OK, you guys are going to love this one! I’ve been wanting to do a light fixture DIY for a while now, but it looked a little too intimidating to jump into, so I kept putting it off. Thankfully our new house forced me into it as we were looking at buying some wall mounted lights for our den and I balked at the price tag of some of the globe sconces I loved. So, what’s a girl to do? Make her own, of course! This is probably the most time I’ve ever spent on a project as far as the preparation stage goes (i.e. figuring out what parts I needed), but thankfully, it’s one of my favorites that I’ve ever done and it is way easier for you to do now that I’ve already made two and figured out my mistakes—you’re welcome! This light will plug right into your wall so you don’t have to worry about hardwiring a permanent fixture either. You can move it wherever you like!
Our den is a bit of an odd shape and there aren’t really any good spots for floor lamps. So we’ve been installing new lighting in the ceiling or walls that we can dim as needed to create a softer glow. I mean, we all know there’s nothing worse than a harsh overhead light to kill the cozy mood, am I right? Dimmers are my jam.
With dimming being such a key element to the lighting I needed for this room, it was the perfect project to team up with Philips and use the Philips LEDs with dimmable warm glow effect. We wanted a warmer glow, and we really wanted it to last so I don’t have constantly take the globe on and off and on and off. So these bulbs were perfect! Perfect warm light, and they last over 22 years! Love them.
Supplies for one light (listed with the part number in parentheses so you can find each component at this store):
A. neckless frosted globe (GLGB08NLSO)
B. brass canopy (CAS05)
C. dimmer (DI6250I)
D. brass socket cup (CU578)
E. porcelain socket (SO10045C)
F. brass neckless holder set (HONL04BR)
G. 90 degree brass arm (AR90B)
H. silver socket top (comes with part E)
I. snap in lamp plug (PL123PW)
J. slip star lock washer (WASTAR1/8)
K. 2 acorn caps (FI855-8/32)
L. 2 threaded studs (SCS600)
M. threaded hollow steel nipple (NI1-0X1/8)
N. hex nut (NU233WZ)
O. threaded straight coupling brass (NE438)
P. slip ring with side screw (SRS0-3/8)
Q. washer (WABP1)
R. crossbar and wood or drywall screws for mounting to the wall (not pictured) (CBSV2-3/4)
S. nylon braid lamp wire (not pictured) (WI18SPT1POULW)
-drill with metal drill bit
If you aren’t happy with the finish of your brass pieces, polish all the brass before you start. (Wear gloves when you assemble the light or you’ll have a few finger smudges to buff out when you’re finished.) Take your nylon braid wire and thread it through your brass arm. One side of the arm is a little shorter than the other, and the end of that side is what your socket and globe will attach to.
On that shorter side, slide the slip ring onto the arm (you don’t need to tighten it yet), then the gold and silver dome of the neckless holder kit, the brass socket cup, and the silver top of the porcelain socket. Screw in the silver socket top to the end of the brass arm so they are attached and tighten the silver screw on the side.
Pull back the nylon braid about 1 1/2″ from the end of the wire that is through the silver top of the porcelain socket. To keep the braided nylon you cut from fraying, you can hold a lighter under the nylon for a second until it melts the nylon together. Pull the wires underneath apart to separate the wires (you can make a small cut between them to get the separation started), and use a wire stripper to expose about 1″ of both the silver and copper wires (you want to leave some plastic covering on the wires near where they meet up).
You’ll see on the top of the porcelain socket that there are two screws. One is silver and one is gold. Wrap the silver wire clockwise around the base of the silver screw and tighten in place. Repeat with the copper wire and gold screw.
To attach the wired porcelain socket to the silver socket top, match up the two screws that are inside of the porcelain socket with the two holes in the silver socket top, and screw the two together through the inside of the porcelain socket.
Make sure when you are wiring light fixtures yourself to follow some common sense guidelines and only use bulbs that have a wattage your socket can handle (the ones I chose can do up to a 660 watt bulb).
Push the silver and brass domes of the neckless holder back in place and use an allen wrench to tighten the screw on the slip ring. This will keep all those pieces from sliding around while you work on the other side.
At the other end of the brass arm (the side that will attach to the wall), thread the nylon wire through the threaded straight coupling, and screw the coupling halfway onto the brass arm. Thread the wire through the threaded hollow steel nipple and screw that into the other half of the coupling.
Put the brass canopy onto the steep nipple, then thread through the large washer, the lock washer, then hex nut. Tighten the hex nut in place.
I couldn’t find a brass canopy that also had a wire way at the bottom (a hole for the wire to hang down through since we aren’t hardwiring it into the wall). So I just used a metal drill bit to make a hole big enough for the wire to come down through.
Once your wire is threaded down through your makeshift wire way, splice in the dimmer so you can adjust your brightness as needed. Choose where you want your dimmer to go in your cord and peel away about 2″ of nylon from the wire. Separate the wires in the area you exposed and cut only the copper wire in the middle of that 2″ section (look at the bottom of the wire to see which is on the left and right in case you lost track of which color is where). Use wire cutters to strip each 1″ of the copper wire.
Open the dimmer switch, and wrap each end clockwise around the top and bottom screws. Tighten the screws to secure and replace the top on the dimmer.
Cut the end of the wire to the final length you want for your fixture and pull back the nylon about 2″. Pull out the middle section of the snap in lamp plug and you’ll see that each side of the plug has either a gold or silver prong that will clamp down into the wire once you insert it. Thread your wire through the back of the lamp plug housing and into the back of the lamp plug middle making sure the copper is on the gold prong side and the silver is on the silver side. Push it through until it won’t go any further. Then push the prongs into the wire and snap the middle back into the lamp plug housing.
Once you’re all wired up, it’s time to attach the light to the wall!
Place your brass canopy over the two screws and secure in place with your acorn cap nuts.
Loosen the slip ring above the brass neckless holder so you can push back the slip ring and brass dome and screw in your lightbulb. Gently angle the silver portion of the neckless holder so that it slides into the inside of your glass globe and center the silver plate in the globe opening.
Pull down the brass dome and slip ring and tighten back in place.* That’s all! You’re done! Now plug in your light and watch it glow!
*Note: If you need to replace a lightbulb that has burned out, you’ll loosen the slip ring and slide the gold dome up again so you can remove the globe and change the bulb. It’s not that hard to do, but using a long lasting bulb (like an LED) will ensure you don’t have to change it for years!
The first night we plugged these in we were giddy with excitement. They look so good and I love how we can dim them to whatever brightness we want according to our mood. And the other best part is that I made both of these lights for less than one of the ones I wanted online (each one was less than $100!). BOO-YA! These would be great as bathroom lights as well or on either side of a bed. If you’ve been looking for a beautiful brass sconce and feel that urge to tackle a new skill, then this is totally the project for you. I can’t wait to make more lights, so I guess my future is looking bright! xo. Laura
Credits//Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Todd Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.