Every once in a while, a DIY project presents itself that is so easy, so fast, and yet so completely perfect for a space that you can’t help dropping everything and doing that project. This DIY wire cage ceiling light fixture is just such a project. It’s unbelievably simple and straightforward, and the end result is completely satisfying.
The following article is a step-by-step tutorial on how to create and mount your own wire ceiling light fixture.
DIY Level: Beginner
- Wire grating (example uses a 2”x3” wire grid)
- Metal cutters (aka “tin snips”)
- Electrical tape and/or small wire
- Spray paint
- Ceramic light bulb mount
- Edison LED light bulb
- Screw hooks
Begin by determining the size, either by circumference or diameter, of your desired light cage. Mark this length on your roll of wire grating.
Use tin snips to cut along the outer wire line of this distance, taking care to keep the line. Do the same for your desired light fixture height. When determining the width and height of your fixture, keep in mind the span of the light bulb(s) that the cage will mount on top of. In other words, make sure your cage is wide enough for your bulbs and also deep enough for your bulbs so the cage doesn’t touch the light bulbs in any way when it’s mounted.
You should end up with a cylindrical shape of wire grating, with even edges on all ends.
Grab some electrical tape (or small wire, if you’re not planning on painting your wire cage) and attach the grating edges together to create a complete cylinder.
This example used electrical tape because it stretches and is flexible without being bulky. Keep the wrap-angle sharp so you make fewer rotations of the tape over your two connecting wires. If you’re using small wire, simply wrap enough small wire around the connecting grating wires so as to keep them securely together.
Of course your tapes wires will be a little thicker than the others because there are two wires plus tape at this joint; however, the connection will be less obvious once you paint the fixture later.
Set your cylinder down and check for evenness in its shape.
If there are parts of your cylinder that are uneven or slightly bent, bend them back into a smooth, round form.
Set your newly rounded and smoothed cylinder on top of some flat wire grating.
Use your tin snips to cut the flat wire grating all the way around your cylinder, keeping about 1” overlap of the flat grating. This will be the bottom of your wire cage, and you want a little overlap to be able to connect the flat grating to the bottom of the cylinder.
Don’t worry if all the overlap isn’t exactly even; do the best you can, and what makes the most sense, with the wire grating you’ve got. You want all raw edges on the flat grating for overlap.
Use pliers to bend the overlapping raw edges to a 90-degree angle, precisely at the point of connection with your cylinder wire grating.
Set the angled raw wire directly against the cylinder’s perimeter wire.
Tightly bend the raw wire over (or under, depending on how you’re holding it) the perimeter wire, folding it back almost against itself.
Use pliers to pull the very tip of the raw wire through the grate.
The wire loop should be touching itself, and the connection should be as small, tight, and efficient as you can possibly make it.
Repeat this process for each of the raw wires on the flat bottom grating piece. Take care to maintain the cylinder shape throughout; don’t pull the raw wires too tightly, and don’t leave them too loose.
You don’t want the raw edges poking out as far as they probably are.
Take your tin snips and carefully trim off any excess from your raw wire loops.
Done with the hardest part! It looks good, doesn’t it? Make any adjustments to the shape that you might need to make at this point, before painting.
Set the wire cage on a drop cloth and spray paint 2-3 light coats. Be sure to spray all sides and from all angles, including the inside-the-cage wires.
Let the wire cage ceiling light fixture dry completely.
When your wire cage is ready to be installed, get out some screw hooks that are the same color as your ceiling, if possible. You want these to be as invisible as you can make them.
Setting the hooks aside for a minute, hold the wire cage up against the ceiling with the light completely centered.
Mark three or four equidistant drill spots, even with the cylinder’s perimeter wire, onto the ceiling with a pencil. These will be where your screw hooks will go.
Drill appropriately sized holes for the screw hooks at the places you’ve marked.
Screw in your screw hooks to the ceiling. Because they’re going into sheeting, these screws won’t tighten down all the way. Just screw them in until their flange touches the ceiling surface, then call it good. The wire cage isn’t heavy, so they’ll hold the weight just fine.
Set the wire cage into the screw hooks.
That’s it. Seriously. The end.
For something so easy, it sure makes a difference in the room’s personality.
A cheap, generic builder-grade light was in here before. And, while this wire cage isn’t expensive by any means, it’s much more stylish and unique.
Be sure to use a clear globe light bulb (or another bulb you love) to maximize the industrial effect.
This aqua color was perfect for a pre-teen girl’s bedroom, but I think you could really have fun with some other colors. Black would be sophisticated, or gold would be chic in a less kid-focused space.
Good luck creating your own customized DIY wire cage ceiling light fixture. We hope you’ll love it.