Reclaimed Timber Edison Lamp





this is my first instructable and I really hope you'll enjoy it. Please excuse my english if there are any mistakes, but my first language is german. Anyway I wanted to do this in english to reach more people.

The Lamp that I built was a christmas present for my girlfriend. I think she really likes it...

Warning: as I am not very much into electrical standards, rules and laws (especially outside of Germany) I will not really mention safety topics. So if you don't know what you are doing when wiring something find someone who knows!

Step 1: The Golden Ratio

Know the golden ratio? Use it!

My piece of wood is exactly 1/1.618 times the length of the table below and the distance between the chains is exactly 1/1.618 times the length of the wood. And it looks really harmonic.

Length of table: 2.25 m

Length of wood: 1.39 m

Distance between chains: 0.86 m

Step 2: Things You Need


  • a nice piece of old wood
  • sockets (the amount you want; I got these nice ones with a switch)
  • textile cable (as these are not cheap, make a good calculation of the necessary length)
  • a chain (length depends on your ceiling height and the height you want to have the lamp)
  • something to connect the chain and the wood (I used an old piece of aluminum which was around, ring nuts and shackles)
  • 2 hooks for the ceiling


  • drills
  • something to make a groove
  • screw driver
  • things you need for the wiring (I don't know what ist necessary in your region)

Step 3: Make a Groove

Probably you don't want to see all the wiring on the finished lamp. So you have to make some kind of groove on top of your piece of wood. I did it with a chisel and a hammer because I don't have a router and I also thought it would be cool and manly. And yes, it was! But it was also really lengthy and bloody as I hit my hand with the hammer more than once. Anyway it was satisfying to do it this way. And I got some really good pieces to light my fireplace ;-)

Maybe you could vote for this instructable in the reclaimed wood contest and I get the chance to win a router ;-) Thank You!

A tip in the end: You will need a deeper groove than you think you'll need. So keep going!

Step 4: Make a Hanger

Use anything you want! Probably a threaded hook would be the easiest solution. But be careful to not crack the woold by screewing in a big screw/hook without proper preparation.

Step 5: Trimming the Cable

If you want to wrap the cable around the piece of wood like I did, just measure how much cable you need for one revolution to go on calculating. Then just cut them.

Step 6: Wiring

As I said in the introduction: Stick to your local rules. If you don't: Don't blame me for burning your house!

One point to mention: Make sure the cables are fixed mechanically so that there is no tension on the electrical connections.

Step 7: The Bulbs

First I wanted to use these trendy Edison Bulbs. But then I saw their effeciency. It would be OK for just one bulb. But if you have 8, that's a lot of money spent for lighting (particularly in Germany).

Normal bulbs are no alternative in Europe as they are banned.

That's why I used LED filament bulbs. They look pretty much the same as the real ones. There is only one major disadvantage: they are very glary if not shaded. I'm thinking about coloring the glass in a sepia like color by mixing some bulb paints.

I hope you liked this instructable. If you did, please vote for it!



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6 Discussions


2 years ago

Cheap, easy and beautiful


2 years ago

Really well done. Love the idea.


2 years ago

LOVE it! I'm going to give something like this a try for a very high ceiling, one wall has an old burly barn door on it and I think this will go great in that room it will prob hang 15'-20' I can't wait!


2 years ago

Hey, i'm doing an similar project and want to use 4 of these leds. how much wattage are yours?

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

Hey, I used 4 small 3W-Bulbs and 4 bigger ones with I think 6W. It is more then enough. Most of the time we have the bigger ones switched off.


Nice! This looks great. It would be perfect for a steam punk design or a general rustic look.