DIY Pendant Light Kit – Quick & Easy Lighting Projects
I’m reviewing a DIY pendant light kit for those of you who may not be ready to wire up plugs and sockets yet. This is an inexpensive ready-made kit which takes care of the electrical bits for you, and leaves you flexibility of choosing a shade and a location.
The kit is available on Amazon and looks like this when you receive it. This is the kit I’m using on Amazon.
It is a plug-in pendant light kit, so you don’t need to hardwire anything. It also includes a switch to turn the light on and off, and lightweight mounting hardware. The kit says it’s for paper lanterns, but it can be used for other creative options as well. The socket has a mechanical strain relief, so it can carry a shade with some weight, although no weight limit is provided by the manufacturer.
Another very handy feature of this DIY pendant light kit is that it has a shade ring. The shade ring allows you to mount a shade on the socket. You can use standard commercially available shades, or get creative.
I tried 3 different shades on the DIY pendant light kit for different looks and hopefully stimulate some creativity for your project.The light cord is 15 feet long. The switch is located 5 feet up the cord from the plug. I noticed the description on Amazon says it’s an 11 foot kit. I don’t know if they’re measuring from the switch to the socket and still off by a foot – ? I took out my tape measure, twice, and measured what I received, and it is 15 feet in total length.
DIY Pendant Light Kit Project #1
First, I wanted to use an outdoor lighting enameled metal shade I picked up at a flea market somewhere along the line. It’s weathered and rusty and real…oops, I mean, it has “great patina” :). These aren’t too difficult to find at vintage stores, flea markets, and the like. Sometimes you can find new replicas on Amazon, and you can usually find a few on Etsy.
The shade ring isn’t the same size as the shade I have, so I am using a leftover metal washer I picked up at a local hardware store and painted as an adapter. The inside of the washer fits the shade ring, and the outside of the washer is big enough to hold up the shade.
I attached the washer to the socket with the shade ring, and now I can use shades with larger openings than the shade ring would support.
I then routed the plug end of the wire through the shade from the bottom. Pull the cord all the way through, and the shade rests on the washer held by the socket’s shade ring.
Here’s a look at the new light, all built in 5 minutes. It makes for a great outdoor lighting idea, simple and cheap.
DIY Pendant Light Kit Project #2
I wanted to try a smaller shade which would help the Edison bulb stand out, rather than be hidden. I happened to pick up a smaller piece which I think probably came from a lantern at some time. You could use almost anything really. This wasn’t meant to be a lampshade originally, but it works. There’s a saying that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Well, when you want to build a light, everything looks like a light waiting to be made.
For this shade, the washer-adapter trick was needed as well. Simply thread the cord through the shade and you’re done.
My goal with this version was to make the bulb the focal point of the light. I chose a quad-loop filament for it’s interesting-ness, and a bulb of fairly large size. The shape/size of this bulb is “A23”. Here’s a link to the bulb. There are of course a myriad of filament/shape/size combinations available. Here’s a picture of the smaller shade with the bulb.
DIY Pendant Light Kit Project #3
If you’d like a cleaner, more modern look you can use readily available glass lamp shades with this DIY pendant light kit. There are tons of colors and patterns available. A search for “glass 1-5/8″ fitter shades” will turn up plenty of options (link searches Amazon). I used a seeded glass shade for this, again so the Edison bulb could “shine”. Here are some other options:
The washer isn’t needed for the proper sized fitter shade (1-5/8 inches). Simply remove the shade ring, slip the shade on, and replace the ring. Don’t over-tighten the ring though. You want to hold the shade firmly in place, but not break the glass. Just snug is tight enough, and leaves room for minor expansion and contraction of the glass in the heat and cold.
Here’s the light with a seeded glass shade
Using a DIY pendant light kit makes it easy to create very different lights in minutes. It’s a simple project that’s inexpensive and practical.