Steampunk Porch Light




So, this is my first Instructable 0.o. This site has always given me inspiration, and I hope this will be the first of many of it's kind to give back to the community. I'm kind of using the lighting competition as motivation to get me started. When they announced the lighting competition, there was a picture of a lamp made of pipe with an "Edison bulb" in it. This got the gears working. I needed a light for my front porch, so I decided to make a Steampunk Porch Light!


Step 1: Tools and Materials

You'll need to gather the following tools and materials:


  • Drill
  • Nail punch (optional)
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Drill bit
  • Chop-saw
  • Gloves
  • 3D Printer (possible to be done without it)
  • Grinding wheel (maybe)
  • Sand paper
  • Retractable Razor Blade
  • Hot glue gun


  • x2 Edison Bulbs ($5.37 each = $10.74)
  • About 4' of wire (I already had laying around)
  • Wire heat wrap ($1.45)
  • 2x Servalite model 1410lu light sockets ($3.37 = $6.74)
  • Tube of Silicone ($5.21)
  • Acetone ($4.97)
  • Rust-Oleum Hammered copper color spray paint ($5.76)
  • Clear coat spray paint ($3.70)
  • 4x 1/2" Black iron 45° Elbows ($1.86 each = $7.44)
  • 3x 1/2" Black iron 90° Elbows ($1.54 each = $4.62)
  • 1/2" Black iron Tee ($1.97)
  • 2x 1/2" to 3/8" Black iron reducing couplings ($1.74 each = $3.48)
  • 8x 1/2" x 1" Black steel nipple fittings ($.90 each = $7.20)
  • 1/2" x 5" Black steel pipe ($1.77)
  • 1/2" x 2" Black steel nipple fitting ($1.31)
  • 1/2" Black iron floor flange ($2.08)
  • 4 in. Schedule 40 PVC Coupling ($3.92)

Total cost: $72.36 (Dear lord! that escalated quickly, oh well)

Step 2: Pipe and Wire

It helps to lay everything out to get the basic design you want. One cool thing about this project is that it's completely modifiable. If you don't like the configuration I picked, try your own! Later on I may even change mine to a single bulb configuration, one for each side of my door.

I used the light socket to find where I needed to drill the hole on the side of the pipe. When drilling a hole in pipe, it helps to use a punch to make a little starting point for the drill bit. I then just used a pair of pliers to the hold the piece while drilling through. It really isn't that hard. I then fastened the socket to the pipe using an appropriate size screw that I found around the house.

Once the socket is attached, strip the ends, on both the wire from the socket, and the wire that will run through the pipe. Slide a piece of shrink wrap on one end and twist the wires together. Then slide the shrink wrap to cover the exposed wire and use a heat gun or lighter to shrink it.

Feed the wire through the pipe as you go. Make sure you tighten all fittings very well. It can be a pain to go back and tighten them after the fact.

Step 3: The Shade

My idea for the shade came from a few other Steampunk lamps I found online. At first, I thought I could do it without the 3D printer, but then, I just found it easier to use it for most of these parts. I'm sure you can mount the PVC rings with a few odds and ends from Home Depot. But unfortunately I didn't have time to cover that alternative method in detail.

Here is the link to the rings, sides and base that I uploaded to thingiverse:

I used PLA for all of these parts. I could print the rings, but I'm going to use the PVC instead. I setup my chop-saw with a stopper clamped to it so each cut would be about the same... well it really didn't work out that way. I did my best, but it was nearly impossible to get a perfect 90° cut on my chop-saw. Oh well, a little grinding on my grinding wheel did the trick. Hopefully you'll have better luck on your saw. :-)

After 3D printing the sides, base and grinding down the rings a bit, I snapped it all together and made sure everything fit. I had to do a little sanding on the base to slip it on the light socket without too much force. Once snapped together, I used hot glue to secure the rings to the sides.

I then painted both shades with the hammered spray paint. I found that you have to lay it on kinda close and thick to get the "hammered" look.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

Now all that's left to do is slide the shades on and hook it up. I had to use some sand paper because the bases were a little tight sliding on the socket. I guess I would rather them be tight than loose.

Because this is black iron, and I plan for it to be outside, it will most likely be prone to rust. So, using my gloves, I wiped everything down with a little acetone and sprayed the pipe with clear coat. I then used some silicone caulk around the sockets to prevent water from getting in.

For the wiring all you have to do is twist together one side of both wires then the other. One side will go to the black wire and the other to the white.

Speaking of wiring, let me take the opportunity to voice a disclaimer. I am not an electrician, I don't know if this would be up to code (my guess would be it isn't). If you intend to really use this as a porch light on your house, I would recommend consulting an electrician to see what is needed to make it compliant. As for me, I try to use common sense and pray I don't burn my house down.

Step 5: Done!

That's about it! Here are some pictures of it all lit up at night. Though the cost ended up being a little more than I expected, over all I am pleased with how it turned out.

I hope this Instructable was helpful and informative. Happy making my friends! :-)



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    27 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Are you sure the reducing couplers are 1/2" to 3/8"? Looks like the are 3/4" to 1/2".


    4 years ago on Step 5

    That is way cool. Congratulations on a great idea and a very good instructable.

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    That's a really nice design.

    I'd love to build a pair out of all copper tubing sweated together.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks! I thought about copper.. but we have some trouble in our town with people stealing it.. so I went with the black iron. : )


    4 years ago

    Very cool! What about bulb heat vs PVC and plastic?

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    The Edison bulbs don't seem to put out a lot of heat. Even after quite some time turned on, the pvc doesn't feel hot.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    cool idea. only problem in my area at least is it's not up to code in several ways. you need a box behind the lamp, you need to use special wiring, put the wires in approved conduit and i have no idea if there are restrictions on the material you used to form the housing. great look though!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! Yeah, the pictures are actually a little misleading. I mounted it and rigged it up real quick just to get the pictures, because I didn't have time to wire the box before the contest deadline. Oh well :-)


    4 years ago on Introduction


    This light looks really awsome!!

    Well done indeed!

    Yours Aeon Junophor

    Winged Fist

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Fantastic steampunk lamp! Also really well documented and photographed... One would think you're already a pro at this Instructable thing!;-) Looking forward to future projects!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Nice finished product; good tutorial. :) Think I'll make one for my workshop.

    Tarun Upadhyaya

    4 years ago on Step 3

    Great instructable and an awesome lamp :). Thanks for sharing :)