Brighten a Corner With a Colander Light Fixture

A decorative colander light mounted in a corner.
What You'll Need
Clip lamp
Screw driver
2 1 1/4-inch screws
1/2" drill bit
Metal colander
Light bulb

The colander light is an easy way to add an interesting light source to any room. It is ridiculously simple to create, but variations on the idea are endless and your creativity is what will make the piece shine. By simply placing a lightbulb in a colander, intricate light patterns cascade over your walls and ceiling. This simple piece adds a creative flair to previous designs, leaving plenty of room for customizing the idea to fit your lifestyle.

I use this as a bedside light, screwed in the corner just above my bed; a soft yellow bulb is diffused by the colander creating the perfect light for reading or drawing. It also makes a convenient place to put your glasses, earrings, or any other things that might get taken to bed.

Step 1 - Pick a Spot

This is an ideal secondary light source. It could be just the thing a room needs to make it come alive, however, intricate light patterns and non-traditional lighting displays could also make a space seem crowded or forced. The solution for this is finding the proper placement. As I said, the perfect spot for me was above my bed--just high enough so I wouldn't lean against it when propped against a pillow, but low enough to turn out the light once I have settled in. If the bedside doesn't seems like the right place for you, look for other spots around your space that could benefit from atmospheric lighting. Behind your favorite chair, next to the couch, or hung off a bookshelf could add a nice element to any living or sitting room. Another obvious place is the kitchen.

Step 2 - Choose a Bulb

I enjoy having many different intensities and hues of light for the many functions of a space. Lighting is what sets the tone in a room so bulb color and intensity are important things to consider. I use a 50 watt yellow bulb, but other attractive room colors are red, blue, or a mellow 25 watt white bulb. Remember, do what makes you feel good!

Step 3 - Prepare Your Fixture

You have to disassemble the clip lamp. Remove the metal reflector by unscrewing it from the fixture. Next, loosen the wingnut that holds the clamp arms around the socket. The socket itself comes apart pretty easily. Right where the switch is there's a joint you can unscrew like taking the lid off a jar. Unscrew the housing and you expose the base of the light socket. Loosen the screws holding the lamp cord in place and pull the cord away. Now the clip light is completely disassembled.

Step 4 - Drill out the Colander

Using a 1/2-inch drill bit, drill a hole in the colander. You can do this in the base, so the bulb stands up straight, but the further the bulb is from the bottom and sides, the lesser the pattern of light through the holes. Drill your hole through the side of the colander so the bulb will stick sideways into the bowl.

Step 4 - Set the Socket and Cord

Feed the cord through the hole you drilled and reassemble the socket. Wrap the ends of the cord back on the screws in the socket and tighten them down. Screw the housing back together and set the base of the housing in the drilled hole. It should hold in place. You don't need the clip or the shade anymore, but you can save them for another project.

You can also customize your design even further by running lampwire of your choosing (there are some really nice colors and finishes out there) up through the hole and wire it into your fixture.

Step 5 - Hang the Colander

Hold the colander at the desired height, making sure that the chord is dropped behind it, and put one screw into either corner of the wall. The holes of the colander should be just big enough to accommodate for the screw size.

Step 6 - Enjoy

Step back and take a look, this is what you should see: The colander is screwed into the corner (or wall), the light fixture is sitting in the colander, and the chord is draped behind the colander in the space created by the corner or . Now switch it on and enjoy!


If you don't like the idea of rewiring the clip light or drilling a hole in the colander, you can simplify the whole project. Take the shade and clip off the light as in step 3. Hang the colander as in step 5 and simply place the fixture in the colander. Let the chord hang out of the back and drop along the wall.