Repurpose an Old Floor Lamp into an Outdoor Solar Light

Image 1Lighting is such an important part of the design process. Even if you are simply redecorating a room, planning your lighting scheme should be at the top of your to-do list.

Think of lamps as accessories—part of the room’s decor. Lamps not only provide necessary light, but they also add color, texture and personality to a space. New lighting can totally change the look and feel of the room. But if it’s time for new floor lamps inside, you don’t have to get rid of your old ones just yet.

A house always looks so much friendlier and more welcoming when lit up at night, so move one of your old floor lamps outdoors by transforming it into a solar-powered lamppost. Whether it sits at the end of your driveway or along your front walkway, it will help lead the way for your guests, and provide a wonderfully warm sense of home.

Plus, using a solar-powered bulb means there’s no need to run an electrical line outside. Here’s how to turn your outdated floor lamp into a streetlamp-chic lantern in three easy steps.

1. Choose Your Lamp

Almost any tall, sturdy floor lamp will do. I used an old ‘40s- or ‘50s-era floor lamp with good bones. The shape is timeless, but I peeled off the decorative paper from the pole and base to give it a fresh starting point.

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2. Repaint if Necessary

You can either leave the existing finish of the lamp you’re using, or give it a coat of paint for an updated style. After removing the paper from my lamp, I found the brass coating underneath was not consistent.

It definitely needed painting, so I chose hammered spray paint in black to add texture and give the lamp a contemporary look.

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3. Add Your Solar Light

Outdoor solar lights come in several styles, but they’re often built with a stake and meant to be inserted directly into the ground. To adapt one to a lamppost, find a bulb with a base that fits into your shade holder.

For my lamp, the shade holder was three inches in diameter, so I purchased a light with a round base that matched that size. Another option is to remove the light bulb socket and insert the stake of the solar light directly into the holder.

To keep it in place, I used waterproof caulk around the base of the light. However, make sure that you’ll be able to remove the actual bulb if the solar batteries need changing.

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After a few hours of charging in the sun, your repurposed lamp will light up the night. This eco-friendly project saves you from throwing away your outdated lamps, and is an easy way to revamp your home’s curb appeal.

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Merri Cvetan is an interior designer who has an eye for upcycling older decor that most homeowners are replacing. Her solar light revamp is an example of how you can repurpose an old floor lamp to serve a great new function. To research Home Depot’s floor lamp selection, you can visit the company webpage online.

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