19 October 2008

CFL Shades for Free!

This is dedicated to all the poor people of this world - CFL shades for free in less than 5 minutes!

To the best of my knowledge, this is a world's first. Not "world's first, world class" in the $in-gapore context, of course. You see, $in-gaporeans are the sort who would have called melamine-laced milk "world's first and world class", had it been made by them.

This CFL shade works perfectly, though it isn't quite as good as my DIY Japanese Lantern in terms of light diffusion. Making this is child's play. The materials and tools required are easily obtainable and they cost next to nothing. It's very bright and provides sufficient ventilation for the CFL. If it comes loose and falls on your head, you'll still be able to laugh about it - it's safe.


1. Empty plastic milk bottle, preferably one that is not too thin and has a slightly rough surface, as this will enhance the light diffusion.

2. Some strings.

3. Cable holders - Those that come with nails. I would advise against using those that are self-adhesive, as they may come off easily.


1. A pair of scissors

2. Something sharp to make holes in the plastic milk bottle. In my case, I used a compass.

3. Hammer.

4. A chair, or a ladder if you're as short as a $in-gapore girl... 1.50m or so. However, petite Hong Kong girls need neither, cos people like me with long arms will do it for them. :-)


1. Cut out the bottom of a milk bottle.

2. Make one hole each, on two sides of the bottle. In this instance, the two holes that I'd made were too small for the string to go through, so I used an electrical test pen to widen them.

3. For each hole, insert one end of the string into the hole and tie a knot at the end that has been inserted.

4. Hammer the cable holders onto the ceiling.

5. Attach the strings to the cable holders, making sure that the plastic milk bottle does not come into direct contact with the
CFL. Leave a gap between the ceiling and the lamp shade, for ventilation of the CFL.

6. Enjoy. Proudly made in China (Hong Kong SAR) - so is that Osram bulb. :-) I'd kept it running for 3 consecutive hours without running into any problems.

I would like to thank all the British electrical engineers and electricians who taught me electrical circuitry 101. Without them, I might not have been able to install the light socket for this CFL (and a couple of others) seven months ago.

It is my hope that if this CFL lamp shade is the first of its kind, then many poor people might stand to benefit from this idea.


DIY Shades for Glaring Compact Fluorescent Lamps

DIY - Making a Japanese Lantern on The Cheap

1 comment:

Vicki Bourneuf said...

Thanks for sharing this with us.


Vicki Bourneuf, MS, RD, LDN
A National Dairy Council Web Site