How to Make a CFL Candelabra
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 into the sheet metal for each arm of your CFL candelabra. 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 into the bottom of the frame along with the wires from the electrical cord. Make sure that all the neutral wires are brought together into a pigtail and secured with a connector. You can now connect the live side of the cord to one side of the light switch and on the other side of the switch, secure one end of a piece of loose wire then bring the other end of that extra wire with all of the other live wires coming from every socket twisting them into a pigtail and securing with another wire connector. 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 eyes or hands. Screw-in your bulbs, and turn on the lamp. 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.