Published on July 8th, 2006 | by Jules Yap


make your own ikea dna lamp

seeing this hopf & wortmann dna lamp, available from next [via design*sponge and reluct], i had an “aha” moment. i remembered seeing a similar lamp hack at boingboing – the fractal chandelier from sean michael ragan. with a few adapters and energy saving bulbs from ikea, you can stamp your very own dna on this lamp. except, maybe, you can’t get it in pretty pink.

sean explains, “this is a suspended light fixture ‘grown’ from 31 nested twin-lamp socket adapters. 32 7.5 watt bulbs draw a total of 240 watts. all the adapters and fixtures are rated for 660 watts, so this figure is well within the safety range. 15 watt bulbs would also be acceptable, and would generate more light. as it is, the fixture puts off very little heat. you can put your finger on the surface of one of these tiny bulbs for an indefinite period of time without experiencing any serious discomfort.

the chandelier is essentially a binary tree in 3-space. it is symmetrical, with each adapter, except the top one, being positioned at a 90-degree angle relative to the axis of its parent. after assembly, a drop of cyanoacrylate glue was applied to the junction of each pair of adapters to keep the structure from deforming if the chandelier is moved or jostled.”

simply electrifying. for full instructions, click here.

(update! and so it seems there is a little hoo-ha going on about who first designed the dna lamp. michael silverberg from metropolis wrote to apartment therapy to clear the haze. as much a hacker as i am, i think it is important to know the origins of a design and give due credit. so, it’s irving harper, people. link.)
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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

5 Responses to make your own ikea dna lamp

  1. Tanner says:

    really neat! can’t get it in pretty pink? sure you can! Just spray paint the sockets. I wanna try this in my apartment.

  2. john says:

    Can you help me. I am trying to find those twin lamp socket adapters in the UK but can’t seem to find them anywhere.

  3. This post just now caught my attention. I had never seen this “DNA Lamp” before now but it does look an awfully lot like a knock-off. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. :)

    Those seeking a source for twin-lamp adapters online should look at the “What’s New” listing on my home page at

    Thanks for posting about my work and for maintaining a great site in general.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I must say that your dna lamp is wery cool! No to my questian where can i bay the “twin-lamp socket adapters” i can`t find i it in sweden!
    Tanks Mattias

  5. Mark says:

    love your site – love seeing all the hacks that you have written and collected all in one place – thanks.

    About this hack. I love it. I'm going to do it, but I think the examples are too caught up on symetry… And… you could use those hideous ikea bulbs, but I think it would be ugly as sin compared to the small bulbs used by the examples… my 2 cents.


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