5.03.2012

DIY Hanging Wire Lighting (Gutter Strainer Lighting)

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Unless you've been living under a rock (what a great way to start a post, huh?), you've probably been seeing a plethora of do-it-yourself lighting fixtures. Please put a quarter in my vocabulary jar for using the word "plethora." Thank you.

Making your own light fixtures can be extremely simple or extremely time consuming... and
sometimes, you luck out and make something that fits the space and adds character to the room while also being really cheap and easy to put together. Quadruple threat! Right? Hat-trick-and-a-third? 

One fine evening, we were walking through the neighborhood Ace, on a mission for something completely unrelated to lights when we happened upon these Gutter Strainers. Instantly, we (and by "we," I actually mean Justin, here) thought of lighting. We grabbed a couple strainers and grabbed two simple black light fixtures from another aisle.

Standing there, in Aisle 11, we put the strainer on the fixture and THERE - WAS - LIGHT! Okay, not really. There was no light. I suppose that would have required plugging the fixture in and grabbing a light bulb. But it did look "legit," so to speak.





We did notice that the seam was opening up. Apparently there had been a terrible accident and both pieces needed emergency surgery. Or maybe they just come that way... Either way, we
needed to somehow hold these babies together. What-to-do-what-to-do. 

We decided to solder it together. It was my first time (blush) and I will say, it was exhilarating. I want to solder everything. I walked away thinking... oh my gosh, where's the metal? I need more metal sh*t to solder... 

Don't have a soldering iron on hand? Use a really thin gauge wire.





We soldered the strainers shut around the fixture and hung them in the apartment in a matter of minutes. Lightning fast for a light fixture, right? We picked smaller sized, 15 watt bulbs. 15 watts ended up giving us the perfect mood lighting for the space. Anything with a higher wattage was just too bright (MYYY EYESSS!), and regular size bulbs blocked us from reaching the switch.

We did find that they were a little difficult to turn on and off, and you have to be careful not to scrape your hand on the mesh and solder. Which can be difficult when the person with the small hands is short and the person tall enough to reach it has shovel hands (in a manly-yet-beautiful-way, okay?)... But, it’s tough to beat a unique light for under $10 in under 10 minutes!!

What do they look like? Here's the before and after!







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