An easy DIY Floating Nightstand with Light

IKEA Lack floating nightstand with light

Using the IKEA LACK shelf as a floating nightstand is one of the most popular way to use the small shelf. 

Juan Antonio improves upon it by incorporating a built-in light into the bedside table. His goal was to have a floating nightstand with light that didn’t hit his eyes directly when turned on in the middle of the night.

But the light must still be bright enough to illuminate the space. Cause no one wants to bump into bed corners.

IKEA item used:

IKEA LACK shelf 

Other materials:

Slim circular LED downlight (when can be directly connected to 220V)
A small circular switch (able to handle 220V)
Some cable and connectors

Steps to DIY a floating nightstand with light:

First, use the LED downlight to trace out the circle on the LACK shelf. The diameter of the circle should be slightly smaller than the downlight. This now becomes the underside. (Please check that the slim end of the mounting bracket is pointing up.)

LACK shelf mounting instructions

Using a utility knife, carefully cut out the circle on the LACK shelf. It will take a bit of force and you may need to score the top repeatedly to cut through. Don’t worry if you don’t get perfectly nice edges as the LED downlight will seal up the edges (which is why the circle should be smaller than the downlight). 

Pop out the cut circle and you’ll see the paper honeycomb structure within the LACK shelf. You need to create enough space for the downlight hardware so remove as much material as necessary.

Next make a hole for the switch to go through.

Wire up the light with cables and connectors. The cable should come out through the back of the LACK shelf. (If you’re unfamiliar with electrical wiring, please consult an electrician.)

Drill holes in your wall and install screws to hold up the floating shelf mounting brackets. Depending on your wall, you may need to locate wall studs and use wall plugs. Follow IKEA instructions for this part.

Lastly, wire up the light and hang the shelf in place. 

IKEA floating nightstand with light. IKEA LACK hack

Flip the switch and let there be light! 

Bonus tip:

Choose a yellow light for the LED lamp to create a cozy atmosphere to wind down at the end of a long day. White light is too harsh and glaring.

Besides adding a built-in light, there are other possible upgrades for your floating nightstand.

As the LACK shelf is hollow, you can hide a usb charging dock or wireless charger in the LACK shelf to juice up your devices. (Cut a hole on the underside of the LACK shelf to mount the wireless charger inside the LACK.)

IKEA SJOMARKE wireless charger

If you need more bedside storage, here’s how to use 2 LACK shelves for a nightstand. Add a basket or container between the two shelves to function like a drawer.

IKEA floating nightstand with two LACK shelves

Or if you want a more impressive modern floating nightstand, take a look at this cross LACK floating nightstand with light.

Cross floating nightstand

Want more ideas? Click to see more IKEA Nightstand Hacks.

Jules Yap