Grono swag

Published on September 15th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Lack+Grönö+Hemma=Overhead ‘swag’ light

Lack side table – top
2 Grönö table lamp sets
4 Hemma cords
Soldering iron/electrical soldier/electrical tape
drill & screwdriver
2 packs ceiling drywall anchors
Keyhole brackets/risers

Description: I had a dilemma in the condo we just bought: the builder for whatever reason had designed the bedrooms without any overhead junction box to allow for an overhead light.  There are light switches available on the wall that work one outlet in the room but traditional ‘swag’ style lamps don’t really appeal to me, so…I built one myself.

I’m sure that an easier option would be to simply buy any overhead light, get a cord kit and modify it to plug in to the wall, but then it wouldn’t be a fun IKEA creation.

I used the table top of the Lack side table for my ceiling mounted base (since this is a swag light a cord needs to hang out of it down the wall to get power, and as this vision ends with 4 separate hanging lights, I also needed a way to hide the gathered and spliced cords).

I then sat the empty Grönö glass squares on the upside down table top in the same location I wanted them to hang down. To mark where the cords would hang I took a marker and dotted in the center of the holes on the Lack table and drilled through with a bit that was a bit wider than the Hemma cords.

I cut each of the Hemma cords about a foot and a half from the light socket and fed them through the holes in the Lack table (since I have around 8ft. ceilings and this was hanging over the bed I couldnt let it hang too far down, the cord only hangs about 6in, but better to have a bit of extra cord than not enough), if you wanted it to hang longer a fifth Hemma cord may be a good idea so you have the most length possible in the swag cord.

I then spliced the cords together along with one of the plug ends (yay now I won’t need to have 4 swag cords, I combined them all into 1 which is a bit less obtrusive), I stripped the long plug cord wires to leave a couple of inches exposed for both white and black wires, and stripped an inch for the socket cords, each of which I wrapped around the plug cord, soldiered and taped (white to white and taped, and black to black and taped separately) — wired in ‘parallel’ NOT in ‘series’ which would have dimmed the lights.

On the unfinished side of the lack table (which goes against the ceiling) I screwed In my keyhole brackets with washers underneath to raise them enough for the screw heads in the ceiling to slide in and under to mount it (make sure they all go the same direction!). I measured a few times to make sure that I screwed in the drywall anchors to the ceiling perfectly to match the table brackets. When the screw is screwed into these anchors, I left an inch protruding from the ceiling and slid the light fixture onto the screw heads.

Now attach the glass cubes, screw in your bulbs (I used CFLs just to be sure I didnt force too much wattage down the wire with 4 bulbs instead of the one it was meant for)

Voila! a ceiling light fixture without overhead wiring.

Note: I had to let the glass cubes weigh on the cords for a week or so before they settled into an untwisted state, and I could finally straighten out the cubes to the angles I wanted.

~ April

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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".

9 Responses to Lack+Grönö+Hemma=Overhead ‘swag’ light

  1. Anonymous says:

    This looks great. I think I would have an electrician do it for me though since I’m very cautious when dealing with electrical stuff.

  2. April says:

    Thanks for the input, I never realized external wiring that was accessible still needs a junction box/gang box. I’ve now cut a space out of the hidden/back portion of the table so that the gang box could be fitted in, and simply re-ran the wires into that.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, seriously. I have to agree with imajoebob. This is a terrible, hazardous construction that undoubtedly violates code.

  4. imajoebob says:

    This probably violates most local electrical codes, and with it your insurance policy. Spliced wiring should be done in an electrical gang box, not jammed between wood and plaster. Each splice creates resistance, creating heat, creating a fire hazard. If you can’t fit a low profile box between the table and ceiling, better to keep the plugs and run a long extension cord up above the table top.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Another classy hack that fits my taste to a “T” and I know exactly where this is going in my home. Thank you for sharing.

  6. foggue says:

    well done; great idea; thanks for sharing

  7. Seven11 says:

    Really stylish creation! Thx for sharing!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Creative! Looks great.

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