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I made this minimalist table lamp from three ready-made components: 1) a burner tripod lab stand from The Science Company, 2) a 5″ globe incandescent light bulb, and 3) a socket extension cord from the hardware store. It works and looks great, and the total cost is about $20 US. The 5″ globe light bulbs are also available as compact fluorescents (CFLs), rather than incandescents, which doubles the unit price but probably saves money in the long term due to the radically increased lifetime and efficiency of CFL bulbs.

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • Marc de Vinck

    I really like this project. I wonder if there isn’t an alternative for the stand. These may be hard to come by for some people. It looks like you could use some kind of pipe flange and steel rod as a substitute? Cool project, thanks for sharing.

  • Sean Michael Ragan

    Thanks, Marc. Wish I had a good idea for a hardware-store replacement for the burner stand. I had to send away for mine. Something will probably jump out at me, sooner or later, now that it’s on my radar.

  • Freax

    Nice idea, but I would add something that protects the bulb, so that you don’t burn yourself… maybe a measuring cup or something like that, hold in place by a clamp and a lab stand