Monday, March 24, 2014

Accordion Swing-arm Wall Lamp

So ever since I remodeled his room, my son has been begging me to find the time to get him a bedside reading lamp like the ones I installed in his brothers' room.  Well, it just so happens that he has a science fair this week at school and this year it's actually a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fair.  So, we decided to take this opportunity to do an electrical engineering project and make him a bedside wall lamp--I'm all for killing two birds with one stone.  He took many factors into consideration when designing the lamp, including function, cost, and aesthetics and after researching how electricity works in your home and contemplating several different options for how he wanted to build his light, he settled on an accordion-style lamp.  This will allow him to hang  the lamp to the side so that we can install a fabric bed canopy later (which he's particularly excited about) and still allow him to swing the lamp above his head while in bed.This is the final product.  He plans to make one for his brother's bed too.  Here are some pictures of his final product:
We wired a matching silver power cord to a silver pull chain socket and attached the cord to the backside of an accordion bracket (we took off a mirror I was planning to use in my master bath someday) with 20 gauge wire so that it's not visible from the front.
We affixed the light socket to the bracket and then supplied it with a 25 watt bulb, which we decided was bright enough to read by but dim enough to not disturb his sleeping brother when he reads at night.
We found a cheap utility light and removed it's metal bell shade to use in our fixture and hung it over the light socket.  My son then chose a temporary pull chain to use until he gets the frog-shaped one that he really wants for his birthday (which is expensive so it needs to be a gift--remember how I feel about the 2 birds with 1 stone).
The light can be extended and swung out over the bed . . . .
. . . . or retracted at the bedside.
Overall, the project turned out rather nice.  I'm excited to see how the finished room looks once we get the canopies in.  They will be just half-canopies over the heads of the beds.  Now we just need to make the other light for the second bed and buy some new accordion mirrors for me to use in my bathroom when I get around to the remodel in there.