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smokey847 05-19-2012 09:58 AM

Repurposed Vintage Chandelier
This really does not necessarily fall under "interior" decorating, but I figured this would be the most appropriate thread to post this in. I found this old rusty chandelier on the side of the road--I love stuff like this, old, rusty, and looks sort of Moroccan. I plan to hang it from a tree outside above our deck, but can't decide whether I want to eke pit as an electrical chandelier, or make it a candelabra. There is really not good place to set a candle, and it will be a little high to light, but I am afraid just a simple lightbulb would look brash. Opinions? Thanks!

user1007 05-19-2012 10:13 AM

With either a candle or light fixture you are going to have to come up with some way of suspending either from the top. It would not be that big a deal to make a frame to hold a candle if that is what you want. I wonder if an oil lamp might be a bit brighter and longer lasting though?

As for light bulbs, you could get any number of decorative chandelier type bulbs and fixture in the 110v world. Why not think about some low voltage lighting though? You could make something nice from marine or auto fixtures and bulbs. You might want some sort of frosted plex diffuser cylinder to break the starkness of the bulb.

Places like Big Lots will be selling dirt cheap low voltage kits about now. The fixtures are plastic fantastic and near worthless but the price for the kits more than justifies getting the wire and transformer. You can adapt the bulbs and fixtures to your own design and just toss the plastic fixtures.

smokey847 05-19-2012 11:08 AM

Thanks Sdsester,

You cannot tell in the photo, but there is a metal dowel suspended from the top that is equipped for a normal lightbulb. I like your idea with a more decorative bulb. Any suggestions on something specific?

smokey847 05-19-2012 11:09 AM

Also, I am wrestling with spray-painting with Rustoleum or leaving the rusty patina. Preferences?

user1007 05-19-2012 12:29 PM

You will have to see what bulbs you can find to fit whatever socket. Check a lighting store for options. Need a bug light if near the patio?

Outdoors the rusted patina might work best and look more rustic. Finishing it to arrest the oxidation and giving it a nice finish will extend its life. Trade offs.

MissKat 05-20-2012 10:08 AM

Why not make it solar powered? They have all kinds of glowing orbs and candle type decorations you could repurpose.

bballallan 05-21-2012 11:37 AM

Perhaps you could add some type of plat form at the bottom so you could do a candle. I think a light bulb wouldn't look right.

Blondesense 05-21-2012 12:04 PM

I agree a bare bulb would be too brash. Maybe you could rig something up to hold some stained glass sheets.

Another idea: Incorporate a LED rope light in it, rather than a bulb.

smokey847 05-22-2012 02:43 PM


I like the idea of the rope lights. How would you arrange them to look right?

user1007 05-22-2012 04:33 PM

How about a clustered string of LED christmas or firefly lights instead of rope lights?

Blondesense 05-22-2012 07:52 PM


Originally Posted by smokey847 (Post 926547)

I like the idea of the rope lights. How would you arrange them to look right?

I was originally thinking of a piece of painted PVC with a rope light spiraled around it inside of the center, but taking a closer look at your pic it might be a challenge to get it inside.

smokey847 06-03-2012 07:55 PM

I ended up leaving the rusty patina--it just fits with the outdoors. I also ended up rewiring the thing and using a squirrel cage bulb rather than a typical bulb to add interest. It's now hanging from a tree near our pool and is wired with the rope lights that surround the deck. I think it makes a great addition!

user1007 06-03-2012 07:58 PM

Looks great! Turned out to be a nice roadside find perfect for your landscape application. :thumbsup:

Blondesense 06-04-2012 12:50 PM


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