Turning a Garden Gazing Ball Into Decorative Light.





Introduction: Turning a Garden Gazing Ball Into Decorative Light.

I was sitting on the back porch one day, looking at the large glass gazing ball we have next to the back door and thought that would look real cool lighted up at night, so that is what I did.

Step 1: Collect the Parts:

The parts required fo this project are:

1 large transparent glass gazing ball, a non-transpartent ball would be sort of against the idea here
1 large rubber stopper that fits the hole in the base of the ball
1 light bulb socket, one without the pull chain
1 lamp rod
1 piece of lamp cord, can be scavenged from an old lamp or you could get a section of new and get a plug for the end, I used an extention cord with a rotory switch already installed.
1 inline rotory switch that attaches to the cord
1 light bulb about 25 watts seems to work good, make sure that is well fit throught the hole

Drill and drill bits, to put a hole in the rubber stoper
hacksaw to cut the lamp rod
wire cutter

Warning: This project should only be done by someone that is proficient in electrical wiring and knows how make proper connection, as we are dealing with something that is going to be connected to live household current and could seriouslly shock you if not done right.

Step 2: Preparing the Ball and Stopper.

First off clean the ball and pull the plug off the bottom if it has one. Take your stopper and drill a pilot hole for the lamp rod to go through, and the gradually open the hole up with larger and larger bits untill the hole is nice and round and is just big enough for the lamp rod to go through and not slide out of course.

Step 3: Preparing the Lamp Rod.

Once you have a hole in the stopper take the lamp rod and insert it throught the stopper so that it is sticking out of the small end of the stopper, the end with the smaller diameter, about 3-4 inches. Install the light socket onto the end of the lamp rod and put the bulb into the socket. Once, mocked up, stick the stopper into the hole in the bottom of the ball and check the placement of the bulb and adjust it up and down untill it is centered in the ball. When you have the bulb where you like it, remove the socket and bulb and cut off the excess lamp rod and keep it, you never know when it well be handy for fixing a broken lamp or making another lamp.

Step 4: Wiring

The first step to wiring the lamp is to install the plug onto the end of the cord if it does not already have one on it, follow the directions that came with the plug as there are many differnet types of replacement plugs. Now is a good time to install the rotory switch as well, you well want it about a foot and a half from the lamp end of the cord so that it sits below the lamp and is easy to get too, again follow the directions that come with the switch as my cord already had a switch installed on it. Now push the, now short end of the cord where the switch is, throught the bottom of the stopper/lamp rod assembly and pull it out the other side. Cut the cord down the middle, spitting the two wires apart and slide the base of the bulb socket over the wires and thread it to the lamp rod. Tie the now two individual wires into a knot so that the wires well not get jerked out if the cord gets triped over, although if that happens the glass ball is probably a gonner anyway but still do it, it is good practice. Strip the ends of the wires about 3/4" and connect them to the socket and install the socket to its base.

Step 5: Assembly

The easy part, thread the light bulb back onto the socket and insert the stopper back into the base of the ball and run the cord to the closest socket and enjoy.



    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest

    9 Discussions

    This is so cool. I'm going to try it with an outdoor stand and motion sensor light socket. Then I'll have extra light at the door when I come home.

    1 reply

    Thats a cool idea, I was thinking of redoing mine with LEDs cannibalized from a set of solar spotlights and make it solar powered.


    11 years ago

    It was originally a glass gazing ball, not the typical one that is mirrored obviouslly, it is now a colorfull glass lantern, as the instrucable shows you how to convert the decorative ball into a functioning lamp.

    i don't mean to be a pain i just am a real stickler for using the right name to describe something. it can lead to confusion in other circumstances and if you allow it in small things it becomes more acceptable in bigger things. my point being this. that is not a garden gazing ball it is more accurately described as a colourful glass lantern. A gazing ball is a mirrored sphere. again sory but it bugs me


    11 years ago

    Because I meant to take photos of the thing today and finnish the thing up, I ran out of time yesterday to take photos so I figured I could at least do the right up and then go back and add the photos when I had a chance, again I ran out of time so sorry in advance for not getting the photos up. As for why one needs a gazing ball to look at there garden, I don't know that is why I made it into a light so it would be more usefull.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago

    Got the photos taken.

    this of course makes me ask... do you really need some sort of ball ot gaze at your garden? :P

    1 reply

    what's with all these instructables that are posted before they're done, I'm a little confused about the logic...


    11 years ago

    Sorry no pics yet, I did this about a month ago and didn't take photos then, I go and pull it apart tomorrow and take pics of it being put together as it is real simple. I think aside from buying all the bits that I didn't have the whole thing took me about 30 min. to make.