment from an online supplier. When the bulbs are off, in daylight, they still look white and relatively smooth. When lit, the accretion of glow pigment and lacquer diffuses the light somewhat (though not as much as I would like), and when off, the bulbs glow for about a half-hour after the switch is flipped, gradually fading into darkness.

The glow feature can make a nice night light, and by itself, the lamp is a spare, clean, modern sculpture. The name puns on the duality of its fluorescence.



    • Paper Contest

      Paper Contest
    • Faux-Real Contest

      Faux-Real Contest
    • Warm and Fuzzy Contest

      Warm and Fuzzy Contest

    2 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    is there any way of connecting more then 1 tune to a ballast ie by connecting in series


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I always wanted to make hanging fluorescent tubes. Just a little rubber caps on top an bottom with clear-as-possible wire like speaker wire, leading down to the bottom tube. This looks really cool, great job. Seems like you have to store it carefully though. :\ Still love it!