DIY Industrial Light

DIY Industrial Light // The Merrythought
I’ve been admiring the painted industrial lights and pendants lights that seem to be popping up everywhere lately. However the price tags you see for some of them are a bit steep. I mentioned my new obsession to Mike, who walked out to his garage and came back in with a vintage green industrial light!! What doesn’t this guy have in his garage?! I decided I wanted to hang one in each of the rooms upstairs, so I needed to come up with two more.
Mike has quite a few clamp lights that he uses for work and one day after seeing one, I had the idea to try to turn one of those into my very own industrial light.  It turned out to be an easy, very affordable project (under $20 a light, even less if you already have spray paint or buy a smaller size clamp light).

Supplies you’ll need:

  • clamp light (mine is from Home Depot)
  • spray paint
  • adhesive remover, such as Goo Gone
  • ceiling hook
  • tape (painters tape is best)
  • light bulb
  • a good-looking man to do your dirty work  – optional

DIY Industrial Light // The Merrythought
DIY Industrial Light // The Merrythought
iDIY Industrial Light // The Merrythought
DIY Industrial Light // The Merrythought
How to do it:

  • Remove clamp from light socket, it should just slide off.
  • Remove any stickers that are on the light socket and shade, using adhesive remover if necessary. (Be gentle with lamp shade, it can dent easily)
  • Tape the holes at the top of light so that when you spray the shade, it doesn’t go through to the other side.
  • Spray paint the shade, following the instructions on the can you’re using. Your shade will likely need 2 to 3 coats. I, okay, Mike painted both the inside and outside of my shade (blue & white).
  • After shade is dry, screw the light socket into the shade.
  • Put in your light bulb.
  • Attach the ceiling hook where you’re going to hang the light.
  • Hang your light from the hook and plug cord into an outlet.
  • Enjoy your handy-work!

DIY Industrial Light // The Merrythought
DIY Industrial Light // The Merrythought

Glossy spray paint looks best! I tried one with satin spray paint and it didn’t look as good.

If you try this out, I’d love to see it, leave a comment with a link. xo. Manda

  • MariaTuesday, February 26, 2013 - 5:31 pm

    Hi! Maria from craftgawker here. Just thought you’d like to know this post would be great on dwellinggawker as well as craftgawker. You can submit to both sites. Thanks for submitting!ReplyCancel

  • AmritaWednesday, February 27, 2013 - 2:13 am

    Excellent Idea. May I ask where you bought your light socket?ReplyCancel

    • MandaWednesday, February 27, 2013 - 9:41 am

      The light socket comes with the clamp light; mine is from Home Depot. I’m sure most hardware/home improvement stores would carry the clamp lights.ReplyCancel

  • TeresaWednesday, February 27, 2013 - 1:03 pm

    I love it Mand ( uuu I mean Mike) Hehehehehe!!!!ReplyCancel

    • MandaWednesday, February 27, 2013 - 3:16 pm

      Haa – thanks Miss Teresa!ReplyCancel

  • LisaWednesday, February 27, 2013 - 1:05 pm

    Did you get your vintage style bulb from Home Depot? LOVE it! Just remodeled my sewing and craft room and this light would be PERFECT! Thanks for the tute – would never have tried this by myself!ReplyCancel

    • MandaWednesday, February 27, 2013 - 2:17 pm

      Lisa – glad you like the light! Yes, the vintage-style bulb is from Home Depot, in the section with all the regular light bulbs.ReplyCancel

  • random CindyWednesday, February 27, 2013 - 2:07 pm

    It looks great. I have several of those clamp lights already!ReplyCancel

    • MandaWednesday, February 27, 2013 - 2:21 pm

      Thanks Cindy! Make some pretty lights with your clamp lights!!ReplyCancel

  • Erin @ Thanks, I Made ItMonday, March 4, 2013 - 10:58 pm

    This is sooooo great! I love the turquoise too. Definitely going to try this one!ReplyCancel

  • Kurt AndersonSunday, September 8, 2013 - 9:30 pm

    My wife loves the Tiffany Blue! What Rustoleum color if you don’t mind telling??ReplyCancel

    • MandaMonday, September 9, 2013 - 9:19 am

      Hi – we used Krylon brand, Blue Ocean Breeze (in Glossy).ReplyCancel

  • SherriThursday, December 11, 2014 - 3:32 pm

    Love this!! 🙂 Wondering if this would work with the pendant light adapter kit from Home Depot, that is for converting can lights to pendants…?ReplyCancel

    • MandaTuesday, December 16, 2014 - 9:06 am

      Hi Sherri – it might! I can’t say for sure, as I haven’t tried and haven’t actually seen the kits in person – but from looking at the description online, it seems like it would.ReplyCancel

  • RachelWednesday, April 15, 2015 - 11:08 pm

    Hi, does the heat from the light effect the paint or emit any odor after being on a while?ReplyCancel

    • MandaThursday, April 16, 2015 - 9:03 am

      Hi Rachel – we’ve never had a problem with that at all. We have a regular 75 watt bulb in it (not the one shown in the picture). The light is currently hanging in my son’s room, as the main light, so it gets used regularly (and sometimes is on for hours because sadly, he often forgets to turn off the light!), and no issues with paint or odor. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole WilkensMonday, October 5, 2015 - 12:00 am

    Genius! Doing this next weekend! 🙂ReplyCancel

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