How to Make a CFL Candelabra

What You'll Need
1/4 - to 1/2 -inch hollow tubing
Pipe bender
Welding equipment
Lamp base
Threaded electrical sockets (sized for your CFL bulbs)
Wire with a plug (no ground)
Power switch
Sheet metal
Pipe Threader
Drill and metal bits
Sheet metal cutters
CFL lights

You can save money by creating your own compact fluorescent lights or CFL candelabra that gives a warm cost efficient light. With some welding skills and a little technical knowledge, you can create your own candelabra in your home workshop. You will simply need the basic materials and a basic layout of what the end product is going to look like. Being able to bend, shape and weld metal is a bonus in this project, unless you're simply converting another electric light candelabra to work with your CFL lights.

Step 1 - Start your Candelabra Frame

The first step is to draw a basic layout of what you want your CFL candelabra to look like when you're done. It will need a base, and you must determine how many lights you're going to want in the finished project.

Once you have this and the overall dimensions, go ahead and cut your tubing with extra length to give room for bending or twisting the pipe. When you are shaping the arms of it, be sure not to bend into a sharp angle, as it can cause your wires to snag when you run them through.

Once the frame is complete, use your threader to add threads to the ends of each arm so you can later simply screw on your sockets. You can also thread the pipe that fits into the base, which you can buy or make from scratch.

Step 2 - Make the Light Socket Holders

Cut circles for each arm of your CFL candelabra into the sheet metal. These will screw to the bottom of each arm thread to hold your socket covers. Cut a hole in the center of each one so that they will screw on easily. Cut more of the sheet metal, bend it around this circle and spot weld it into place. When you're done, it should be cup-shaped with a hole in the bottom so they can screw onto each arm, covering the socket mechanics once you're finished.

Step 3 - Feeding the Wires

Feed your covers onto each arm of your CFL candelabra. Then run your sockets wires for each one through the pipe toward the base. Screw the sockets on tightly, and bring the wires together in the bottom of the frame. The wires should run positive to negative in sequence, with your switch connecting positive and negative to the ends of this circuit. Install and mount your power switch to the base, and secure it on the inside.

Secure all the wires into the base to keep them from being exposed, and then seal the base of it shut from prying hands. Screw in your bulbs, and turn it on. If all has been done correctly, your lights will come on and help set the mood in any room. Your imagination is the only limit for what your candelabra looks like when you're finished.