Let There Be Light(Covers)!

Last year I replaced this truly heinous fluorescent light (think ivy pattern and crown molding) a previous tenant had installed in the kitchen with a less offensive fixture from Ikea. It was the first light I installed all by myself and I was really pleased with how it turned out, except for one thing: the bulbs! It came with 25w halogen bulbs that look like this on the back:

back of bulb

… and when they started burning out I realized that NOWHERE except Ikea sells 25w bulbs shaped like that. I did find 50w ones but I didn’t want to blow up my kitchen, and since I also didn’t want to go all the way out to Ikea every time I needed a lightbulb I was in the dark for a while. Then I found these great LED bulbs- they fit the fixture, last for approximately one million years and use like, a drop of energy. PERFECT!

led bulb

Except for one problem: LED light is cold and way harsh, Tai. My dining room chandelier is made from LED rope light and since the whole dining room is blue I don’t mind, but I wanted something a little warmer for the kitchen (which is silly because they are technically in the same room). I came up with a plan a few weeks ago and today I put it into action. Using some flexible cutting boards and a pink report cover from the dollar store, and a template of my own design I would make shades for the LED bulbs.

template, clear plastic, pink plastic

First I put the cutting board over the template and traced over the design to score it. This shows me where to cut with my scissors and also makes fold lines.


After cutting out the cover with some teeny embroidery scissors I cut out a 4cm square from the pink plastic to go in the front of the cover. The bulbs give of next to no heat so I’m not worried about these melting or warping.

cover pieces

Originally I planned to glue the pink square into the cover but my rubber cement was all dried out :/ As it turns out, it’s a good thing because I need to be able to push on the front of the bulb to get it into the fixture. Instead, I just put a little triangles of double-stick tape in the corners to help hold it in place.

cover w/tape
pieces taped together

Once the pieces are together I put the cover around the bulb, with the four small holes fitting over the back of the bulb.

cover on bulb

Et voilà! My handmade plastic light covers in action! I’ve only made three so far because the other two bulbs are halogen still, but I have enough materials left to make more once I need them. These will also be removable and reusable when (if?) the LED bulbs ever burn out.

covers in action!

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