Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wiring a Lamp

Several years ago I created a pot to be made into a lamp for my wife. I have spent the time since then trying to figure out just how to wire it, and finish it to meet my specifications. It needed to be lit in two ways, interior, and upper lamp. I also realized that it needed a base to help facilitate the cord, and make it more stable. This last year, I took it to a local electrical shop and was told it was hopeless, and that anything I rigged up would be "crap" as I was not an electrician. So I was challenged to come up with my own devices to complete the project. First I planned out the wiring sketch. It was a simple idea, two interior bulbs, one exterior bulb, and a rotary switch in the base to control the inner bulbs.

Going to a home improvement store to select the partswas not so easy. I needed to connect all of the pieces together with threaded pipe. I needed to provide for wiring to go to the smaller bulbs,  wiring for the rotary switch, and do all of the connecting outside as space inside was tight. Cutting a hole in the threaded pipe was not an option as there would be sharp edges that might cut the wiring. I came up with the following set up.

The threaded pipe is attached to a plastic conduit connector that was altered with a little drilling. the other pieces are stock, including the candelabra sockets with threaded brackets that screwed on to the threaded pipe.

Following the wiring diagram, the finished wiring at the base was pretty simple once I figured to leave enough connection wire to move the whole assembly low in the pot to allow for the connections-tight fit.

Assembling the entire pot was not difficult as I had planned on over-sized washers with rubber washers between the pot and the metal washer and nuts. Although the light coming out of the center isn't too bright at this point, It will suffice to show details on the ruins.

Is it done? Not presently. I believe I need to add a top piece to raise the light socket and shade bracket about 1 1/2 inch higher-back to the potter's wheel. I also have a little grinding to do to the inside edge of the base to make the pot fit a little more level. Final effort will be towards finding a suitable shade to complete the project.

I am getting ready  to create a few more lamps, as people have expressed an interest in seeing more in this direction. This first project will allow the others to be done much easier.