How to add a light anywhere without electricity

This post is all about adding lighting…where you didn’t think you could! I used this easy hack on my wall of office built ins. 

If you remember, in our old house it took me forEVER to find the lights I wanted. I finally went with outdoor lights because everything else was crazy expensive:

DIY built ins with lights above
They worked perfectly! 
Thankfully now that sconces have become more popular, they are much more affordable. There are a ton more options now too. 
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I wanted that look again, and found a brass and black sconce I love that I’ve used before — you can see it here in our mud/laundry room: 
Lights without electricity
I used this little hack on that light too! You can find the black sconces here — they are affordable and you get two in the order. 
Usually when I build bookcases, I have electrical run to the lights to the header. This time, because I know of this lighting trick…I didn’t pay for that part. There are pros and cons to this trick so stay tuned for those! 

The trick is using these puck lights inside the fixtures: 
Trick for adding lights without electricity
I used this little hack in our dining area as well — it’s a way to add soft lighting without running electrical: 
Bookcase lights without electricity
It would have been really difficult to wire them on these skinny shelves, so this trick worked great! Make sure to check out the post to see how I made those specific sconces work! (Hint: it was even easier than what I’m sharing today.)
This time, I needed to secure them to the sconce because it was facing down. ** I’ve found an even easier and more secure way to do this so I’ll share that option first!
I discovered this little hack when working on our laundry and mud room makeover. When we had the cabinets moved, I later noticed that some task lighting would be nice on the new counter. I would have run electrical before I started this project, but I hadn’t planned on adding sconces. 
Enter these pretty sconces with the puck lights!: 
lighting black sconce above cabinets
This time though, the sconces had a shade that narrowed a bit too much at the top, so I knew the pucks would probably not fit. 
I noticed something when I was ordering the lights — as a suggested item at the bottom, it showed these handy outlet adapters: 
outlet adapters add outlet to light fixture
These are great if you don’t have outlets outside, especially for something like holiday lights. You can screw this into your outdoor lights and use them as an outlet instead. Cool, right? 
I decided to use them to make it easier to change out or charge the batteries in our non-electrical light fixtures. And I knew I needed to bridge the gap between where you screw in the bulb and where the shade gets too narrow on our sconces.  
I took some scrap dowel rod, cut it down and spray painted it to match the light. Then glued it on to the adapter: 
adapter hack for lighting without electricity
The spray painting is really not necessary — I thought we’d be able to see it in there but you can’t at all. You’ll need to figure out how long you want to cut your dowel, this will depend on your light fixture. 
I glued the parts together with Gorilla Glue, and it’s held up awesome! Once it’s cured it’s SUPER strong. I also used it to attach the bottom of the puck to my little contraption: 
easy way to screw puck lights into fixture
As you can see, I drilled a hole through the wood to run wire through (stay tuned for that in a minute), just for added security. It is not needed though, so if you choose this option you can forego the wire. 
This option makes it super easy to screw in and out, just like a light bulb!:
sconce with puck lights
It has worked so well — I’m planning on making this change to the sconces in my office. You can see how I first attached them with wire below…
If you don’t want to use glue or the adapters, all you’ll need is this 24 gauge wire:
How to use puck lights instead of bulbs
The sconces have a part inside that has a small hole. I ran the wire through that: 
Light a sconce without wiring electricity

The back of the puck light has two holes — you’ll need to run the wire through those, then tighten as much as you can:

Hack for lighting without electricity
When it’s secure, twist the puck light (with batteries) back on: 
Using puck lights instead of bulb in light fixtures
And that’s it! I use the bracket that comes with the light to hang — just screw it into the wall and hang your light: 
Library bookcase lights without electricity
They look GREAT! I wanted something simple that I could aim toward the shelves, and these work perfectly. 
As you can see here, I angled them so you can’t see the light unless you’re right under them. The scones have adjustable arms: 
Deep green vintage vogue bookcases using kitchen cabinets
Check out this post to see the steps of the DIY bookcases to this point!
I almost forgot to mention, that little remote in the photo above allows you to operate these without touching them. It has a timer and dimmer option which is great. The timer is key because when I’ve used puck lighting in the past, we would turn them on and ALWAYS forget to turn them off. The battery ran out quickly because of that. I purchased another puck light remote for this room. 
There are pros and cons to these little puck lights: 
  • Using this hack is MUCH cheaper than running electrical. 
  • You can use them anywhere so it opens up so many possibilities.
  • The puck lights give off a decent amount of light. 
  • You can do this with regular light fixtures (where the lights are enclosed) as well — not just sconces! 
  • The light is not as bright as normal bulbs. I’d compare it to somewhere between at 25-40 watt bulb.
  • The remote isn’t quite as convenient as a light switch.
  • The puck lights aren’t as attractive as a bulb. 

For me, the convenience far outweighs the cons. If I have an outlet below (to run wiring) and a good spot for a light switch nearby, I’ll still opt for having it wired. But this is a great option for bigger projects like this that would cost more to have an electrician add. 

The items I used for this lighting hack: 
Outlet adaptors
24 gauge wire
Gorilla glue
Set of puck lights
Extra remotes for lights
Short black and brass sconces
Long arm black and brass sconces (in laundry)
**The next step in this bookcase project (building the shelves) is here
**See this whole finished project here!

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