Industrial Swivel Vanity Light

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Our upstairs bathroom was looking a little dated. We had the standard vanity light and standard vanity mirror that needed some help! Let me show you what I am talking about.


And because I can not hold back my excitement, how about I share with you the bathroom light now?

DIY Industrial Swivel Light

What do you think? I was a little worried about this project but I am really liking how it turned out. And bonus this light cost me about $45 to make. How about I share how I made the swivel vanity light so you can make your own?

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, click here to read my full disclosure policy

1 – 1/2″ galvanized pipe cross
3 – 1/2″ 45 degree pipe elbow
2 – 1/2″ 90 degree pipe elbow
1 – 1/2″x2″ pipe nipple
3 – 1/2″x6″ pipe nipple (this is how far the light will stick out from the wall)
2 – 1/2″x7″ pipe nipple (distance between the lights)
3 – lampholder (light socket)
1 – lampholder cover
14-2 wire in 15 ft (you will need about 75 inches)
3 – 4 wire push connector
6 – small wire cap connector (needs to fit inside the 1/2″ pipe)
electrical tape
spray paint (optional)
3 – light bulbs

– wire stripper
– razor blade
– pipe wrench
– work gloves (optional)

*Please Note that we are not electricians and you should be aware that there are dangers in doing this project yourself. Please be careful and do your research so you do not get electrocuted or burn down your house!*

Create a swivel vanity light

Before I start on the tutorial, please note that you will want to take your time on putting the light together because you will NOT want to take it apart if you happen to mess up, please learn from my mistakes!

STEP 1: Wash the pipe

One thing that you will find with the pipe is that it is dirty. So plan on having some black hands, you can also use working gloves! But you will want to wash the pipe with some dish soap to help remove as much grease as possible. Then dry the pipe right after so they do not rust. If they do rust take a wire brush to them or rub them with ketchup (yes it works!). Just make sure they are completely dry before continuing.

STEP 2: Wiring the light socket

I know I told you how many inches of wire you need but now you need to cut that into 3 pieces. You will need two pieces that measure 30″ and the last one should measure about 15″, this is extra so do not cut more than this.

Next take your wire and if it has a white or yellow jacket remove it all or about 4-5″ from one end (I only removed about 5″ from one end on my yellow jacket). To remove the jacket use a razor blade and lightly press against the jacket then remove.

Now it’s time to start weaving the wire through some of the pipes. You will need a 45 degree elbow, thread it through the wire you just stripped the jacket. Then taking the ground (copper) wire attach it to green screw on the light socket (lampholder). To do this, form a hook in the wire with the wire stripper tool and loop it around the screw the same way that it tightens. Then angle the wire like this.

Create a swivel vanity light

Now attach the pipe elbow to the light socket, making sure to thread the wire from the light through first.

Create a swivel vanity light

TIP with attaching light socket to pipe: You need the pipe to be tight onto the light socket but you also need the 45 degree to be facing the right direction. Twist the two together as tight as you can with your hand. Then take the wrench and tighten them even more, until they are angled correctly. The 45 elbow will look something like the picture above.

With your neutral (white) and hot (black) wire, take the wire stripper tool and remove about 3/4-1″ of the wire insulation to expose the actual wire. I decided to strip the hot and neutral wires from the light socket also just to give me a straight wire (easier to work with).

Now it’s time to wire the wires together. Take a piece of electrical tape and tape the hot (black) wires together on the insulation part of the wire. Do this also for the neutral wire (white).

Then take another pieces of electrical tape (about 3/8″ long) and tape the actual hot (black) wires together. I found it works best to place the tape on the wire from the light socket first. Then wrap the wire/tape around the other wire, trying to make it as tight as possible.

DIY swivel vanity light

After place a small wire cap onto the wires, I used these ones but wish I could have found a twist cap the same size. Do this also for the neutral (white) wires. 

Create a swivel vanity light

Next angle and layer the wires so they can go through the 6″ pipe. After the wires are smashed enough, thread the pipe through and attach it onto the 45 elbow. Tighten this time with hand as tight as you can, then tighten slightly with wrench (just so it does not move around). Do this step for all three wires and light sockets.

Create a swivel vanity light

STEP 3: Attaching the pipes

Now it’s time to weave the wires through the pipes. For the two longer light socket wires, you will attach a 90 elbow and 7″ pipe to them. So taking the light socket wire, weave the 90 elbow to the 6″ pipe (you will have to angle the wire as you go).

Create a swivel vanity light

Attach the elbow to the pipe. You may feel like you are breaking the wires but they are just twisting around in there. This is where things will get a little tricky with tightening the pipes together. You will again tighten with your hand then tighten with a wrench but this time you need the 90 elbow going to the side (one light sockets 90 elbow will go to the right and the other will go to the left). You can adjust later if needed.

TIP: When tightening the pipe, if you only have to tighten slightly with the wrench to give you the angle you need, you will want to keep tightening because that will not be tight enough.

Then attach the 7″ pipe to the 90 elbow, tightening by hand then with the wrench, use the same method as before.

You should have this for two light sockets.

Now take the cross pipe fitting and weave one of the light socket wires through, you will have to angle the wire. Tighten the cross pipe onto the 7″ pipe using the same method.

DIY swivel vanity light

Then you will take the other light socket and attach it the same way (remember this two light socket will be attached directly across from one another). 

Next is attaching the last light socket to the cross pipe, it is attached between the other two light sockets but you will not need to angle the wire. This is what the light should look like up to this point.

Create a swivel vanity light

Now attach the 2″ pipe to the lampholder base, tighten the same way but this time the angle of the screw holes will depend on your light box on the wall, so don’t fully tighten yet. If you happened to leave the jacket (mine is yellow) on the wire, you will need to remove all but about an 1″ away from the cross pipe fitting.

After attach the 2″ pipe to the cross pipe fitting, weave the wire through the pipe and into the base.

Create a swivel vanity light

STEP 4: More wiring!

Once all the pipe is tightened, it’s time to finish wiring the light. Take all the wires that are coming from the light (3-neutrals, 3-hot, 3-ground) and cut each so that about 4-5″ is coming out from the base.

DIY swivel vanity light

With the neutral (white) and hot (black) wires, take the wire stripper tool and remove about 1″ of the wire insulation to expose the actual wire. Next take the 4-connector wire cap and push all the hot (black) wires into one, leaving one hole open. Do this for the neutral (white) and ground wire also.

Create a swivel vanity light

Now your light is all wired.

STEP 5: Some tweaking

At this point, you will want to make sure all your pipes are tight and angled the correct way to make your light level. I found that I had to tighten almost every pipe because I did not tighten it enough before. You just want everything to be solid…

I decide to install my light (see how to do that in step 7) to see how the base needed to be angled and to adjust the light socket to the angle I wanted. If you are not painting the light you would be done with at this step!

Create a swivel vanity light

STEP 6: Painting (optional)

I really liked the look of the light before but I decided to spray paint it to make it more cohesive. So decide what look you want!

Before painting, remove the rubber covers over the light sockets and put some foil into the sockets and on the base to protect the wires.

Create a swivel vanity light

Take the light outside and place on some cardboard or old sheet (make sure you remember the screws!). Shake the paint can really well, then start adding a light coat to the light (make sure you are about 12″ away from the light and that you continue moving). Let that dry for at least 20 minutes, then add another coat, let it dry again.

DIY swivel vanity light

Turn the light to the other side and add two coats the same way. After the paint has dried the second time, check to see if any places got missed. If so, lightly paint them and let them dry. Check the light one more time and if everything looks good, let it sit for at least 2 hours before installing (I let mine sit overnight).

STEP 7: Installing

First thing FIRST, turn OFF the power to the wires by turning the breaker OFF.

To install the light, we removed the old light. Plus we decide on moving the light box up about 5″ (tutorial coming soon!). Our wall looked something like this…

How to move a wall light

So after attach all the wires coming from the house to the light, using the push connectors. We then attached the light to the light box. Adjust anything if needed and add light bulbs. Then turn the power back on and test the light.

DIY swivel vanity light

And now the industrial swivel vanity light is complete.

Updated bathroom makeover

How about a cost break-down to give you an idea of the cost, everything marked as free we already had on hand.

pipes – $25.30
light sockets (lampholders) – $7.20 ($2.40 each)
base cover – $3.30
wire – FREE (would cost around $5.70)
wire plush connector – $2.50
small wire cap – $3.00
electrical tape – FREE (about $2)
spray paint – $4.55

TOTAL – $46 (to buy everything it would cost $54)

What do you think of our new vanity light? I am loving the industrial style, so much better than before. Stay turned for the rest of our bathroom face-lift to come!

DIY Vanity Light
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