Spotlight replacement/Ik*a hack

A crappy cell phone shot of one of the lamps that came with the place.

The main living room in the house came with some spotlights that were falling apart. The paint was literally peeling from the fixtures. One of them had come disconnected from the base plate. Most of the potential replacements that we liked were around $100 per fixture (some of them way more). It seemed silly to spend that kind of dough on a simple spotlight, especially when we could pick this one up at Ikea for the price of sixteen small ones. Yes, they cost sixteen dollars. The tricky part is that the Hektar wall/clamp light (here is what it looks like out of the box) was meant to be plugged into an outlet, and even though there is an option to mount it to the wall, the mounting bracket would certainly not cover an outlet box. For $16, we were willing to gamble that we could make the base plates on the existing fixtures work with the Hektars. I was also more than happy to use this as an excuse to take a break from finishing drywall in the downstairs bathroom.

The first step after shutting off the breaker was to remove the old fixtures. Once I had them down, it was pretty easy to dismantle the conduit/hinge that carried the wires through the base plate to the bulb. I kept the section of the conduit that actually mounted to the base plate and tossed the rest. Next, I used the mounting bracket that came with the Hektar to mark some screw holes on the old base plate and drilled a couple of holes to accommodate the new fixture.

Some crappy cell phone shots of me marking and drilling the holes.

After the holes were drilled I painted the base plates matte black. I’m pretty sure that Rust-oleum has a color that is very close to the actual color of the Hekatar fixtures. There was also the option to paint the Hektars matte black. But we have some lights the same color as the Hektars on order for the kitchen (matchy-matchy). Some of the Hektar hardware is black, and the cord is black, I already had a can of black paint in the closet, so hey– I decided to see what it would look like to paint the base plates matte black (bcz, whatevah man).

Some crappy cell phone shots of me holding some spray paint/two of the base plates while the first coat was drying.

It took three coats of paint to make the base plates look usable. This was okay since I had plenty of drywall nonsense to do while I waited for the various coats of paint to dry. Once the base plates were dry enough to work with, I cut the cord off of the Hektar lamp just above the inline thumb switch and threaded it through the conduit. I decided to use the original mounting brackets on the back of the base plates, since the screws that attached to the fixtures have beveled heads (which seat perfectly into the bracket). This also beefed up the connection between the fixture and base plate.

A crappy little collage of screen grabs from an IG story showing the “Frankenfixture” from various angles.

The only thing left to do was strip the ends of the cut wires, connect them to the existing electrical, mount the fixtures and repeat X2. Here are some non-cell phone “after” photos:

[All photos: Jake]

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