DIY: Fish Lamp

DIY: Fish Lamp

I think I have posted photographs of my Fish lamp before, but I thought I would tell you how I made it. It’s pretty easy, although, it could be considered a fish death trap, so I guess you will have to decide if your beloved goldie can survive in it. We really enjoy ours, it hangs over our dining table / my work desk, and I am able to admire my little fish friends all the time as they lazily swim in circles above my head.

We bought an IKEA PS ceiling lamp and removed the wire cabling that is supposed to hang the lamp from the ceiling. There are plenty of cautions on the packaging warning that combining this lamp with any form of liquid is pretty dangerous, so yep, do it at your own risk, you can’t blame IKEA or me obviously, if you or all your fish end up like wet electrocuted zombies!

The 2 key issues that the warnings refer to are :

1. that electricity and water don’t mix well, yes we’ve all see the detective shows where various characters are electrocuted in the bath by various appliances so we understand the risks yes? ok moving on then…

2. that water is pretty darn heavy, so the flimsy little wire and plastic thingy that they want you to hang the lamp with won’t work, if you hang your lamp, filled with water from that, your lamp is going to fall, no questions asked.

The lamp is like a clear plastic donut, it has a whole in the middle, where the light bulb is inserted, usually Ikea encourages you to fill your lamp with plastic toys or plush, some kind of non flammable light object, but we couldn’t resist breaking the rules.

So to combat the heavy water, which would result in the lamp falling out of the ceiling, and drenching/electrocuting everyone in the near vicinity, we hung the lamp from its metal “bucket handle” from a large hook. We cut off the wire cabling that connected it to the plastic ceiling support, and joined the electric cable to another length of cable to plug it in. The bucket handle supported the weight of the water, plus the various pebbles and plants that I have put in the bottom. Yippeee!

I have to change the water quite often, and we don’t fill it up all the way, it is quite interesting to have the lamp change colour as algae grows on the plastic walls. It goes from quite a white light to a more yellow green one. I lift the lamp off the hook, feed out the inner light, and haul it into the bathroom for a bit of a scrub and new water, then rehang it, being very careful to dry and clean all the excess water off the plastic, before I insert the light in the hole.

I would suggest hanging the lamp in a easy to reach place, so its not too difficult to take down every now and then to clean.


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