Published on January 21st, 2010 | by Jules Yap


A lighting hackea

A simple light hack but one that helps Stefan save energy.

We have a dining room table light (not made by IKEA) which has 5 E14 fitting type bulbs. The original bulbs were 25W a piece, which adds up to 125W total.

Trying to reduce our energy usage I decided to replace with the 5W Sparsam CFL’s. At first it didn’t look too pretty.

The solution was simple: spray-paint them to a matching color and so the label text isn’t visible anymore. The result: energy usage dropped from 125W to 25W. On the last picture you can see lights 1, 2 and 5 have been replaced with the Sparsam bulbs, lights 3 and 4 are original (for comparison purposes).

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PS vanity
Congrats to Martina and Sonic the hamster!

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".

14 Responses to A lighting hackea

  1. Thanks to you all for the comments. I didn’t expect this :-)

    I’ll try to answer some of the questions that were posted:

    The 5W CFL’s produce more light than the original 25w bulbs. The color of the light is a bit colder, but still quite acceptable. It’s nowhere near the really high color temperatures than are seen on the “cold white” LEDS (7000K). I think it’s at about 3000K. I’ll ask my friend at to test the IKEA sparsam bulb.

    I got the fixtures in 2005 at Goossens Nuenen (the Netherlands).

    Brian: these sparsam bulbs come without a rubber sleeve. I’m aware that the sparsam series has also been sold with a rubber sleeve.

    The main disadvantage of using CFLs is the warm up time. It takes +/- 5 minutes for the lights to warm up.

  2. Yoann says:

    Ok, just one silly question, the paint is just to hide to power of the new bulbs, right ?

  3. Anonymous says:

    great idea, but i still don’t like the type of light that comes from energy saving bulbs. it’s too cold.

  4. granitegirl says:

    Cool solution. Where’s the light holders/lamps from?

  5. Anonymous says:

    this looks even better than before!

  6. Kosmika says:

    These are far better than the original! I must try this with some Sparsam that i put on an old iron lamp. They look too ‘modern’, but with a white or black coat they will look awesome.. why didn’t i think about myself mothts ago? ehm.. :)
    Lazyness ;)

  7. Brian says:

    Nice work… those are some sweet-looking old fixtures.

    To take it one step further, you could remove the “frosted” rubber sleeve to give those bulbs a more utilitarian, industrial look that would match the fixtures nicely. Gently cut around the edges with a sharp hobby knife and peel it off.

    The sleeve probably provides a small bit of impact protection and a bit more uniform output, but clear bulbs look so much better when they’re in exposed fixtures like those.

    I discovered this when IKEA had the green-coloured Sparsam bulbs on clearance for around $0.50/each. I liked the bulbs, and the price… just not the green colour. A little bit of experimentation with the X-acto knife revealed that the green rubber peels off and becomes a standard white bulb!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Really like this hack. Where are the light fixture lamps from?

  9. Robj98168 says:

    They look great! And way to save on your power usage!

  10. DJinny says:

    Wow! so much prettier!!!
    And its a tip for everyday use too!!!

  11. Brilliant idea! I like it. Thanks.

  12. Wow! This is a very innovative idea.

  13. indigoid says:

    Aye, excellent idea, as Arlene noted above.

    One further suggestion — if you look around you should be able to find 10W E14 “warm colour” CFLs. I have these in DUDERÖ lamps, very nice, very bright and only 20W per DUDERÖ lamp. We have two such lamps in the bedroom, very good for reading by.

    Personally I don’t find the 5W units bright enough.

  14. Arlene says:

    Great simple idea!!

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