We made a pipe shelf via The Brick House and wanted to accent the openings in our unit. Using pipe for fixtures/anything is a wonderful alternative due to the ease of putting it together (just screwing in one joint to another), sturdy (it's metal!), and cost (each part can range from a couple cents to less than $10). So here's our "accent" light instructable...
Step 1: Supplies
In making any pipe project, everything is about planning. Here, we knew the style we wanted (just a light to overhang) and went to the hardware store were we mixed/matched parts till we got what we envisioned.
The hardest part was figuring out what light to use - initially we thought we would just drop a wire through the pipe and make our own light, but due to cost and the fact that we have never fused/made lights from scratch, we just found lights that we took apart.
Remember to make sure all the parts fit together - we found that we could pop off the clip to the light and easily screw in the light to the 3/8" coupling. Hence, everything is based off this diameter, but if you want a thicker pipe, you can easily find couplings that go from one size to another.
And we used gas pipe (black) because it was slightly cheaper - the steel costs the most.
Technically, here is what we used, and again, the diameter was 3/8".
4x- 4" pipe
4x - flange
4x - 90 degree elbow
4x - 3/8" going to 3/8" coupling
4x- screw and washer (short enough that it will not go through the wood shelf)
4x - lights
Step 2: Spray Paint
To match our unit, we spray painted everything black. Before spray painting the pipes, make sure to clean them with some dish soap to get rid of the grease. Spraying the lights was easy too - I just wrapped the ends in tape and put the rest of the wires in an old strawberry carrier so they wouldn't get painted. Usually one coat is enough, with touch ups as needed.
Step 3: Putting It Together
And here's the fun/easy part - screwing it all together.
Flange --> 90 degree elbow --> 4" pipe --> coupling --> light.
Then just screw it into the shelf - we only used one screw and found it was sturdy enough. Since we wanted to use the screws we had on hand (but were too small for the hole) we used a washer to add width to the screw.
The wires are kept organized with some twist ties to the pipe.
Then all you have to do is plug it in, pour some scotch, and admire your highlighted artwork!
PS - What we are planning to add are dimmers to give more of an effect. I believe those can be easily and cheaply found at Ikea.