Published on June 6th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Tripod Desk Light

Materials: Jansjo Work Lamp

Description: As a gift for family, I wanted to make them a low-power desk/task light that was clean and simple, but also useful. After researching tons of LED options and looking at buying LEDs, drivers and power supplies it was a big relief to find Ikea’s Jansjo light was a cheaper and more convenient option.

I carefully disassembled the light by prying off the lens, unscrewing the LED board from the aluminum holder and then cutting the power wires.

I used solid oak dowels from Home Depot. I went with 1″ diameter for the body of the light since I knew that I would have to fit the entire LED board and make sure there was enough wood-material to support the legs below.

I drilled holes with forstner bits so that they would be clean and flat on the bottom and accommodate a snug fit for both the board and the legs.

For aesthetics and to reduce slipping, I used Plastidip on the bottoms of the dowels. I know they have tons of colors and you can even mix your own, but I think red really looks the best. It will match the wiring as well. It goes on really thick and thins out when it dries. I needed a second coat, but actually liked the way the first coat still showed a little wood grain through.

I soldered new wire leads on the LED boards using Radio Shack’s “hook up” wire and red heat-shrink tubing. I then mounted the LED board to the dowel with a little Arctic Silver thermal glue. After testing and double-checking for polarity (LEDs won’t work if you get the voltage reversed), I spliced those wires back into the black leads coming from the Jansjo’s power switch.

I then cut small slits on either side of the LED opening and fit it with a circular lampshade made of vellum about 4″ in diameter.

Tie them up with a ribbon and they’re ready to be delivered!

~ Mark Fischer, Minneapolis

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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".

4 Responses to Tripod Desk Light

  1. Anonymous says:

    What’s the point in using thermal glue? Wood is a thermal insulator … Which also means it can significantly shorten lamp’s life due to overheating.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mark! These are outstanding desk lights! A true hack and fun to read as well. Just when I thought the only hacks I would see for 2012 would be an expedit book shelf re-do. This is a nice change of pace. (Athens, GA)

  3. Anonymous says:

    so 1 Jansjo makes 6 of these?

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