Having seen a movie camera converted into a standard lamp my daughter wants one for her birthday.
Unfortunately I have to issue a statement to keep the elf and safety thought police happy. Anyone making a lamp such as this does so at their own risk. I cannot be held responsible for any problems which may arise from the use of faulty equipment or wiring. If necessary have a qualified electrician test it.
Step 1: Choose Your Style of Equipment
First you need to design the theme of your lamp. She wanted something vintage
Step 2: Research Your Camera
There is little engineering in this project. It's mostly researching and buying the components. I chose a Paillard Bolex 16mm camera as it looks like a serious piece of kit. I bought it on an auction site.
Step 3: Choose Your Tripod
You need to choose the tripod with care. The first one I bought was much too flimsy and is only suitable for a lightweight camera. In the end I found a microphone stand and bought a 3/8" to 1/4" adaptor to fit the camera or light on the tripod
Step 4: Research the Light Fitting
You obviously need to find a light fitting. I found a cine light that fits on the tripod under the camera. These lights take ES screw. She wanted a braided cable but this meant opening the unit so I bought coloured braid covering
Step 5: Research the Lamp or Bulb
My daughter wanted this type.
Step 6: Fit the Braid
The braid was used to customise the mains cable without replacing it. You need the same quoted diameter as that of the cable, in my case 6mm. Note however that you will need to order about 10-20% more than the cable you are covering because when fed over the cable its length will be reduced as it expands. When you feed the braid on to the cable take care not to allow the ends to separate and fray. It may be worth loosely wrapping the ends with tape. After fitting the braid I sealed the ends with heat shrink sleeving. Again wrap tape around the braid at the end of the sleeving to prevent the braid from being melted by the heat gun or whatever you use to shrink the sleeving.
Step 7: Research a Vintage Mains Plug
To preserve the vintage look you need a suitable mains plug. Make sure it's in good condition and is rated for the current your light will be drawing. I found one on an auction site. If you are planning to sell the lamp, you may want to leave the cable bare and offer the plug separately to avoid it having to be PAT tested.
Step 8: Assemble the Light
It's now a simple exercise to fit it all together and test it. The light I chose has a full power and a dim setting. I assume the latter setting inserts a resistor in the circuit. If this is the case it will overhead after a prolonged period, so don't use that setting. Enjoy