Tripod Desk Light

Materials: Jansjo Work Lamp

Description: As a gift for family, I wanted to make them a low-power desk/task light that was clean and simple, but also useful. After researching tons of LED options and looking at buying LEDs, drivers and power supplies it was a big relief to find Ikea’s Jansjo light was a cheaper and more convenient option.

I carefully disassembled the light by prying off the lens, unscrewing the LED board from the aluminum holder and then cutting the power wires.

I used solid oak dowels from Home Depot. I went with 1″ diameter for the body of the light since I knew that I would have to fit the entire LED board and make sure there was enough wood-material to support the legs below.

I drilled holes with forstner bits so that they would be clean and flat on the bottom and accommodate a snug fit for both the board and the legs.

For aesthetics and to reduce slipping, I used Plastidip on the bottoms of the dowels. I know they have tons of colors and you can even mix your own, but I think red really looks the best. It will match the wiring as well. It goes on really thick and thins out when it dries. I needed a second coat, but actually liked the way the first coat still showed a little wood grain through.

I soldered new wire leads on the LED boards using Radio Shack’s “hook up” wire and red heat-shrink tubing. I then mounted the LED board to the dowel with a little Arctic Silver thermal glue. After testing and double-checking for polarity (LEDs won’t work if you get the voltage reversed), I spliced those wires back into the black leads coming from the Jansjo’s power switch.

I then cut small slits on either side of the LED opening and fit it with a circular lampshade made of vellum about 4″ in diameter.

Tie them up with a ribbon and they’re ready to be delivered!

~ Mark Fischer, Minneapolis