DIY Copper Lamp Tutorial. Custom design for my Tiny House

DIY Copper Lamp Tutorial. Custom design for my Tiny House

After 20,000 miles on the road, our original ceiling lamp bit the dust. Instead of purchasing a new light, we decided to make one from scratch! This DIY copper pipe lamp is now structurally sound for the road, and we were able to customize the bulb placements to give us extra light in our tiny home. Enjoy this step by step tutorial!

*Click here for a tutorial on our DIY copper pipe curtain rods.

THGJ Copper Light - 0013

Step 1: Design your lamp

We designed our lamp to have three bulbs pointing towards the ceiling to create a soft bounce light in our living room. A lot of our design was trial and error – holding the design up to the ceiling and making adjustments. The overall look we were going for was a mix between rustic and steampunk. Keep in mind, the larger your lamp design the more expensive it will be. Copper piping is not cheap. For a cheaper alternative, you can make the same lamp out of PVC pipes and fittings painted any color you want.

Our ceiling lamp cost $175 in materials 

THGJ Copper Light - 0001

2). Purchase materials

Once you have a design drawn out, it’s time to purchase materials. Any big box hardware store will sell copper pipping and fittings. Check the plumbing section for adaptor and fitting options. We chose to purchase more than we needed and returned any extra materials.

Materials used to construct our DIY copper pipe lamp:

  • Copper piping – 1/2″
  • Copper elbows, tees, and adapters
  • 3 light sockets
  • Wiring
  • Electrical tape
  • Iron floor flange (for lamp base)
  • Copper-colored spray paint
  • Additional aesthetic pieces: mini flower pot, gage and spigot

Tools used:

THGJ Copper Light - 0003

Step 3: Paint parts that you want to look copper

Our light sockets and iron floor flange needed to be painted copper to match the rest of the lamp. We used one can of hammered metal finish spray paint by Rust-Oleum. We kept some pieces gold colored because we liked the look.

DIY Copper Pipe Lamp

Step 4: Cut tubes to length & lay out assembly

We suggest laying out your lamp pieces on the floor before assembly. Improvise adjustments if needed.

THGJ Copper Light - 0008

Step 5: Pre-drill holes for revits

After trying and failing with glue, we chose to assemble the light with rivets. Pre-drill holes in the adapters and tubes.

THGJ Copper Light - 0004

Step 6: Feed wire & assemble

Assemble your pieces together with rivets, feeding wire through as you go.

Step 7: Wire the sockets

We used these light holders and found adapters that would fit the copper tubing . It was necessary to disassemble the light holders we purchased to remove the socket. Next we wired the socket to the electrical wires and insulated the wires and socket with electrical tape. We wired our sockets in parallel and made sure the threaded part of the socket was connected to the neutral wire and not the hot wire (more info here).

THGJ Copper Light - 0012

Best Safety Masks Reviewed and Rated

Step 8: Finish lamp assembly

Assemble the last pieces together, including sockets, with rivets. Insert lightbulbs (LED Edison bulbs). In our situation, the sockets fit snugly enough that we didn’t even need to secure them but you could easier put a setscrew in the adapter to prevent the socket from wiggling away.

Step 9: Connect to power

Test your lamp while it’s still on the ground.

diy copper pipe lamp

Step 10: Connect your DIY copper pipe lamp to your house wiring

All finished! Enjoy your new DIY copper lamp.

diy copper pipe lamp_2Disclaimer: We are not electricians! This tutorial involves electricity and is to be done at your own risk.

You may also be interested in this tutorial article:

copper curtain rods

Follow:
Share:

12 Comments

  1. October 4, 2016 / 4:13 am

    Great discussion is going on.

  2. September 13, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    hope your security system works well. 🙁

      • September 19, 2016 / 11:41 am

        Copper is a popular item to steal from homes, especially ones still being built. It fetches $2/lb or so from scrap dealers, and a lot of addicts do this to get their drugs.

  3. Renée Batson
    September 9, 2016 / 5:23 pm

    Great job! Yes, very steampunkish but simple and unique. Thanks for sharing!

  4. September 9, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    How hot do the bulbs get? They are pretty close to the wooden ceiling. Is that a real plant? I was always told water and electricity are a bad combination.

    • September 13, 2016 / 5:06 pm

      The bulbs are LED and do not get very hot. Also they seem closer than they actually are in this photo. The plant is real, but it’s a cactus and doesn’t require much water. Also the put it is in is not connected to any wiring in any way.

Leave a Reply