COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
H. G. CLAYTON, DIRECTOR
A Good Reading Lamp
By A. M. PETTIS
Farm Electrification Specialist
Florida Agricultural Extension Service
AJ .. -
Many adults, 4-H boys and girls, and others are interested in
making good lamps for reading. To be useful for reading a lamp
must furnish the following: Enough light where needed and
the right kind of light without glare. In addition, a lamp should
have good wiring that will pass electrical inspection. The fol-
lowing information and plans will be helpful to those making
Important Notice to Each 4-H Member.-If your lamp is to
be entered in competition, it should have originality. Follow
the seven rules given but use your own ideas in constructing a
lamp. For example, your lamp could be constructed of many
different materials including one of the following: cypress knee,
copper tubing, metal pipe, hard or soft wood, etc.
A good reading lamp should meet seven requirements:
1. Proper Height.-The bottom of the shade is 15 inches from
2. Enough Light.-150 watt bulb is used.
Fig. 1.-A 150 W indirect bulb and two types of harp that may be
used with it.
3. Right Kind of Light.-A special 150 W indirect bulb (see
Fig. 1) that diffuses the light may be used. (Do not confuse it
with a floodlight or a spotlight which has the same shape.) If
an ordinary 150 W light bulb is used, a diffusing bowl is needed.
This diffusing bowl should be about 8 inches in diameter at the
top. See figure 2.
4. Proper Shade. A
shade is translucent (lets
some light pass through
it) and it is white on the
inside. Also it is flared
(wider at the bottom
than at the top).
5. Good Wiring.-
Wire, socket, plug cap
and wiring connections
are approved. A metal
pipe in the stem is useful
for holding the socket.
See figure 3.
6. Good Appearance
and Suitable for Read-
ing. -The size, shape,
and material of the shade Fig. 2.-A diffusing bowl is needed with an
ordinary 150 watt bulb.
fit the stem and base,
thus giving the lamp a pleasing appearance. The cellophane
wrapping is always removed from the shade. Good workman-
ship is necessary for good appearance.
7. Good Balance and Proportion.-The lamp is sturdy and has
a suitable base.
Materials Needed for a Good Reading Lamp
Lumber-pine, cypress, cedar, etc.,
2 pieces 1" x 2" x 14"-to make stem (vary length according to
1 piece 1" x 7" x 7"-to make base
1 piece 1" x 6" x 6"-to make base
Socket, 7' lamp cord, plug cap (hard rubber or plastic type with grip)
Metal pipe-threaded fixture pipe, copper tubing, or other pipe may be used.
Proper shade-some lamp-builders find it easier to obtain a desirable shade
first, then construct the lamp to match the shade in appearance and
Paint, varnish, stain, etc.
Diffusing bowl, diffusing bowl holder, and ordinary 150 W bulb is needed; or
use 150 W indirect bulb and a special harp to h-old the shade. See figure 1.
Base.-Make the base of two 1" boards. The lower one is 7"
square and the upper is 6" square.
Stem.-Make the stem of two pieces of lumber 1" by 2" and
about 14" long, or long enough to give the proper height. Groove
the pieces down the center. Cut a notch at the lower end of
one piece for the pipe to bend and come to the side of the stem.
Sec figure 3. Use care in bending the pipe so it will not be
closed or broken. Place the pipe in the two halves of the stem.
Use glue or wood screws to fasten the two pieces of the stem
together. In the same manner fasten stem and base together.
Stain, varnish, or paint lamp as desired.
Wiring.-Use a string or small wire to pull the lamp cord
through the pipe. Refer to Extension Circular 112, "Electricity
Made Easy," to make proper plug cap wiring connections. Mount
socket on lamp and connect cord. Attach diffusing bowl holder
to brass lamp socket or mount harp as needed. Screw in bulb
and place shade on lamp; it is now ready to be plugged in and
Fig. 3.-Left, wood and metal parts for assembling lamp;
right, assembled lamp.