Monday, July 8, 2019

How to add a light fixture anywhere (without electricity!)

Hey there!! I've been hard at work on the office bookcases and I'm just thrilled with them! I'm so close to done, but still have a good week of work till they are ready to reveal.

This post about the lighting I picked for the built ins. If you remember, last time I did this (years ago in our old house), it took me forEVER to find the lights I wanted. I finally went with outdoor lights because everything else was crazy expensive:
DIY built ins with lights above

They worked perfectly! 

Thankfully now that sconces have become more popular, they are much more affordable. There are a ton more options now too. 

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I found a brass and black sconce I love that I've used before -- you can see it here in our mud/laundry room
Lights without electricity

I used this little hack on that light too! You can find the black sconces here -- they are crazy affordable and you get two in the order. 

Last time I built bookcases, I had electrical run to the lights to the header. This time, because I know of this lighting trick...I didn't pay for that part. There are pros and cons to this trick so stay tuned for those! 

The trick is using these puck lights inside the fixtures: 
Trick for adding lights without electricity

I used this little hack in our dining area as well -- it's a way to add soft lighting without running electrical
Bookcase lights without electricity

It would have been really difficult to wire them on these skinny shelves, so this trick worked great! Make sure to check out the post above to see how I made those specific sconces work and where I found this great idea! 

This time, I needed to secure them to the sconce because it was facing down. The first thing you'll need is is this 24 gauge wire:
How to use puck lights instead of bulbs

The sconces have a part inside that has a small hole. I ran the wire through that: 
Light a sconce without wiring electricity

The back of the puck light has two holes -- you'll need to run the wire through those, then tighten as much as you can:
Hack for lighting without electricity

When it's secure, twist the puck light (with batteries) back on: 
Using puck lights instead of bulb in light fixtures

And that's it! I use the bracket that comes with the light to hang -- just screw it into the wall and hang your light: 
Library bookcase lights without electricity

They look GREAT! I wanted something simple that I could aim toward the shelves, and these work perfectly. 

As you can see here, I angled them so you can't see the light unless you're right under them. The scones have adjustable arms: 
Deep green vintage vogue bookcases using kitchen cabinets

Check out this post to see the steps of the DIY bookcases so far! Don't they look great with just the supports and header painted? I'm so close people! :)

I almost forgot to mention, that little remote in the photo above allows you to operate these without touching them. It has a timer and dimmer option which is great. The timer is key because when I've used puck lighting in the past, we would turn them on and ALWAYS forget to turn them off. The battery ran out quickly because of that. I purchased another puck light remote for this room. 

Like I said before, there are pros and cons to these: 

  • Using this hack is MUCH cheaper than running electrical. 
  • You can use them anywhere so it opens up so many possibilities.
  • The puck lights give off a decent amount of light. 
  • You can do this with regular light fixtures (where the lights are enclosed) as well -- not just sconces! 
  • The light is not as bright as normal bulbs.
  • The remote isn't quite as convenient as a light switch.
  • The puck lights aren't as attractive as a bulb. 

For me, the convenience far outweighs the cons. If I have an outlet below (to run wiring) and an good spot for a light switch nearby, I'll still opt for having it wired. But this is a great option for bigger projects like this.

Have you tried this lighting hack? It's a fun idea right?

**The next step in this bookcase project (building the shelves) is here
**See this whole finished project here!

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  1. Great idea! I have some antique sconces that I can’t commit to putting anywhere because of the wiring ~ this makes them practically portable! Thanks.

  2. How difficult it is to change the batteries when the puck light is wired into place? Any of the puck lights I have seen require access to the back of the light

  3. I love how a simple light fixture changes the entire look of the room. Great post! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  4. I used this idea but instead of wiring I used velcro.I purchased a cheap puck light at HD to see if I liked how it looked before purchasing the lights you recommended.I also spray painted the puck light black so it blends in with my sconce.Well I love it!It is a nice accent light and when we lose power in the winter it will come in very handy.

  5. This is such a cheap and pretty alternative when the lights only need to be on occasionally. Timers are good things. Good job!

  6. This is absolutely brilliant. Your creativity amazes me 👍 Love it and going to do it in my home. Thank for the great hack. ♥

  7. This is so smart! Thanks for the idea!!


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