Callum is the co-owner of LED World (with his brother Simon) – an Australian based lighting design company. In his spare time, he enjoys taking his expertise in lighting technologies and turning them into craft project (especially for his children). You can read more about his business here. If you have ever wanted to add that extra little joie de vivre to your home, lighting is the way to go. Seriously, there are a million and one things you can do with a light bulb and some creativity – check out Pinterest if you don’t believe me. Most of us have strands of holiday lights somewhere up in our attic that just sit around gathering dust until Christmas season comes around again. Put those pretty twinkles to work year round with this easy DIY hack.
What you will need:
- LED lights
- Ping Pong Balls
- Xacto knife
- Hot glue gun or silicon (optional)
Some Pointers before getting started:
Make sure your LED lights work, you don’t want to end up with flickering lights or worse, lights that don’t work at all. Make sure your lights don’t get too hot to the touch either – ping pongs are plastic after all. As long as your bulbs work fine, you won’t have any problems though.
If you are buying new lights, you will have to choose between fun, multi colored bulbs or elegant white ones. The color of the wiring also needs to be considered because you don’t want them to clash with your decor. Your options are usually going to be opaque, translucent, white, or light green. Before you buy your lights, measure out how long your strand (or strands) need to be for the place you are decorating. There are usually about 10 – 20 bulbs on shorter strands and about 100 on the longer ones.
The amount of ping pong balls you need depend on the amount of LED lights you have. You should also buy a few extras just in case some balls break when you put the light through them. Amazon or any sporting good store will usually have a bulk stock of them for a fairly cheap price. What you don’t use for decorating you can always use for a rousing game of table tennis – or beer pong – they even make good massagers to roll your feet on.
The silicon or hot glue will be used to close up the opening you make in the balls, especially if you want to hang the lights outside. Silicone is the better option because it makes it easier to get the bulbs out of the balls in case you need to change the bulbs. You can buy a small tube of silicone for less than $4 online. Sealing the balls will prevent dust, rain, bugs, or dirt from getting inside your balls – once the ball is illuminated, every speck of dirt inside of it will be cast in shadows.
1. Use an empty egg carton to stabilize each ball and carefully cut a small X into it. Be careful not to cut into the seam because you could end up breaking the balls in the next step.
2. Gently push each LED bulb through the X. You should meet some resistance if you try to pull the bulb out.
3. Close up the X with silicone or hot glue and let it air dry on a flat surface. You can load them all into the egg carton so they don’t roll around.
4. Hang your lights and enjoy the new ambiance you just created! (Snap a few pictures for Instagram too.
5. Bonus tip: Use the hot glue to wind the strand of lights around a lampshade or outdated chandelier for a fun new look.
Have fun with the lights and try out different ways of hanging them every few months to give your place something different every season!