Telescoping ceiling lamp

This project started while I was cleaning up a bit in the shop. I was getting annoyed at one of my floor lamps constantly getting in the way.

The lamp was originally a floor reading lamp. I picked it up for free at some point because the weighted base was broken. I made a new wooden base for it, and it made a pretty good photo lamp. But it always got in the way.


So I had the idea of turning it into a ceiling mounted telescoping lamp. The lamp now extends up to 1.2 meters (4 feet) from a pivot on the ceiling. I can still use it to light up various areas of the shop, but I won't be bumping into it or tripping over the cord anymore!


What gave me the idea was having three pieces of pipe that neatly fit inside one another for the telescoping action. The smallest is the original crossbeam from the lamp, the next size up is the post from the lamp, and the outermost pipe is from another floor lamp that I picked up off the curb for parts.


A lamp like this needs a sturdy pivot. My first thought was to use a 30 mm dowel as a vertical axle to rotate on, but then I figured a wooden disk pressed against a flat surface would be much easier to make, and would work just as well.

The pipe is mounted to three blocks with 5.8" holes in them. The wooden blocks are screwed to the plywood disk from the back.


The disk rotates against a piece of 2x10", which is attached to the ceiling joists and the I-beam in my shop.


The edge of the mounting piece has a slanted rabbet cut in the edge to hook onto the I-beam. The pivot is just a 3½" x ⅜" (90 mm x 10mm) carriage bolt


It even reaches all the way over to my bandsaw. Though I probably won't be using it with my bandsaw because I already have a light right there.

At 1.2 meters reach, it goes farther than my swing arm lamp with extension by my table saw.

Why so much about lights? For photographing and filming in my shop, it helps to have good even lighting. Really, what I have is nothing compared to what a film crew would use.


See also:

Simple light stands
from discarded lamps
Ron Walters's scissor extending lamp

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