Light It Up – Tiny House Lighting

March 19, 2017

Ok, let’s just skip the same intro to every post I write about how it’s been too long since I’ve updated the blog and am terrible at keep this thing current. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with this quick little update about our tiny house lighting. It’s probably not going to be a groundbreaking post, but try to enjoy yourself.

Lighting was one of the first things we tackled when planning the house, and we actually bought our light fixtures pretty early on. We just couldn’t install them until we gotten to a certain point in our building process. We got our main lighting up a while ago once the ceiling was installed and painted, including the dimmable light in the sleeping loft. You might remember reading about how we struggled with the brightness and whiteness of LED lights here. But, overall the installation of the ceiling lights was fairly straight forward and easy.

The LED lights for the ceiling.

Here is the dimmable light in the sleeping loft.

The light fixtures we used in the kitchen and under our storage loft in the living room were also pretty simple. I had decided a while ago that I wanted to have a bit of an industrial look to our house. I found the light fixtures I wanted early on, so we were just waiting until the time when we could put them up. I really love how they look! They give the perfect amount of extra light over the sink in the kitchen and over the table in the living room.

The light fixtures we chose for the kitchen, and here under the storage loft in the living room.

The light over where our table will go.

The tricky problem to solve was how to have lighting under our loft. If you know either Eric or myself personally, then you know that we are tall. Kind of annoyingly tall if you’re going to be living in a tiny house. Eric is 6’4″ and I’m 5’11”, so our loft height had to balance being tall enough that we didn’t feel like we were in a cave when we were on the bottom floor, but it couldn’t be so tall that the loft was too short to use on the top floor. One way we worked with this balance is by leaving our loft “open” so you can see the exposed beams holding up the plywood floor. By having exposed beams, we could move the loft down a few inches, but it would still feel like we weren’t going to knock our lids every time we walked under it.

However, with an open, exposed loft ceiling, the lighting choices become quite limited unless you want wires completely visible. There was no way I’d be happy if I had to look at wires running across the loft, so we had to figure something out. After searching and searching for an option we could buy, we never really found anything we loved, so we decided to make our own lights. Because, why not make ev.er.y. project more difficult? I mean, really. Why not? So, for the closet lighting we got to work on making our own industrial styled light.

We found a hammered metallic spray paint that we used to paint plastic light sockets. We then soldered wires to the prongs of the socket and wrapped them tightly with electrical tape. We did this for 3 sockets, and then we then glued each socket to a galvanized T pipe fitting. From there, we threaded the wires of one socket through a coiled metal tubing cut to 9 inches long and then into the next socket’s T pipe fitting. Then, we repeated those steps but included the wires from the second socket. So, all 4 wires from the 2 sockets were squeezed through the coiled metal tubing and then through the final socket’s T pipe fitting. Now all three sets of wires from each socket is shoved through a final 9 inch section of metal tubing. I’m sure this all sounds like nonsense right now, but I promise it works out in the end.

The light socket has been spray painted to a hammered metallic look.

Soldering the wires to the light socket.

The wires have been soldered on, and then will be wrapped in electrical tape.

Now the wires are fed through the T pipe fitting and the socket is glued on.

We did this for all three sockets.

Then the wires from the socket are fed through the coiled metal tubing to the next socket in line.

Now that all the wires and sockets and pipe fittings are all connected, Eric connected everything to the junction box already in place on the wall. Once everything was wired, we attached each light socket and T pipe fitting to the ceiling of the loft with a metal ribbon called plumbers hanging tape. We purposely tilted the sockets at a downward angle so the lights would shine down onto everything we eventually store in the closet. Once everything was hanging up and attached, we screwed in our LED lights and it all turned out great.

Once the wiring was connected in the junction box, we attached each socket and T fitting to the ceiling with plumber’s tape.

The finished fixture!

Eric blinded while admiring his work.

Our light for the bathroom was much simpler to install, but we did spice it up a bit first. We used a bar LED light that was a bit of a whiter color than the rest of the house. We wanted to have the bathroom and shower area very bright, since it’s such a small space. To make sure everything matched in the house, we used the same hammered metallic spray paint to coat the light. Once painted, we hung the light in the bathroom and used the same coiled metal tubing to hide the wiring.

The painted LED bar light for the shower and bathroom.

Using the same metal tubing to hide the wires of bar light.

Some of these pictures aren’t great, but trying to photograph lights while they’re on is a bit difficult. Hopefully you get the idea of how it all turned out. We are pretty happy with how everything looks.

Ok, real talk here: I’m already working on the next post about our kitchen so it won’t be another 3 months until the next post. I PROMISE. I’m hoping it will be ready in the next week or two, and then we can just keep on rolling from there. We’ve got a lot done so there is a lot to write about! Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

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