Pipe Light




About: I like to make stuff.

This is a very simple project to make creative and unique lights out of standard available hardware.

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Step 1: Step 1: Tools

All you need is:

1. Flat head screwdriver

2. Box cutter (or other way to strip wire)

Step 2: Step 2: Supplies

What you'll need:

1. 3/8" pipe threaded both ends

2. 3/8" T-joint

3. 3/8" reducer from 3/8" to 1/8"

4. 3/8" pipe wall mount

5. Standard electric wire

6. Light bulb fixture

7. Light bulb

All of what I used was found and then up cycled but all of these can also be found at any local hardware store. Also feel free to get creative with the shapes. For some inspiration on other designs visit www.arcly.co.

Step 3: Step 3: Assembly

Wiring notes:

AC power can be connected with either wire at each terminal to function but for safety follow the below:

Hot: black wire (from the skinny prong) connects to the screw that connects to the interior tip of socket

Neutral: white wire (from the wide prong) connects to the screw that connects to the threaded body of socket

Step 4: Step 4: Get Creative

To get creative inspiration on new pipe configurations and designs go to: www.arcly.co/pipe-light/



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    13 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I like the look but you need to tie an 'underwriter's knot' to act as a strain relief inside the socket shell. There are instructions on how to tie it on the 'net. Just search for underwriter's knot.

    4 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Great point. I didn't add it to this quick version as the reduced diameter and elbow provided the stain relief I needed for my application but your definitely right it should be added. Here's a little instruction video I found on how to tie it for anyone who does this project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHRaRRWW34w


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Also known as a two strand crown knot. I didn't realize it was the same knot till I looked up the Underwriter's Knot after becoming familiar with crown knots.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    LOL I don't think I have seen 'underwriter knot' used since I was working on my Boy Scout Merit badge for electricity or was it the Home Repair Badge? Do you suppose they still do that in the Boy Scouts? What with our disposable society the way it is today, hardly anyone fixes anything.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I guess I am just getting old! I still tell people to hit the 'return key' instead of the 'enter key' and remember a full tank of gas for $4.00...


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Did I miss the part where you explained the importance of wiring the hot and neutral sides correctly? Just because an AC device will operate either way it's wired doesn't mean that one of those ways isn't the wrong way. Screw this up and you might electrocute the next person to change the bulb.

    The hot side must be connected to the center, tip conductor of the socket. The neutral side must be connected to the threaded body conductor of the socket.

    If you look at a bulb in a socket you will see that the threaded metal base conductor of the bulb is somewhat exposed and easy to touch (and becomes even more so as you unscrew it). It's easy for something to accidentally fall against that exposed conductor (long wet hair, necklaces, umbrellas, pocket watch chains, transistor radio antennas, pet leashes, propeller beanies, fencing foils -- I've got a longer list if necessary).

    The Hot conductor uses a black wire (and/or smooth) that connects to the skinny prong of the AC plug and the tip of the socket.

    The Neutral conductor uses a white wire (and/or grooved) that connects to the wide prong of the AC Plug and the threaded body of the socket.

    Hot: black, skinny prong --> tip

    Neutral: white, wide prong --> body

    (Yes, this all assumes an idiot didn't also wire your AC sockets.)

    1 reply

    Thanks for all the information for makers of this project. The AC cable that I had was an old cord off a different device that didn't have a wide prong at all so wiring it one way or the other didn't matter because it could be plugged into the wall each way mean hot was switched depending on how it gets plugged into the AC socket. I will add these points to the page for those who do have newer plugs.

    Really pretty. I wonder about the bulb fixtures though; I've never stumbled upon ones with 1/4" thread here in Poland. The standard thread is smaller, 10mm O.D. and looks more like 1/8". I have yet to verify that though.

    By the way, a friend of mine installed some explosion-proof industrial lighting fixtures in a room, with wires in standard 3/8" plumbing pipes. I don't know how he interfaced the fixtures with the piping, since the fixtures probably have PG11 thread. There were some doohickeys looking like adapters at each pipe/fixture - most likely custom made with a lathe.

    Visit http://www.urbanremainschicago.com/products/lighting/factory-lighting.html to see some nice fixtures too :)

    1 reply

    Thank you very much for pointing that out! You are absolutely correct I recorded it wrong and I will make the change right away as it is supposed to be a 1/8" IPS thread which will thread directly on 1/8" end of the reducer.

    Thanks for catching that and awesome fixtures at the site that you provided.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    OK, that is a great idea, vintage looking light costs incredible much money here, and this is a perfect replica for almost nothing.

    Now all i need is to figure out how to build the metal part around the light itself to make it look like a vintage spotlight.

    1 reply

    Thanks! Yes I actually did all mine from found parts so it was completely free. I have been thinking about some cheap/free metal shade ideas as well but if you come up with any and make them definitly post a picture here so we can see!


    5 years ago

    it's nice tnx