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As the entries come pouring in from both of you we'll use a Sharpie marker to transcribe them onto the back of an AOL CD.

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Hanging Light

Courtesy of Torin Darkflight, 12/16/04

I have seen the AOL CD lamp which involves the stack of 100 CDs and fluorescent tubes. Well, here is how to make a hanging lamp. It's kinda quick homebrew with crude assembly but I made one and am using it right now. It works nicely.

To make an AOL CD hanging lamp, you will need:

  • Six AOL CDs.
  • One manual-switch night light, the kind that accepts size C7 bulbs and doesn't automatically turn on and off.
  • Extension cord; should be suitably long to reach an electric outlet with a little spare lenght.
  • Length of stiff wire 24-36 inches long. A coat hanger works well if you are able to bend it easily.
  • Tape: Scotch tape or clear packaging tape.
  Illustration of parts needed for the project.
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Pictures may be displayed in the window below or a separate window. The window below may be scrolled if the entire picture does not display.

Assembly instructions:


Choose one AOL CD to be the center of the lampshade. Place it on a flat, smooth surface label side up. Next, lay the remaining five CDs around the center CD label side up. Visualizing a 5-pointed star beneath all of the CDs, the center CD being in the center of the star, line up the circling CDs so that their holes are on the points of the imaginary star, and they are evenly spaced. Connect the outer CDs to the center CD using tape.

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Once all of the outer CDs are taped to the center CD, flip the assembly over so they are label side down. Next, lift up two of the adjacent outer CDs until their edges touch each other. Holding them carefully, tape the two together. Lift up the next CD until its edge is touching the one before it, and tape it. Repeat until all five outer CDs and the center CD are assembled into a lampshade.

  See above See in new window

Remove the protective cover from the night light, if it has one. Remove the bulb and set it aside.

Twist one end of the stiff wire around the socket of the night light and place it so that if it were hanging, the socket would be pointing down and the plug sticking off to the side.

Above the nightlight, bend the wire in slightly, then back up, so as to center it over the nightlight. Bend the other end of the wire into a hanging hook.

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Plug the nightlight into the extension cord. Use the farthest socket from the cord so there is a little bulk of the socket showing as possible. Tape the extension cord to the wire so it goes all the way up to the hook.

  See above See in new window

Hold the night light bulb in your hand with the base pointing up. Set the CD lampshade reflective side down on the bulb so the base is sticking up through the hole of the center CD. With the shade still on it, insert the
bulb into the night light. The lamp is now assembled.

Find a nice place to hang the lamp, plug it in, turn it on, and enjoy!

  See above See in new window

Important notes:

Do not use a bulb rated higher than 7 watts. This should provide sufficient light, given the reflectiveness of the CD lampshade, and it will keep the lamp from overheating.

  • You may also use a candelabra base fluorescent lamp. Some of these produce light equivalent to that from a 20 watt incandescent bulb, yet they draw only a few watts of power and they produce little heat.

For a more permanent installation use glue instead of tape to hold the CDs together.

We have not tested this project for completeness or safety. It is presented pretty much as we received it. Please use common sense and safety when working with electricity and lamps.

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