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Get rid of those boob lights! Make this DIY Industrial light fixture instead!

Hi all! I’m Amanda and I am so excited to be sharing with you some fun DIY projects like this DIY Industrial Light. I blog at Burlap and Babies and I’d love if you hop over and say hello, of course after you finish reading about this fabulous project I have for you today!

A friend recently mentioned de-boob lighting her home lights. Ahhhh yes! That’s exactly what we need in my home! Every room has those ugly, generic lights and my plan is to slowly work my way through our home creating new, more attractive light fixtures. The nice thing about this light fixture is that you are able to use most of your current light fixture to create a new one.

DIY Industrial Light

Today, I am sharing with you the new light my hubby and I built for his office. We are going with an industrial theme for his office and started with an industrial style desk and have added a few more elements in the last few months to complete his office, including this curtain rod made from supplies you’d find in the hardware store.

DIY Industrial Light

The room isn’t complete yet, however, I love how it is coming along and how this light just makes the room! We have been trying to figure out the best type of light for his office and stumbled across this Claudo light fixture by Cerno. Instead of buying it for a little over $380, we decided to make it ourselves for around $30. Another nice thing about making it ourselves is that we were able to change the dimensions to better fit our room. So come join me for a cup of joe as I share with you this DIY industrial light.

DIY Industrial Light




  • Two 11.5 inch by 12 inch cut at 45 degrees on both sides
  • Two 23 inch by 12 inch cut at 45 degrees on both side
  • One 21.5 inch by 10 inch bottom board



1. Start by cutting all your boards to size. We chose to cut them all at 45 degrees for a clean joint but you very well could just do straight cuts and use different sized boards. After you make your cuts, attach all your sides to make a box using a micro pinner. The micro pinner is key in getting the clean look for this DIY industrial light.

2. Once your box is made, cut your bottom board to size and attach it in the bottom of the box using the micro pinner. If you plan on doing the same dimensions as our light, the bottom ends up being 21.5” long by 10” wide.

DIY Industrial Light

3. Now comes the fun part! Using your table saw, set your blade height to cut into your board but not all the way through. The depth is totally up to you, but we went with about half the thickness of the wood. Next, decide what distance in from the edge you want the grooves and then go for it! Once all your grooves are cut, adjust your fence over just a little and do a second pass on all sides to make the groove wider.

DIY Industrial Light

4. Next you’re going to cut your side accent slits. This detail is what makes this light so fun! Using a pencil, draw out roughly where you want the slits. If you’re Type A like me, don’t stress over putting it at the perfect spot, I promise you, it will look great!! Cut them using your table saw with the height of about 3”. Depending on how much light you need in the room, you can do more slits. We chose one full slit on the end pieces and one long slit on each side. Using 120 grit sandpaper sand down any rough edges and then wipe your whole box down with a clean cloth.

5. Now the pretty part. Dip your rag in the stain and rub it on your box. I do it one side at a time and then wipe the excess off using a clean rag. Be sure when you put the stain on and wipe it off you wipe in the same direction of the grain. To get in the slits and grooves, use a small paint brush.

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to stain wood, check out this post. 

DIY Industrial Light

6. Wait about 24 hours and then spray the entire box with a clear wood varnish. You could brush on a clear varnish but the spray version is much easier to get in all the grooves. Ours took four thin coats. Be sure to wait at least 30 minutes between each coat.

DIY Industrial Light

7. Depending on your light fixture, you most likely will need a 25/64 drill bit to match the nipple size that holds on your original shade. We had to purchase a 6” nipple to accommodate the taller light shade. You should be able to find one in the lighting section at your local hardware store. Flip your box over so the bottom is facing up and measure to find the center. Be sure to measure this a few times before drilling because if this is off then your light will sit crooked. Once you have drilled the hole in the wood, you can drill a hole through your latch plate and attach it to the middle of the box. Honestly, the latch plate serves no function except to be pretty, but I love how it adds to the industrial feel of the light. The latch plate should come with 4 small screws to attach it to the box. If yours doesn’t, you’ll need 4 screws to attach it to the box.

DIY Industrial Light

DIY Industrial Light

8. Now that the DIY industrial light is done, it’s time to install it. The first step is to attach the nipple with one nut on each side of the light fixture to keep it secure. Then attach another nut about an inch from the bottom so that you have a tight hold when you attach the finial. It should look something like this.

DIY Industrial Light

9. For this last step you will most likely need two people, unless you’re Hercules and have super strength. One will need to hold the light shade and maneuver the nipple through the hole, while the other screws the finial on to secure the whole thing.

Now take a step back, dust your hands off, and feel awesome about yourself! Or at least that’s what we did.

DIY Industrial Light

I am so excited with how this light fixture turned out! One light makeover complete, 8 more to go. Be sure to follow along at Burlap and Babies to see how the industrial office turns out. Soon we hope to build industrial bookshelves and then we can officially mark this room off the list as complete.

DIY Industrial Light

Now that you’ve seen what type of fixture fits our home office, what type would you love to see in your office? Are you ready to make your own DIY industrial light? If you do, I’d love to see it! Leave me a link in the comments below.

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    1. Thanks Nakalan! We had so much fun making it. And seriously, it’s like fool proof. Once the boards are cut, the slits and grooves can pretty much go wherever.

    1. I know right?! 🙂 Those boob lights, I tell ya! Who designed those anyway?!

    2. Perfect! I know! Aren’t they the worse? Why does anyone even put those in homes?! 🙂

  1. I love this! We have so many ugly light fixtures in our new home that I seriously can’t wait to get rid of!

  2. This is an amazing idea. One question I have is, how bright it is? I’m concerned that it might be too dark during the night.