Recycle Old Light Fixtures to Create Artistic LED Lighting




About: (note to self: fill this out later)

Find old lighting fixtures at thrift stores, garage sales, etc. Clean them up and then incorporate LED light strings to create futuristic looking lighting.

Step 1: Purchase LED Light String

Purchase LED light string. Typically they cost from $9 to $13 US Dollars. These can be purchased around the holidays, Christmas and Halloween especially. Some places you can probably find them year round. Watch for sales after the holidays to get a better deal.

Step 2: Unpack the LED Light String and Stuff It in the Lamp Fixture

I often find lighting fixtures at thrift stores for a few dollars or even less then a dollar.

It's best to clean the fixture first since it's probably a bit dusty and dirty if you've purchased it secondhand. To do this I usually just soak it in soapy warm water and then rinse it off.

Take the light string out of the box. It is probably neatly bundled and strapped with a twist tie.

Undo the twist tie and tangle them up a bit. It's going to look better with LED lights pointing in all directions.

Step 3: Finished!

Now you have a lighting fixture ready to be plugged in. All that sticks out from the fixture is the cord ready to be plugged in.

There are as many ways to put on finishing touches as you can imagine. You could potentially mount it as a standard light fixture or put it on a nice finished plastic or wooden base.

Step 4: Finished and All Lit Up!

Finished and all lit up! This picture is of the light turned on it's side. The intro pic is of it sitting flat on the floor.

Looking forward to seeing pictures of what other people do with this. This is a simple project that almost anyone could do.

My only caution would be that you are working with standard house level voltages. Be careful not to pinch or potentially short circuit the wiring of these LED light strings.



    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest
    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019
    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure

    7 Discussions

    Sweet! Looks like the mind control device from the penal colony (he he he he... penal) on that old Star Trek episode. (Seen again, as a similar device, in that crappy 3rd season episode set in the nutbar colony with that shape-shifting former Starfleet captain and all that chess move code B.S.) P.S. Anyone else think that Dr. Simon van Gelder looks like Charles M. Wolf from Bugs Bunny (the wolf that could not remember he was after a rabbit).


    11 years ago on Step 1

    I am going to do over a florescent fixture with a bunch of Super White Led's . I will just keep soldering them into it untill one or three things goes down. A:I run out of space to add more,B:I get it as bright as 2-4 foot booth lite florescent bulbs. C:The wife forbids my going to the LED store. She already cut me off of the LED Christmas lights last year. But i can see all night very well thanks to 8 blue strings an 3 white ones strung at the edges of my shops walls. I can see well and the whole set of strings is consuming around 0.46A AC 110V Just one of the incandescent type night lites i had before was rated a 7W 110V and i was always bashing my legs or squinting to see something. They seemed to have some very bright blue ones last year and i love the light they give off. I would buy as many as i could every time i saw them if i could. :)

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I love this project!! I took it one step further or sideways and wired some strings of battery operated LEDs to some old cordless phone transformers. I have some light bulb to outlet converters so that I can take the whole deal and put it on my ceiling fixture using the adjusting screws. The only problem was that I added too many strings of the tiny rice LEDs and burned out one of the transformers. They are easy enough to find at thrift stores or yard sales. Thanks


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Any color will do. But yes the most common ultra brights are that whitish purple color. I have some that are very purple and will cause florescence to occur. I believe I got them around halloween they have a slight black light effect. I do have a passion for LEDs :D

    yup I had these in a mousepad witha usb hub on it for whatever reason now I have a blacklight beer can hub (blacklight kind nightclubs) I know this as when I look at it close up all I see is purple haze (now idea why but my whole eye fluoresces under blacklight so I can't see


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice project. I love anything to do with reuse. Especially when it involves LED's