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Let there be light

Spinning out of control the globe flung itself downwards, shattering like Humpty Dumpty never to be put back together again. Hearing it’s explosive finish, we hurried into the dining room to find it scattered over the table.I have the world’s best bad luck, no one had been eating at the time. Our bedroom ceiling fan came crashing onto down onto the foot of our bed during the day, once again no one was in the room. Since this is about ceiling fans not cars, I will save the story about my clutch cable for another day. I have what I call mitigated bad luck, if it had happened to someone less fortunate it would have been worse. Just call me Lucky.

When we were remodeling our house, I insisted that I wanted a pretty ceiling fan with a light. After pricing my dream fan, we bought a Hampton Bay fan at Home Depot. It had the requisite light. Two important facts about ceiling fans with lights.

  1. The oscillations of the fan can cause the screws that hold the light globe in to loosen.
  2. There are no replacement light globes available.

If you are aware of these things, you would probably schedule a monthly screw check, perhaps doing it at the same time you recharge the batteries in your doorbell. If you are unaware of these things, you find yourself in my situation.
My first thought was to buy a lamp kit and replace the entire ensemble. Then I remembered this photo.
I love this chandelier, it speaks to my sense of whimsy.
In my stash of weird things that my friends give me, was a verycolander chandelier 001 similar chandelier fixture, with three arms rather than five. For some reason I am the sort of person who is often gifted with odd things because “I think you might be able to do something with this”. I had a vague notion of making a standing lamp out of it.
colander chandelier 003If there are colanders with enamel finishes in Merida, they are not in any of my usual hangout. I did find similar shaped colanders at Chedraui for $65 mxn each.
I looked for directions on how to assemble it, especially how to make the hole in the top. One blogger used a plasma torch! Another blogger simply drilled a larger hole in the center and threaded the cord through it.  Lacking a plasma torch, I bought a hack saw with a metal cutting blade at the mercado. I also added the word for saw blade to my vocabulary, I already knew serrucho, but apparently I wanted is called un arco para calar and the blade is called segueta. When I input those words into google translate, segueta is translated into hacksaw, and arco para calar comes back as the unintelligible bow to stall, no wonder I spent my first year here not understanding anything anyone said to me.

The hacksaw took too much effort, so I abandoned that idea for one that I had read about drilling more holes and popping out the resulting circle. Drilling holes into a metal bowl isn’t the best plan either, unless you like high pitched screeching noises. Eventually, Husband suggested using an old pair of pruning shears, we would have used tin snips but those seem to have been put away in a safe place. I figure that I will find them tomorrow while looking for something else. The pruning shears worked! colander chandelier 006colander chandelier 007
I considered painting my creation, but I think I will leave that for another day.
colander chandelier 008The next step was threading the colanders onto the light sockets. Holding the colanders in place are harp holders that also thread on to the socket. There is a hole just inside one of the stubs which Husband suggested that I line up with one of the colander holes and insert a machine screw. I couldn’t find a machine screw the right size so I used a wood screw. Hopefully it will stay put.

Everything put together, it was time to hang the lamp. All I need is to buy some nicer light bulbs and it’s all set. Ideally, we’d have an electrician lower the ceiling fan too. Sometimes having twelve foot ceilings is a pain.
colander chandelier 015

Update: Home Depot had prettier fluorescent bulbs for $149 mxn a pair. After I bought and installed them I found that Sam’s Club had a package of three similar looking LED’s for $300 mxn.  chandy with new bulbs 003

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Wow!! I love this concept….never saw anything like this before. Clever you for creating this gorgeous finished product!!!!

  2. Barb,
    It sort of reminds me of the garage lights they sell. I went out and bought pretty light bulbs today.Glad you like it.

    Teresa in Nagoya,
    I’m not really patient, but I am persistent. Thank you for the compliment.

    It isn’t my original idea. Seriously, google colander lights and prepare to be amazed!


  3. You need to trademark this, pronto! What an appealing, whimsical design!

  4. you are so creative and soooo patient! the chandelier looks great!

    teresa in nagoya

  5. That’s fabulous!! I’ll bet the shiny inside of the colander is great for light reflection and makes it as bright as can be.

  6. Hi Margo,
    Thank you. Google “colander lights”, there are some amazingly cute lamps out there. I wish that I could have found the enamel ones, but I still have the option to spray paint the ones I did buy.


  7. That is clever beyond comment!

  8. Steve,
    I am eyeing this as a possiblity for the bedroom.

    Thank you.


  9. Clever idea. Now you need to whip up some trendy shades for the bedroom fan. I am certain your imagination will conjure up something.

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