Great Lights for the Great Room


The lights around our kitchen island are done and it turned out really good. Shortly after deciding to hang our pots from pipe we started thinking about using mason jars for our lights.


We had several ideas but never really moved on anything until we found these old bathroom lights for like $4 a bar at the restore.


Shortly after we got busy testing them out and making plans. Then I started building boxes.



The boxes are hollow on the inside and the piece along the top is only a 1/4 inch thick. I used 2 coats of black stain, not paint so that the wood grain is visible and they match our mantle and the frame on our mirror.



The first two boxes are 3 feet long and 8 inches wide and contain 3 lights, the last box is 5 ft long, 8 inches wide and has 5 lights.

I didn’t want any nails or screws showing or wires so I did all the wiring inside the cavity of the box and I worked out where the beams would intersect with the joists in the ceiling and tried to get a jar lid right over the joists.



Ultimately my 4 inch screws go through the jar lid, through the box, through little piece of wood to keep the box from sucking in, through 2 layers of drywall and then into the joists.



I used a paddle bit spinning really slowly to cut the holes in the jar lids.The bit would slowly draw a little ring and I could tilt to get it nice and even. If I went to fast it would tear the metal.


The bathroom lights were threaded with a thin plastic nut that tightens it all down.


That plastic nut squeezes the backside of the light against the box and lid. Once everything was assembled Heath and I marked the joists, drilled a hole for the wires to go up and then attached each one.


I have pretty nice attic access so I wired them up to an existing switch up there and then they were ready.


The big 5 ft box is the deluxe model. It has 3 big antique jars from my Grandma’s barn and then I suspended the two regular jars between them.


All the regular jars take candelabra bulbs and we got high efficiency bulbs for less heat as much as less electricity. the blue jars have bigger normal sockets in them and we plan to get some cool looking bulbs for them instead of the normal compact florescent ones we already had.



Next we plan to finish the cover on our oven vent and replace the light over our dinning room table with some sort of hanging jar chandelier.

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