How to DIY simple pole-lights!

Guys, approximately 7ish years ago, I went to a church service up in NoVA, and I saw these lights. I became obsessed with creating these lights, but never found a stinkin tutorial or even a picture of them. Luckily, all these “industrial table” things have been spread rampant across the blogosphere, so I at least had a jumping-off point. To give you a frame of reference, these lights do exist. They’re all over this video, and you’ll see the style of lights I wanted. In all their glory.

Oh, wait. I forgot to tell you why I wanted/ needed these lights to exist in my life. You see, the Church J and I go to recently (as in last Sunday) underwent a name change. And a location change. (BTW, it’s called Anchor Church, and it’s in Virginia Beach. And if you show up, I’ll give you a cookie. Actually, Kris, Wes & Lindsay, can we get some cookies pre-service? You know you want them, too.) So, along with the location change, we had an entirely new stage (and worship space) to work with. And I was asked to help out with the stage design. The lights never left my brainspace. They had to happen.

So first, I took Mother (and Father) to Home Depot to brainstorm this light and how it could come to life. Mother is much more into electricity and circuitry than Dad, although Dad is still way into helping. They’re nice people like that.

So here’s what we did. We found EMT, which is found in the electrical aisle. It’s basically a hollow tube of rigid metal. And it’s made to house electrical things. And it comes in 10′ lengths. And it’s cheap. So we picked up one 10′ section of 3/4″ diameter EMT. Except we didn’t want the lights to be 10′ tall. So we carried that junk over to the plumbing aisle (where the copper tubing resides), and had them cut down to (1) 4′ section, and (2) 3′ sections.

EMT Cutting_HouseofGold And then we picked up compression couplings, which serve as the connector pieces to the base. These come in a three-pack, which works perfectly if you cut your 10′ pole into three sections. (One end tightens around the EMT, one end is threaded and comes with a nut. More on that later.)

Then we picked up a push-through socket, a plug, and some lamp cord. Pretty simple ingredients, if this was a recipe.Pole Light Supplies_HouseofGold

First in this whole business, J crafted bases for me. He ripped plywood down into squares (12″ for the taller lamps, 9″ squares for the shorter lamps), and then brad nailed little tiny feets onto the base. Then we got a 3/4″ hole saw and cut out a hole in the center of the bases.Light Base Progression_HouseofGold

Next, I tightened the compression thing onto the base of a section of EMT. Still with me? Cool. Then we unscrewed the nut, slid the EMT (with the attached compression coupling) through the hole, and screwed the nut back on to the compression coupling. And it held snug. Phew.Compression Coupling_HouseofGold

Next, I stood those bad boys up and got out the socket set. I took it apart, and then used this crazy epoxy-glue and glued the base of the socket onto the EMT section. (Let it dry for 4-6 hours.) (I had a little run-in with an X-acto blade between that last set of pics and this one. Don’t worry. I made it through without passing out.)Socket Glue_HouseofGold

Then I took that whole assembly outside and spray painted the junk out of it. After the paint dried, those suckers got all wired up. (Run wire from the top of the lamp to the bottom, and secure to the socket and plug, respectively.)

Now, here’s the very important part. The bulb. They had to be edison bulbs. I bought three six-packs of each of these. (Affiliate links)

And then? Bask in the glow of the lights. (And the beard.) Ahhhhh.Lights on Stage_HouseofGoldLights on Stage2_HouseofGold

Stage Complete_HouseofGold

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9 thoughts on “How to DIY simple pole-lights!

  1. Loved them on Sunday and was trying to figure out how you made them! Thanks for the tutorial. And I’m also with you on the cookies!

  2. They look great! if you love those lights, then you may think these are pretty cool (http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/milkywave). I came across that article and thought they were beautiful. Maybe in time you could create the same style of movement with your lights, although I dread how many pole lights you’d need to make for that effect. Either way, hope you enjoy!

  3. Pingback: Giving an Old Lamp a New Lease on Life. | House of Gold

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