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From Halogen to LED


We've had this arched floor lamp in our Living Room for over 20 years. We quite like it, as the arch is thin and unobtrusive, and lamp itself is also quite small. As well, we like how it is right over the center of the sofa. However, as you can see the lampshade is missing from this photo. I took it apart before I decided to make a video/article about it!

(The next two photos show the top of the lamp pole, and the old lampshade.)

Here is a (somewhat faked) photo of the underside of the lamp shade. (Faked in that some of the pieces were loosely put back together to resemble how it was originally configured.)

This was a halogen lamp, which used one of those skinny halogen bulbs. It was 150 watts, which was nice and bright, but also quite hot. Recently it stopped working, and we thought that the bulb had burnt out. However, it turned out that the wiring in the lampshade was crispy and brittle from 20+ years of being exposed to 150watts of heat from the (very hot) halogen bulb.

I trimmed back the brittle and damaged part of the wires, and I could have just put the lamp back together, but my wife and I decided that I should try and see if I could convert it to be an LED lamp.

After some searching I found this compact 4-1/2" diameter LED downlight. This is intended to replace conventional "pot" lights. Most importantly, to us, from the dimensions provided on it would fit inside the existing shade. So I ordered one.

But when it arrived, it came with this rather large AC adaptor. (This photo and the next photo). Now, I've worked with LED lights before, so I know that LED lights run on DC current. However, there was NOT an AC Adaptor shown in the Amazon listing, so I had assumed that the AC Adaptor was built into the back of the LED lights. There are a number of LED light kits that are designed to screw into light sockets, as retrofit kits, where the AC adaptor is built in.

We considered returning it, but in the end decided to see if we could make it work. I looked around for something to use as a replacment lampshade and ended up buying a set of mixing bowls on sale at a local store. Black metal mixing bowls are a bit rare. One of the bowls was 6-1/2" in diameter (inside measurement at the lip), by about 3-1/2" deep. (165mm x 90mm)

Here is a comparison between the bowl and the original lamp shade.

I traced over the bowl with some paper, to find the exact outline of the bowl's shape, and then transferred that to some scrap 1/2" baltic birch plywood and cut that out on the bandsaw. I then finessed the shape on my homemade disc sander to get it to nicely fit into the bowl. (Next two photos.)

After fitting it to the bowl, I then found the center of the wooden disc and cut a circle in it to match the size of the new LED light. The replacement LED light has spring loaded clips to hold it in place in drywall, which works well with the plywood disc as well.

I applied two coats of white paint to the plywood "donut" that I made. The LED fixture is also white, so this will help it match.

I then voided my warranty on the mixing bowl by drilling a hole in the base. We needed a hole here for the mounting bar which attaches the lampshade to the arched arm of the lamp. This is how the wires would enter the lampshade. I started with a small 1/8" drill bit and worked my way up in size until I had a drill bit that matched the size of the hollow tube that would bolt to the lampshade.

Here is the bowl-lampshade with it's mount. It's starting to look like this is actually going to work!


And then I ran into trouble.

The AC Adapter is quite large, and the bowl was not quite big enough to comfortably fit everything. I struggled and struggled...

... and struggled. I finally got it in, but the wooden "donut" was not recessed as much as I had planned. And even then the LED light fixture does not sit 100% flush. I tested the wiring and the light worked, and then I proceeded to screw the wooden "donut" into place. (I had prevsiously drilled three holes around the rim of the bowl to accommodate mounting screws.)

Here is a picture of the finished lamp shade with the new LED light installed. You can see how there is a small gap along the LED downlight fixture where it does not quite sit flush with the wood.

I used a black marker to darken the screws. I did not have black screws, nor did I have any black spraypaint. The marker worked well enough.

I then moved the lamp into the living room and installed it. It can be seen in this closing shot from the build video. A few more photos are below.

In summary, I had fun in the shop. I successfully converted this lamp from halogen to LED. I successfully used a mixing bowl in my project and it does actually look acceptable. If I were to do it again, I would look for a different LED downlight kit which would hopefully fit the bowl better. Partway through this project I was sure that it was going to be a total fail, so I count it a win!

Some of the Tools/Supplies Used In This Project: (Affiliate Links)

I don't have much in the way of relevant affiliate links for this project. First of all, The lamp we purchased was a "Snople 13W 4.5-inch waterproof LED downlight Dimmable Retrofit kit... Daylight 4500K ...". This link is to -- I have not been able to find anything like this on to provide an affiliate link. But I thought I'd give the link here as I'm sure someone will want to know.

Black steel bowls, in my online search, seemed to be rather rare. Black steel bowls in what I thought was a pleasing shape, were even more rare. Typically bowls are very wide. I wanted something that was a bit more of a cylindrical shape. The bowls we bought were on sale from Canadian Tire (A local large hardware/automative/home store) for $20. The regular price is currently a rather ridiculous $70, so I can't recommend it unless it goes back on sale. (Those are February 2019 prices, in Canadian Funds.)

So maybe just check out some of my other recommended affiliate links?

SensGard ZEM hearing protection
Stanley Leverlocks -- love these tape measures
Other auto-locking tape measures
Long Nose Pattern Marker
Painter's Pyramids
Dowelmax Company
NOTE: at the time of publishing (May 2023) Dowelmax is not currently available on amazon. It has been in the past, so I am keeping the following links, but right now only the link above to "" is known to work.
Dowelmax Dowel Joinery Kit
Dowelmax Drill Guides for 1/4" Dowels
Dowelmax Dowels

Kreg Pocket Hole Clamp
Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
(I have older versions of these Kreg tools)

3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.


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See Also:

LED Lighting Experiment

LED strip lighting revisited

T8 vs T8 LEDs

LED lighting update