Lighting Ideas: Repair, Reuse, Recycle this Winter!

It’s that time of the year again! Enchanting luxury self-catering thatched cottage St Agnes, luxury thatched holiday Cottage St AgnesDays are getting shorter and Christmas is upon us again! With spending more time inside, than any other season, what better time to finally set some quality time aside for yourself and give that DIY project a try!

If you have been struggling to think of what kind of presents to get your family members or friends, why not surprise them with a home made gift this year? Or maybe you were looking for ideas on how to boost your mood at home this winter. On dreary and dark evenings, when the sun sets sooner, entering a house lit with warm and dimmed lights, makes coming back home feel more special! Adding some extra lighting can help you achieve that! Instead of buying a new lamp why not try out making one yourself ? If you are looking to create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere at home, without spending a fortune, we have some creative ideas for you to try out this winter!Looking forward to hearing all the old #Christmas songs?! What is your favourite?!

Here’s some lighting inspiration and few practical tips which will hopefully encourage you to “do it yourself” this winter!


Repair a chandelier

Do you have an old chandelier sitting in the attic? Think of the possibilities! Jazz it up with some colourful lighting cable aka flex, or go for more traditional look and add neutral/vintage tones, also you might need some new earthed lamp holders and replace any broken or split candle tubes and you’ve got yourself a new and revamped Chandelier which brings elegance and grace to any living or dining room area!



Reuse wine bottles(Pinterest images)

Up-cycle some old wine bottles with some twinkle lights, you can purchase them from various shops that can easily fit into a bottle, opt for smaller ones with a yellow or warmer glow, and place them inside the bottle reusing corks or leaving them open if they came without one! For a better effect use 1 large bottle for a statement piece or several like these 3 to emphasise the result.


Upcycle glass bottles

Instead of buying light shades try using fancy bottles of your favourite beverages, and fit them with a golden LED bulb which will not only last you longer, but it will also release that warm glow through a see-through “shade” which shows off the designer bulb as well as the bottle! A lot of LED bulbs have ornamental designer elements to them, there are so many bulbs to choose from, curly filaments to jewel ones that can make a statement and light up any room!


Reimagine, recreate and remake the vintage(Pinterest images)

Why not turn a homely object into a table lamp and give it as a present this Christmas? Maybe use a gorgeous teapot or a pretty vase picked up from an antique shop or local thrift store. Simply choose one of our table lamp kits, you will need to know the aperture of the top of your bottle/table lamp, material you are working with and if there is an exit hole for the flex, or you can use a side entry tube instead. Just don’t forget to pick out your favourite colour of flex, switch and plug.


Some other ideas worth mentioning include:

(Pinterest images)Using natural elements for interiors, a tree branch wrapped around in lighting flex and bulbs hanging down, instead of the usual chandelier/pendant?. An organic and eco-friendly solution for a country home perhaps or to compliment that fresh cut Christmas tree inside your house.

  • Do you have a family heirloom that has been passed down through generations, but needs a repair? Why not revive the antique or vintage item, and give it to a relative for Christmas; or if you can’t bear to pass on your handy work, place it strategically in your home to show it off at the next family gathering!
  • Candles are also are a great and quick way of adding some light and comfort for any occasion, but be careful around the flammables!

Why not Check out previous blog posts of our ‘How To…’ questions to help you on your lamp-making journey!

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this post! If you would like to further similar DIY project ideas or tips for lighting let us know in the comments!

If you need any more advise or information about lamp parts and hardware just follow the link for our FAQ’s here and Useful Information Pages or give us as call on 01223 750153.

Seasons Greetings from Lamps and Lights!


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Tripod Lamp – A customers story

After coming to the decision that I couldn’t find a good-looking tripod lamp without spending big money, I decided to create my own.

I sketched a few ideas and perused the Internet for inspiration, but what I was planning was fairly unique. I wanted to match simple geometric shapes to produce something clean and fairly timeless. I’m also a sucker for old nautical hardware, so solid brass and dark wood was my starting point.

chris-harris-image4The domed brass crown was first turned down by hand using a metal lathe, from 100mm solid bar. The sides were then cut on a milling machine, but a slight slip of the hand-wheel meant I had to adapt a few dimensions! A 1/2″ thread was then tapped into the centre hole to accommodate your solid brass light fittings.

1/4″ Brass dome nuts were sourced locally, but I found it almost impossible to find the perfect thumbscrews. In the end I found a Canadian company making these beautiful round ones, and a week later they had arrived with me in New Zealand!

The surface of all the brass parts were finished by hand, giving them a uniform but slightly textured matte finish. It took me many hours and multiple attempts to get this right, but I’m happy with the result.

chris-harris-image6All of the brass was left overnight in a salt and cider vinegar solution, and then baked in an oven to age the metal. It darkens the metal overall, but the patina is unpredictable and mine didn’t look pleasant.

I should note that I had to first remove lacquer from one of the brass parts using nail polish remover. Extremely important before baking as it’s highly flammable.

The parts looked like they’d been pulled from an old sea wreck! But I had further plans: rubbing the raised areas with Brasso brought the surface back to a shine, with the recessed areas retaining their patina. It’s a very subtle antiqued look, which doesn’t look forced. I finished the brass with Renaissance wax to prevent further oxidisation.

chris-harris-image5The legs were turned from Kwila wood, and I used the old milling machine to cut each of the slots. Most of my time was spent sanding the wood, all the way down to 600 grit.

Two coats of Danish Oil brought up the grain beautifully, with small golden flecks naturally mimicking the shiny brass hardware.chris-harris-image3

The lamp is wired using Lamps and Lights’ braided flex cable in burgundy and I plan to add a floor switch at a later date. I also opted for the large globe filament bulb without a shade. However, the option is there for the future!

Hope you like my project – it’s the first lamp I’ve ever made, and the first project of this kind I’ve ever attempted. It’s definitely been a labour of love, but I have a feeling it should last me a while.chris-harris-image7All the best, Chris
(New Zealand)

We hope you liked reading about Chris’ project as much as we did, extremely informative and very helpful to read his ‘highly flammable’ warning 🙂 It’s great to see our products being sought after across the globe! Welcome all to our sister-site

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Grey Moose Designs show us How and Why

Richard Linford of Grey Moose Designs, a bespoke lighting design and build practice based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, where unique lights are dreamt, designed and built.  Using vintage and up-cycled parts Rich highlights the successful marriage between new and old with his wonderful unique lighting creations. red flex
We are very happy to supply the parts to help make his industrial inspired lamps.
GreyMooseIn the throws of a creation with his ‘Search Light’ using a 70’s Japanese tripod… see left

GreyMoose_lamps_red_flexSo what does Richard say about us? …
“great product range, quality and delivery time!”.

Thanks Rich, you make a functional light become a stunning piece of art fit to adorn any modern art gallery.
We’re here to help you design!
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Genius Retro Lighting

What can we say!

Once again our customers astound us with their unique use of our products.

We are SO pleased to be able to share with you an email sent to us from customer, Jon Sharman this week.

Using our large vintage bulbs, antique finish lamp holder, base plate, side entry tube and reducer plus antique coloured twisted braid light flex, put together with black Bakelite fittings and a beautifully crafted wooden base he has created the most incredible light fittings.

Combining the antique brass flexible arm knuckle joint, wall plate and matching vintage finish lamp holder with this the retro Bakelite switch, works perfectly.

We are so chuffed he emailed us his photos
To say I am pleased with the result is an understatement! 😉 Let me know your feedback. Thanks, Jon”

and so what have people been saying about them ….
One word says it all “Nice!” from Daniel
Absolutely stunning…want some” Beth
Wow- could they be any more lush?” Sally
You are a genius” Sarah

Well said Sarah, all of us here at Lamps and Lights think so too, it makes our working day just so much more exciting to think what could come of this next order we are sending. Well done Jon!


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