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DIY Semi-Flush Ceiling Light For My Music Room – Finished!

My DIY semi-flush ceiling light for my music room is finished!

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I’m really proud of how it turned out, and quite honestly, it was a lot more work than I had anticipated. The more I worked on mine, the more I came to realize that the Coleen & Company price just might be justified. 😀

Yesterday I showed you how I built the actual box. You can click here to see that post

DIY semi-flush ceiling light for my music room - part 1

After I finished building it, I treated it just a like any other building project by wood filling the nail holes, sanding everything smooth, and caulking all of the cracks. Then I painted the whole thing white. I used the same Behr Polar Bear white that I use on all of my trim. And to finish off the light box, I gold leafed the bottom scalloped detail on the outside and inside of the light box, and then gave the whole thing about three coats of clear sealer spray.

Then I needed to build a canopy to go at the ceiling that would actually hold the entire light fixture. I started by cutting a 5-inch square from a scrap piece of 1/2-inch plywood, and then cut and attached panel moulding (purchased at Home Depot by the foot) around the edges.

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Here’s how it looked from the other side (the side that would go against the ceiling).

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Then I drilled all of the holes. I needed two small holes centered on the canopy. These would be the holes that actually attach to the metal crossbar on the junction box in the ceiling. I also needed four 3/8-inch holes for the loops that would hold the chains of the light fixture. I learned the hard way that it’s better to drill from the back to the front. I drilled the first large hole (bottom left) from the front to the back, and the drill bit ripped off some of the top veneer. The others that I drilled from the back to the front look very clean.

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This isn’t the metal crossbar that I used (I ended up using a swivel crossbar so that I could square the wood canopy perfectly on my ceiling), but the holes are uniform on most crossbars, so this is the one I used to determine spacing. Of course, the crossbar goes on the other side, but you can see how I used it to  space the small middle holes and then test it afterwards to be sure the screws from the crossbar would fit through the wood canopy.

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In the large holes, I attached the loops. Before I attached them, I cut them so that they were hooks instead of full loops. My decorative chain is very thick, and once you spread a link apart to get it around a loop, it’s impossible to get it back perfectly, and it looks terrible. So in order not to destroy my chain, I wanted to use hooks both on the canopy and on the light box so that I could just slip the chain onto the hooks on either end. I just used wire cutters to cut through the loops. Also, for some strange reason, these loops (from Lowe’s) come two to a package, and each package has a bright brass loop and a dark brown loop. Since mine would be painted, I didn’t mind.

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And on the back, I secured the loops with a lock washer and nut. Somehow I managed to lose my last shiny new nut, so on the top right loop I had to use an old rusted one that I pulled off of an old light in my garage. That’s why it looks so strange…and ugly. But it won’t show. 🙂

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On the front of the canopy, I wood filled all of the cracks, sanded them smoothly, primed, painted, and then gold leafed the canopy to match the scalloped edge on the light box.

Most canopies are made of metal. Obviously mine was made of wood, and I didn’t want to just put it up against the junction box without protecting the back somehow. I considered cutting pieces of metal (something like flashing) and lining the back of the canopy with that. But instead, I opted to coat the entire thing with four coats of this liquid electrical tape. It’s really thick and stinks to high heaven, but it’s actually electrical tape in liquid form, so I figured that once my four thick coats of liquid electrical tape dried, the back of my canopy would be perfectly safe.

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Now here’s where things get a little tricky and possibly very confusing. Normally at this point, I would wire up the entire light fixture — a wire coming from each light socket, and all four of those wires connecting to one wire that would be fed up through one of the chains, through the canopy, and into the ceiling junction box, where it would be connected to the house wiring.

The problem was that in order to wire up the entire light first, and then hang the light in the normal way, I would need an extra set of hands to be there to hold the light up while I connected the wires in the junction box, before I could attach the canopy. Well, I didn’t feel like calling in reinforcements. I wanted to figure it out myself. So in order to make this a one-person job, I wired everything in the complete opposite order that it’s generally wired.

That means that I started by cutting a long piece of wire and attaching the wire to the house wiring in the junction box, and then I fed the wire through one of the loops, and attached the canopy to the crossbar.

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Next I hung the chains and wove the wire through the back left chain.

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Then I hung the light box on the chains.

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I determined about how long the wire coming from the ceiling needed to be, and cut off the excess. Then I cut four lengths of wire (one for each light socket) and I attached all of those wires together. I’m not going to go in depth on wiring. If you’re not familiar with wiring, then you really need to leave this part to someone else. But the basic process is that you wire all of your neutral wires (white or ribbed wires) together, and all of your hot (black or smooth) wires together using a wire nut and electrical tape.

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I didn’t want my wire connections to be right against the wood crossbar on my light box, but unfortunately there’s no such thing as a tiny plastic junction box for things like this. So I kind of created my own junction box (or in this case, a junction tube) by cutting a piece of 1 1/4″ PVC plumbing pipe and threading all of the wires through the tube. My wires were secured and wrapped really well, but I still made sure that the neutrals were pointing the opposite direction from the hots as I put them into the tube. I secured my junction tube to the wood crossbar using a zip tie.

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And then I ran one wire to each of the light sockets.

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I threaded the wire through the opening in the hickey, and up through the hole in the light socket. Then the wires separated (neutral to one side, and hot to the other) and connected to the screws underneath the cardboard covers on each socket. The hot (black or smooth) wire goes to the gold screw, and the neutral (white or ribbed) wire goes to the silver screw. Just follow the directions on the back of the package that the light sockets come in.

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And finally, I added the plastic sleeves (these aren’t optional, by the way) and the light bulbs.

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Now like I said, I did things completely backwards simply because I didn’t have an extra set of hands to help me install a completely wired ceiling light. If you have an extra set of hands to help you, then you could wire it the normal way — start by wiring the light sockets, then connect those four wires to a main wire, feed that main wire up through the chain, and through the loop in the ceiling canopy. Then have someone hold the ceiling light while you connect the wires in the ceiling junction box, and then attach the canopy to the metal crossbar, and you’re done.

And once I added the glass to the bottom, it was finished! I tried to take a picture with the light on, but I still haven’t figured out how to do that. But at least you can see that the light does, in fact, work. 🙂

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The light at its widest point is about 18″ x 18″.

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The light is made so that the glass can be removed to change the light bulbs. But when I was on the ladder, I realized that it’s probably just as easy to reach over the top to change the light bulbs. In fact, since nothing has to be taken apart that way, and I won’t risk dropping and breaking the glass, it would be a lot easier. My kitchen light is actually made that way with non-removable glass where you have to reach over the top.

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So that’s it! That’s my DIY ceiling light, made complete from scratch, and inspired by the Coleen & Company Daphne light. So how much did mine cost? Here’s the breakdown:

  • One 8-foot length of casing moulding from Lowe’s: $27
  • One 10-foot length of lattice from Home Depot: $8
  • One 8-foot length of scalloped trim from Home Depot: $8.40
  • Frosted glass from local glass shop (Freddy’s Glass): $38
  • One package of 6-inch threaded nipples from Home Depot: $4.20
  • Two packages of lighting loops from Lowe’s: $4
  • Two 12-count packages of brass hex nuts from Home Depot: $6
  • Two packages of candelabra keyless light sockets from Home Depot: $11.85
  • Two packages of candelabra socket covers from Home Depot: $7.30
  • Pre-packaged lighting wire from Home Depot: $7.35
  • Swivel crossbar from Home Depot: $3.45
  • 8 3/4-inch nipples and 4 hickeys from local lighting shop (The Village Lamplighter): $8.50
  • Hot glue and wood glue: on hand
  • Plywood and trim for canopy: on hand (scraps)
  • PVC pipe from Home Depot: $1.90
  • Two packages of screw hooks from Home Depot: $1.95
  • Rectangular chain from Grand Brass: $106.95 (Yep, that was a splurge. Regular chain would have been about $20 from Home Depot.)
  • GRAND TOTAL: $244.85

It wasn’t exactly a cheap light, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than $2800!! 🙂 And if I had been satisfied with regular chain, that would have brought the price to less than $150. Either way, I don’t think it’s a bad price for a custom light!



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    1. How about painting it orange to match the other French Provencal dresser? What other Provencal items are you planning?

  1. I like the bottom gold trim on your light much better than the inspiration light. Good job, that looked like a lot of work!

  2. You need a picture looking into the music room from a distance so we can see it in the room. It looks really beautiful!

  3. So beautiful! Perfectly compliments the gold leaf on your kitchen cabinets! With each project, I think that is my favorite! (Until your next one!!) you continue to amaze me and I so look forward to each one of your posts! I hope you take time to walk around and really look at what you have done and I hope each one brings a big smile to your face. You sure bring a lot of joy to all of us who follow you!

  4. I know it was a lot of work but didn’t the original cost close to $2000? I’m sure the time and materials were no where near that even if you calculate your time at a decent wage. And the satisfaction of saying “I made that” priceless.

    1. The inspiration light in the large size is $2800. Mine came to $244.85, and $106 of that was for the rectangular chain. 🙂 I actually just added a cost breakdown to the end of the post.

  5. Looks great. Better I think than the inspiration light. Their wavy edge is too busy and distracts from the rest of the light. Yours is just right-classy and elegant and more cohesive with the rest of the design.

  6. Holy moley what an amazing light!!! I can’t believe you made that…I want one! You should go into the light fixture building business!
    I also want to see the light from a distance…its amazingly beautiful

  7. I truly like it better than the inspiration light! I love how the trim picks up the bookcase lights and the cabinet trim. So funny, I know your walls are black, but the are showing dark blue on my phone. Lol. Loving the glimpse of the kitchen. Soooo pretty together.

    Sheila F.

  8. You are seriously amazing. A genius of design and master of execution! I’m more the, “hey that’s a good idea!” buys duct tape and two pieces of plywood and hopes for the best kind of girl. Kudos to you!

  9. Hi Krisri. This turned out just beautiful. You have such a vision and your ability to create something to replicate a much more expensive item is admirable!! I especially like how you can build “backwards” in some cases and it works for you!! I was worried in the beginning when you said you were using hot glue and wood glue instead of nails. I thought the heat of the bulbs would melt that glue, but that was before I realized the top was open and any heat created would just raise up and out. Very good job. You are going to really love that so much more than a store bought fixture.

    1. I also just used a very minimal amount of hot glue — just two or three dots per piece to keep it in place quickly. But I also used lots of wood glue on each piece, and the wood glue is what will form a strong and permanent bond. 🙂 The hot glue was just to keep things in place very quickly while I was building it, but not intended for long-term strength.

  10. If you are trying to take a picture of the lit fixture from the ceiling angle, you may want to use your phone on a selfie stick. They are inexpensive and often on sale. Just a thought!

  11. Hi Kristi….. Had to chime in too to say spectacular…… Just courious…. Is there need to make some vent holes for possible heat build up when lights are on?

  12. Add me to the list of those who prefer yours to the original. But the link you provided for the original shows the cost to be $1,875 not $2,800. What did I miss?

    1. That price is for the small 12-inch square light. You can also choose medium, which is $2400, and large, which is $2800. They don’t specify the sizes for the medium and large, so I was just guessing that my 18-inch light would probably be a large. But it might be the much cheaper $2400 medium size. 😀

  13. Beautiful!!! Definitely, looks better than the inspiration. I am amazed that you can look at a photo and duplicate something that not only looks beautiful but actually works. I would love this in a round or oval shape for my house. Seriously Kristi you are amazing!

  14. Kristi, this is amazing! You had me worried when you said you were going to make something. I should have known you would have found a way to make it look like a million bucks. Congrats!

  15. Yours looks so much better than the inspiration light. I find the inspiration one to be very gaudy while yours looks classy and understated. I love your blog and you inspire me to try new things. If only my hubby weren’t such a worrier about us trying to do a lot on our own!

  16. Absolutely gorgeous! It’s so elegant and I also think that it looks so much better than the inspiration one. Well done Kristi…..you’re such an inspiration to us all.

  17. Amazing job — you are an inspiration! I wonder about the issue you were having of the chain links look terrible after opening and closing them. Maybe you’re opening them wrong? Once I learned the proper way I was amazed at how you can open and close a link and never know it was done (and I felt pretty dumb for not figuring it out myself)! It’s hard to describe — try this video https://youtu.be/xtwmpNvOYhk

    1. That is how I did it…or at least tried. 🙂 This chain is so thick that I couldn’t use pliers to open the links. I had to use two screwdrivers inserted in opposite directions and pry the two sides apart like that. Then I did the opposite to close the link, and I just couldn’t get the two sides lined up just right again. The normal linked chain that’s generally used for lighting is so much thinner and easier to pry apart, but I had a very hard time with this thicker rectangle chain.

      1. Well, there you go then! Some chain is more work-hardened, thicker, etc. Your solution was brilliant, in any case!

  18. Gorgeous! I can’t even imagine how you could have figured this out. The end result is great, and it didn’t cost anywhere near as much as I would have imagined. <3

  19. Lots of accolades, I did not see the inspiration light, so had no idea what it was going to look like. You are going to have a very custom house. Certainly won’t see yourself coming and going in magazines, which is, I think, the look you were going for. Good for you. Blessings

  20. It looks so good! I would never dream of making a lighting fixture, but you did, and it turned out beautifully! I love the gold leaf. Something I saw in the photo of the fixture with the reflection of your beautiful doors made me think of something. When I used to work in film, we used things called “cookies” (slang for cucalorus), which were cut patterns placed in front of a light source in order to create patterns in the throw of the light. By using light and shadow, you could create the illusion of leaves on a branch in a window against a plain wall, or all kinds of things. Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying that you could cut a pattern like the one on your sliding doors and place it on your glass and see if you liked having the shadows fall on the floor in that shape, too. Or not. 🙂

  21. Wow!! I’m SO impressed!! I had to giggle when you said that the “Coleen & Company price just might be justified!” 🙂 I bet you were thinking that!! Well, it’s just gorgeous!!! And, you did it for such a great price!!! Awesome!!!

  22. Looks better than the original and at less than 10% of the cost (even with the splurgey chain), you can’t not go this way. Perfect for the room!

  23. Kristi firstly I have to apologise to you. I made a mistake in a comment to you,by using the name of someone else. Hope this didn’t offend you,sorry! Now the light is absolutely amazing,and I love the way you worked out how to manage on yourself.

  24. The fixture is quite stunning. I am happy that you love it for your room and that ist will add that definite unique design element you are looking for.

    Great workmanship as always, but just not my taste. But lighting is like jewelry and sooo very personal…..again, great job!

    If it were me I would prefer it in the bathroom and the bathroom light in the piano room, but this is your blog and that is my feeling. And I am sure you are glad of that fact! haha!

    Nicely done!

  25. AHHH! This is stunning! I agree with an earlier comment: yours is, indeed, better. And while it may have taken you longer than you thought, the result is truly spectacular. I know you jokingly said the $2,800 might be justified but I’d have to disagree. If this were a one-of-a-kind lamp, yes. But this is an “assembly line” type of production (for the inspiration, not yours). Think about how much quicker you’d build a second one if you had to… you could probably get it done in a day. So, for a unique light fixture, I’d say the time spent was worth it. And one last point to make… your pictures and detailed guidance make it possible for a brave and savvy DIY-er to build one if these in much less time than it took you. So, consider this a community service! Thank you!

  26. Hi Kristi, your custom light fixture really did turn out nicer than the Colleen & Co. light fixture. It looks terrific in your music room. It is kind of exciting to see the music room done. You said you used gold leaf on the trim. What kind of paint did you use on the chains, etc? It matches perfectly.

    1. Oops! I forgot to add that because I had it left over from my kitchen. The gold leaf is about $10 for a package, and the adhesive is about $5, if I remember correctly.

  27. Gorgeous fixture Kristi! I far prefer semi-flush mounts to 100% flush mounts because the light has a chance to escape upwards some and it helps to create a softer light.

  28. Another fantastic project! I love all of your work! You speak my language and I admire your skill level and ingenuity. The cost of the chain was worth every dime of the splurge! As a side note, I have done several lighting projects and I have discovered that usually I can purchase a used light fixture from my local Habitat Restore or Goodwill for less than $10 and repurpose the parts for a fraction of what I would pay for the new parts.

  29. I so admire your ingenuity! I would’ve spent hours looking for “reinforcements”. It’s a lovely!
    FYI… My son worked for a commercial electrical company that specializes in high-end new builds and would bring home the “parts bucket”, which were leftover bits of chain, extra finials, crystals, encapsulate etc…(Because most new builds have multiples and matching fixtures and high-end products come with spare pieces those items were tossed in a designated bucket in case anything was needed during installation. When a job is completed the bucket is trashed.) I sorely missed those lighting treats when he started a new career! So much so, I asked around and found another person willing to get them for me. You might consider finding you a “bucket person” with all the DIY lighting projects you undertake. Not all companies allow it but most do. Just a thought.
    Great job, as always!