10 Amazing DIY Eco-Friendly Lighting Ideas
This entry was posted on November 21, 2014.
The holiday season is around the corner, which means that it’s time for summer fun and entertaining friends and family. We searched the web for some creative DIY ideas to customize your eco-friendly LED and solar lighting that will create a perfect ambiance both inside and outside the home over the festive period.
Read these facts and safety tips about lighting and LEDs before you get started…
- Never overload electrical outlets. To avoid this common cause of holiday fires, stick to only one high wattage appliance per outlet.
- Prevent your electrical cords from becoming a hazard. Ensure that your cords are not pinched by furniture or windows and placed out of the way of high traffic areas (like doorways and hallways). Do not fasten your cords and wires with staples or nails! Remember, electricity pulses through these cords. Instead, use duct tape or cable ties, which do not interfere with the electrical current.
- When decorating your lighting with paper or other flammables, make sure that the material does not directly touch the bulbs you are working with.
- Don’t connect more than 3 strings of incandescent lights. You may run the risk of blowing a fuse or starting a fire. Consider using LED lights as a safer and eco-friendly alternative.
- LED lighting operates at a lower temperature than incandescent light bulbs. This means less energy is wasted in heat production and less subsequent heat loss.
- LED light bulbs are energy efficient – producing more light per watt than incandescent bulbs. This results in cheaper LED lighting costs in comparison to regular lighting.
- LED light bulbs last longer than incandescent bulbs. Normal light bulbs have an average life span of 1,000 hours, but an LED bulb can have a life span of between 40,000 and 60,000 hours.
- LED lights are more robust than conventional light bulbs. LEDs can also be made significantly smaller than conventional bulbs and can be used in flashlights and other small devices.
- LED lights don’t contain toxins, such as mercury, which are found in incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.
- A final and important safety precaution is to not leave your lights on when you’re not at home.
1. Cupcake Lamp Shades
We found this beautiful design for string lights by Camilla Fabbri online. Using an Anti Cutter, make a cross cut in the bottom of the cupcake liner. Remove each strung bulb from its socket, slip on a cupcake liner and refasten the bulb. This idea can work with colourful paper bags and a range of other objects – some alternative ideas will be featured later on. It is suggested that you use LED lights to minimise the risk of the light bulbs overheating and catching fire.
2. Repurposed Tin Can Lanterns
This simple idea requires minimal materials and is very easy to do. Craft Foxes suggest filling recycled tin cans with sand or even freezing water in it so that when you nail your pattern into the tin can, the can maintains its shape. Another tip is to draw your pattern on a piece of paper which will act as a stencil for your design, prior to hammering the holes into the can.
3. Solar Jar Decoupage
To create your own stunning decoupage solar light, you’ll need a clear Solar Jar, all-purpose glue, a brush or a small sponge and thin paper cut-outs to stick to the glass. Tip: after letting your decoupage work dry, apply a layer of clear varnish over the surface to seal and protect your design. See how it’s done on Hello Natural.
4. Hula Hoops Chandelier
This awesome idea is a great way to repurpose unused objects in your home. Wrap lint around to hide the hula hoop’s colour and to create a beautiful soft effect. Then neatly wind fairy lights around the hula hoop and fasten it with lint or tape. Watch this tutorial on creating your very own hula hoop chandelier.
5. Grapevine LED Balls
If you’re looking for the perfect outdoor lighting idea, Lynne Knowlton has it. The first step is to wind grapevines into a ball. Tip: use a cheap beach ball to guide the shape of the ball. You can easily deflate or puncture the ball for easy removal later. If you can’t find any grapevines, a great alternative is wire, which is often easier to work with. After shaping your ball you can wind LED fairy or string lights around the ball and place it in your garden.
6. Glass Bottle Runner
This next idea is by Beth at Snacker Doodles and is perfect for casting a romantic light in any room or even outdoors. Gently insert fairy lights into the bottle tops and, if you have the patience and the right tools, you could even drill a hole at the bottom of each bottle so that the lights can be arranged seamlessly.
7. Wrapped Tree Fairy Lights
Tip: solar powered fairy lights are a great option, since they require no energy input. At Sustainable.co.za you can get waterproof solar powered fairy lights too!
8. Solar Jar Table Piece
This is a simple idea that requires no crafting. Simply place interesting objects in your solar jar, seal the lid, and voila, you have created a table piece in seconds. Complement with items from our Christmas lights range. [Image credit: Magpie Creative]
9. Seashell Fairy Lights
To create a beach house effect, glue seashells onto strings of fairy lights. Use strong glue and leave ample time for the glue to dry. [Image credit: Martha Stewart]
10. Origami String Lights
This Japanese inspired lighting idea by Cute DIY Pins takes a little longer than some of the other ideas, but is well worth the effort. See the instructions in the image below. Remember as explained above, when crafting lighting with paper, we highly recommend the use of LED lights.
We hope these ideas have inspired you to have fun with your own lighting at home this holiday season. You can find the solar fairy lights, solar jars, and LED fairy lights used in the designs on the Sustainable.co.za website. Have any lighting ideas of your own to share? We’d love to see your DIY creations. Remember to follow our blog for the latest green home tips.