So my large faceted sphere light has been attracting a lot of attention recently, and one reader asked how much light it cast and if they could use it to light a room. It struck me that maybe this was the perfect time to introduce this fun variation on my faceted lights, a drum shade!
One thing I really love about the drum shade concept, is that no matter what you cover the shade with and how much light it might obstruct, you are still going to get plenty of light pouring out the top and the bottom of the fixture which can really light a room nicely. It works really well over a table or another space perfect for spot lighting, but it also bounces a ton of light off of a white ceiling which can really help spread the light around an entire room.
For this shade I once again went back to my trusty Ikea Lobbo shade to use as a base, and then I made a piece of what you could call ‘fortune teller fabric.’ I think when I posted my small sphere light I had mentioned this technique of locking the fortune tellers together. It is really fantastic, and allows you to create this cohesive piece of fortune tellers all glued together. You take four units, and lay them out in a square, which will have eight points on each side. You then take a fifth unit, and drop it down onto the four center points, one from each of the four original fortune teller units. If you add a bit of glue you have then locked those five units together. You keep adding units, first to the under layer and then filling in the top layer until you have a piece that is two layers thick, and however wide and long you need.
For this light I decided to build this piece up on the diagonal, so each fortune teller unit looks more like a diamond than a square, but it really doesn’t matter. I built my fortune teller fabric up until it was the same height as my shade, and then I kept growing the length until I had enough to wrap completely around my shade. I usually measured it out so that once it was glued in place, the ends were two rows of under layer units touching, and then once it was attached to the shade I would glue on the top layer units to lock the whole piece together. I used my trusty hot glue gun and unless you pull on the paper those fortune tellers aren’t going anywhere!
I love the regular pattern the pieces create, and I think the shadows that play off of the white paper are really cool. The whole piece measures approximately 14 inches across and about 10 inches high, but you could always cut down the height of the Lobbo shade a bit to change the aspect ratio to be more of a horizontal rectangle.
Because the light has to pass through the plastic shade and multiple layers of paper (at least four layers in most places) I found that the shade glowed, but really didn’t let much light pass through from side to side, but honestly I think this makes the shadows so much more interesting! Especially when you see it next to a wall, you get this interesting dark band where the shade is and then these nice curved shapes of light.
I think this makes a fantastic pendant shade, but it also would make a great table light! My dad was actually so excited when he saw it that he wants me to cover the shade of one of his existing table lights, which I think will look amazing in his new modern apartment! I promise to show everyone before and after photos as soon as I get started on that project, don’t worry.
I hope everyone enjoyed today’s twist on a blog favorite, and hopefully anyone who was wondering about making a large faceted light of their own but wasn’t sure about the amount of light that would be transmitted now can consider doing this project instead. (Especially since there is so much air flow around the light bulb that you can probably get away with a stronger bulb than in one of the paper lanterns.)