Lighting Fixture Dilemma

Illumination brings harmony to a room. There is no shortage of manufactured lighting fixtures at home improvement stores and online. Lighting inspiration comes in different forms and from many places. Often a lighting product presents itself to be a great green simple home decorating idea. The next question I sometimes ask myself is, “How can I make that for my home?” This was the case when I saw this lighting product from Superior Lighting.

The lighting fixture or chandelier in the picture is made by using burnt out recycled light bulbs and uses a 4 to 42 watt maximum compact fluorescent bulb (20-150). It is available in either clear, frosted, silver capped or colored bulbs. It is eco-friendly, but I canít help feeling that it could be made at home.

Hereís the dilemma, there are a bunch of those incandescent light bulbs hanging out in the basement. They could just be thrown out because incandescent bulbs contain no weird chemicals like batteries do. It’s just glass, metal, and wire. The space inside an incandescent light bulb is mostly vacuum. Why generate more garbage? These hanging vases from the recycled light bulbs are a good, green reuse, or you could try your hand at making a fixture like the one above.

This Care2 article has the lowdown on incandescent light bulbs. Westinghouse explains further, “Simply replacing your incandescent with energy Ė saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLís) can significantly reduce the cost of your energy bills. Thatís because CFL’s give off the same amount of light, but use fewer watts. They also last up to 10 times longer, which means you don’t have to replace them as often.” Use the Energy Savings Calculator to see how much you can save in a year just by making the switch.

I keep looking at those lighting fixtures in the picture and canít decide if I love or hate them? I do love the idea of recycling the bulbs. Living with this over a dining room table might make for an interesting conversation piece. But how would you make it?

ReadyMade magazine this month gave instructions to make a similar Bubble Chandelier using glass bubble balls from CB2. This chandelier doesnít use recycled light bulbs, so itís not as eco-friendly, but the DIY directions are clear and the light is great inspiration for a DIY lighting project.

Have you ever made your own lighting fixtures? What are your thoughts about the recycled bulb lights? Anyone game enough to take a stab at making one? If you do, please share your DIY instructions and photos.

Photo credit: Superior Lighting

Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.


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rene davis
rene davis2 years ago

Thank you!

Ana R
Ana R2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Angel Campbell
Angel Campbell3 years ago


K s Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p.5 years ago

interesting, thanks for sharing

beverly g.
beverly g.5 years ago

I do like chandeliers but thats the prob with the lite bulbs and the eletrick they use up. Not only for environment but money costs too.

patricia A.
Pat A.5 years ago


Hanan W.
Hanan W.5 years ago


Borg Drone
Borg Drone5 years ago

thanks for posting

Flannel Disaster
Flannel Disaster6 years ago

Glenda, did you read the previous Care2 article this one linked to?
It addresses most of your concerns.

The issue of 90% of a lightbulb's energy being wasted as heat might not be that big in cold climates, but it certainly is elsewhere, especially with so many of us using air conditioning to stay cool.
And I can't help thinking that products specifically designed for heating would do that job more efficiently, but who knows..

No idea where you're getting the data that CFL's use the same or more energy, since their energy savings is measurable simply by feeling them, but also well-documented, all the way back to 1898:

If this data you mention involves the manufacturing process, it could well be that they cost more to produce and dispose of, but since their lifetime is drastically longer, I'm sure it more than evens out.
And the cost of landfilling incandescents might appear on the surface to be cheaper than properly disposing of CFL's, but those sorts of things are hard to determine and often come down to a matter of opinion.