How to turn a metal item into a light fitting?

This guide will help you to understand and work out how to turn any metal light fitting into a light fitting.

This is a general guide covering the best fixings to use with a metal item however not all metal items are the same and may require some modification to get one of these fixing points to work.

We are always adding information to these pages including pictures when we can.

OK lets talk about the basics for a project like this, in an ideal world you want to be able to get your hand the other side of the position you want to have the lamp holder.

For example a metal can/pot would be great to try and get a hole in the base to help installation.

The principle is the same regardless of the shape/style or even material of the light fitting, you want to get a 10mm thread sticking out where you want the lampholder to sit.

Below is a list of the most common fixing parts, again not one of these may work for your project.

  • All thread rod + nuts/washers using a 10mm hole in the metal work.
  • Back plate (generally for wood) but have seen these being glued down or even screwed using metal screws.


All thread rod:


This option is the most common for metal fittings, this will require you to drill a 10mm hole into the metal work, the rods come in various lengths from 15mm up to 1meter, but can be easily cut down to size (best to install rod then cut to size after)

After the rod had be put into position there are 2 options:

  • Glue,stick the rod into position.
  • Use a nut on the top and another underneath.

You may need to grab a couple of washers depending on how the drilling went, or if your using an existing hole that's slightly larger.

Once you have the rod fixed into position you will need to ensure you have a min of 6mm sticking out for the installation of the lampholder.

Please Note: if you have used a nut on the top you may want to hide that nut using a nut cover.


Back plate:


The back plate is designed for wooden light fittings as its a 25mm diameter brass plate with 3x

screw holes in, however this has not stopped people in the past using this with some glue or using 3x small metal screws.

This method would be used if you cannot get your hand underneath or the other side to use a nut/washer.

The nut cover can also be used to hide the brass disc is required.

There is a hole in the middle of the back plate to run a cable through, if you cannot get cable through your light fitting then you can use a side entry cord grip, this will allow the cable to be inserted between the back plate and lampholder.


Once a fixing point has been established then you can raise the lampholder away via extenders or use flexible arms to bend the lampholder to a specific position, great if you can get the fixing in the desired location.

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