Reclaimed Timber Edison Lamp




Introduction: 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!

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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!

Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016

Participated in the
Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016

1 Person Made This Project!


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    Cardboard Speed Challenge
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6 Discussions


3 years ago

Cheap, easy and beautiful


3 years ago

Really well done. Love the idea.


3 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!


3 years ago

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


Reply 3 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.

DIY Hacks and How Tos

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