Materials: Parts: Knappa lamp, anti-oxidant wire paste, 2 wire connection caps, fixture cover kit (cover, threaded bolt, supporting cross-piece), or use the existing ceiling fixture parts.
Tools: ladder, wire strippers, wire cutters, utility knife, screw driver (whichever one matches the screws in the fixture cover – usually Robertson (Can), Phillips (US)
Description: The basic principle is a simple one: convert a plug-in lamp to a hard-wired one. The fun part comes when you combine multiple copies of the same shape for more drama! We have a small room and wanted to keep things simple, and Knappa is a large lamp (about 18″ in diameter), so we used three of them to fill the space without overcrowding. Here’s how we converted each of the Knappas into hardwired lights.
A special safety note: electricity can be very dangerous. Please ensure that you cut the power to the fixture before you touch it, and make sure everyone with access to the circuit panel knows that the power is cut because you’re working. The first rule of electrical work is: if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t do it.
Preparing the Knappa
1. Cut the plug off the Knappa cord, leaving enough cord so that your light will hang at the right height (keep about 6-8 inches extra).
2. Using the utility knife, carefully cut a shallow slit into the cord, and press open. You are looking for the two conducting wires within the cord, and it is vital that you do not cut their shielding.
3. Cut around the base of the cord, and remove the cord housing, leaving the 2 conductive wires exposed.
4. Strip the ends of the conductive wires, and twist the exposed wire.
Connecting the Knappa to the Ceiling
1. You will need to thread the ceiling fixture parts onto the Knappa cord before you connect the wires. Put the fixture cover on first (with convex side of the dome facing towards the Knappa), then the threaded bolt, then the supporting cross-piece.
2. Tie a knot at the end of the Knappa cord, right at the base of where you removed the outer cord housing. This will support the weight of the Knappa – it is light, but you don’t want the weight supported by the connection of the wires for fire safety reasons.
3. Twist the exposed ends of the ceiling circuit wires and the Knappa wires together: match black to black, and white to white.
4. If connecting to aluminum wires, apply a generous blob of anti-oxidant paste to each of the 2 wire connections. This is a precaution against fires, as aluminum wiring especially will oxidize over time, resisting current flow and heating the wire.
5. Screw wiring caps onto each of the wiring connections.
6. Tuck the connections into the octagon box.
7. Screw in the supporting cross piece into each side of the octagon box.
8. Screw the threaded bolt into the supporting cross-piece
9. Screw the fixture cover onto the threaded bolt.
10. You can now return power to the circuit
11. Switch on the light and enjoy!
Repeat the steps for your additional Knappas if required.
Special Knappa Modification Note:
Some people may notice that I have changed the shape of the Knappas themselves (very subtly). If you assemble them according to the instructions, the top row of petals sticks up too much for my taste. To fix this, I left the top row of petals partially unpinned to the frame, so that each petal could pivot. To hold the petals at the right height (so they don’t flop completely) I used thread through the empty holes, pulled it tight and knotted.
For the long version of the instructions, please see this.
~ Jennifer Priest, Ottawa