IKEA MAGNARP light modification

By | May 3, 2018

CI had to do something to dress up the horrible Hollywood lights in the bathroom.  Quick, easy and cheap was also a benefit.  Having a couple of left-over MAGNARP lights from IKEA from when they were on sale for $10 each made me think of the possibilities.

This isn’t going to win any fashion awards, but it looks better than the original lights and puts the IKEA lights to use, thus freeing up closet space.

De gustibus non est disputandum!

The simple steps are;

  • Cut off the lights from the locking tabs to keep the pole assembled.
  • Cut off the protruding bottom end of the rod to make it even with the paper lamp shade.
  • Install curtain rod brackets on the threaded rods on the light fixture. Mine required a slight bend upward for the rod to clear the bulbs.
  • Cut the paper wide enough along the seam in the back to fit over the existing fixture & bulbs.
  • Hang shade over fixture and ensure the LED bulbs don’t get too warm.

Cut here



I used a hacksaw blade, removed from the saw and cut through each of these little plastic pieces in a couple of minutes.



Cut the bottom of the rod at roughly the end of the paper shade so nothing sticks out outside of the shade. This depends on how far you stretch the paper. Stretch it less and you need to cut more of the rod. Stretch it more and you cut less off. Cut the bottom of the pole


Install the curtain rod brackets on the threaded shafts for the existing fixture.  I just unscrewed the little knobs, put the bracket on, then snugged the knobs back on with my fingers.   This might take some adjustment to bend the brackets up so the rod doesn’t interfere with the bulbs.

Install the brackets



Next up, hang the rod on the brackets and get a general idea for the size/width and where the bulbs end up and make some adjustments.

Pole on brackets

Cut the shade. This was easier than I thought. I started out with packing tape and scissors which was slow and tedious. For the second one, I just used a razor knife and sliced the paper in just a few seconds. The edges don’t need to be perfect as this side is up against the wall.

Cut the paper shade


Test the shade on the fixture and make sure everything lines up and that the bulbs aren’t too close to the paper, particularly if they get hot. DO NOT use incandescent bulbs. LED only.  Here you can see how the brackets are angled up so the rod clears the bulbs. Testing lights with shade on


All done!  On this side there were eight bulbs in the fixture and I ended up using two 60w equivalent LED bulbs on the ends and a 40w equivalent LED bulb in the center.  I found that putting the brighter bulbs out towards the ends gave me more light from the open ends of the shade.
On the other side of the bathroom, over my own sink, I used two 60w equivalent LED bulbs.  My fixture is only a 6-bulb fixture so I don’t need quite as much light.  I put the bulbs in the outermost locations there too for the best light.

Shade hung and working well

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