Mini Keg Touch Lamp




This is a lamp with a touch sensitive on/off/dimmer switch, in which the all metal body of a 5 liter mini keg acts as the switch.

I'm not the originator of the project, just cooler than my friend who chose not to make an instructable for his lamp.

Not including the keg itself, which will vary by beer type and location, all the other parts cost less than $20.00.

This project involves modifying an electrical plug which could potentially be dangerous or a fire hazard. I'm not responsible for any damage caused by you following this instructable.

Step 1: Parts

All the parts can easily be found in the electrical isles of your local Home Depot.

- Mini Keg
- Touch Dimmer (screw-in type)
- Light Socket
- Light Bulbs
- Plug / Extension Cord
- Electrical Tape
- Aluminum Foil

- Needle Nose Pliers
- Utility Knife

Step 2: Prepare the Keg

Drink the Keg.

You will need to remove the tap and air vent in order to fit the wire through the inside of the keg.

I don't have pictures of the process, but just pull the tap all the way out until it comes completely out of the keg and then use pliers to pull out the rubber stopper. Do the same thing with the air vent plug and rubber stopper.

You might also want to wash out the keg to get rid of the stale beer aroma.

Step 3: Wiring It Up

This step goes over the wiring of the plug through the keg and attaching it to the light socket.

My Home Depot was out of just plugs attached to a wire, so I ended up having to buy this extension cord. It cost a grand sum of $1.24. The light socket I chose to get does not have a switch, if it is plugged in it is on. I chose one like this because the touch dimmer switch acts as an on/off switch as well.

1. Cut off the female end of the extension cord.
2. Thread the wire through the two holes in the keg.
3. Strip the ends of the extension cord wire and the light socket.
4. Splice them together and cover with electrical tape.
5. Pull everything back through the keg.
6. Test fit.

Step 4: Adding the Touch Switch

As you can see, the touch switch has a metal contact on each of the tabs that stick out from the bottom. Because the light socket I got is plastic I had to extend the contact points with aluminum foil to get them to reach the keg. If you don't do this, the dimmer switch won't work.

1. Fold up a 2" by 12" piece of aluminum foil until it is about the height of the light socket.
2. Repeat.
3. Push the foil between the contact points on the dimmer switch and the light fixture, making sure that the foil is long enough to touch the keg.
4. Tape the foil into place for sturdiness and appearance.

Step 5: Enjoy Your New Lamp

1. Add a light bulb and plug into the wall.
2. Touch lamp.
3. Enjoy not sitting in the dark.

You may have noticed that there is no step on how to attach the light socket to the keg. For my purposes I decided that I don't need a lamp shade, and so there is no additional weight on the light socket assembly. The assembly is stable enough on the top of the keg for my purposes thanks to the wires and foil holding it in place. If I had a glue gun or epoxy I would most definitely attach the lamp more permanently, however for now I don't need too.



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    16 Discussions


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    The keg doesn't need to be grounded, as it isn't part of the main circuit. The lamp part that connects to the wall socket is grounded. The keg is only part of the touch sensor, which is a capacitance switch that registers the increased capacitance in the circuit when skin is touching any part of the keg. This is why it won't work with gloves on.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Not to nit pick here but just wanted to let you know that a two prong AC plug is not grounded. The third, rounded prong would be a ground but lamps don't need that.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    and these mini kegs can be bought where?

    again, forgive me but I am uneducated about such things.

    I love this idea & would love to build one....was even thinking about one from a Pepsi type container...

    I made one from an old outdated fire extinguisher one time...then took it to the place where you would get them recharged, & had all the "official" labels & stickers applied. Turned out really cool looking. :)


    7 years ago on Introduction


    Because I do not drink alcohol, I am uneducated about most things pertaining to beer & booze.

    Is a pony keg & a mini keg the same thing?

    I think the pony has like 10 gallons or less in it(sorry, but I do not know metric versions)...

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Step 5

    imagine if this was an oil lamp....

    you would prolly only have to fill it 1x a year? 2x at most...LOL


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Hi!!!!Very nice!!! I myself made one before i saw your one, check and see what you think!! It was my first one, i had some trouble getting the white tube trough the hole on the top...but it ended pretty good looking XD


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry if I sound dense here...but if the lamp is turned on and off by touching the keg with bare skin, how is the dimmer operated? Cool instructable :)

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The first touch turns the lamp on dimly, second brightens it, third brightens it more, and forth touch turns it off.


    12 years ago

    project jacking is deffinitely not extra not pass not collect 200 dollars...etc.. i'd try to find a substance a little more reliable than tinfoil to make the contact between the touchmajig and the keg...but if it works it works


    12 years ago

    Not cool Sir-Skobes... As the above-mentioned "originator" of the project, I think it would've been more accurate to confess that, while you're the author of the instructable, you weren't cool enough to have thought of it yourself... I would've never given my consent had I known my coolness would be slandered in such a public forum. It just huts, that's all... Otherwise, good write-up.

    1 reply

    Reply 12 years ago

    Link us up to your project ;) And slander is spoken -- libel is written ;)