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How to Make a Pipe Lamp With a Valve Switch & Phone Charger

5 Materials
3 Hours

I had originally made a pipe lamp with a regular lamp switch (which you can see here)...then I decided to kick it up a notch! This pipe lamp is made with a water valve light switch and a charging port for your phone! This is a great project to get those creative juices flowing. You can use the same pipe design I did, or you can get creative with your pipes and design something super unique!

how to make a pipe lamp with a valve switch phone charger


The first thing you need is a water valve. There are two common types of valves, gate valves and plunging valves. For this project, we need a gate valve (see video for details). Once you've got your valve, use a wrench (you might need a torch to heat it) to take it apart. Take off the flat/round piece and leave the t-pipe portion aside. 

Then take your rotary switch and feed it though the 1"t-pipe with a 1"-3/4" hex. Using 1.5" of clear vinyl tubing (1/4" ID 3/8" OD), press the tubing over the tip of the rotary switch and then push the tip of the valve in the other end of the vinyl tubing to attach the two pieces. 

Once you have your rotary switch attached to your valve, place some JB Weld on the threaded part of the valve/hex pipe to hold the valve in place. Also place some JB Weld on the bottom of the rotary switch so it stays firmly in place inside the t-pipe.

how to make a pipe lamp with a valve switch phone charger


Here is a diagram of how your wiring should look. I found it confusing, until I drew it out and you can see that it’s really quite simple. Take a good look at, or come back to this diagram if you need to!

how to make a pipe lamp with a valve switch phone charger

Once you've made your water valve light switch, make it so that one wire from the rotary switch sticks out on either end of the t-pipe.

Then feed your lamp wire through the flange and 1"x2" nipple pipe. Once you feel them through, split the wires at the end. I decided to use the wire from an old toaster oven, so that third green wire you see in the video is just a grounding wire that will sit under the base when I’m done.

Using crimp & shrimp connectors, I spliced one wire from my lamp cord to one wire from the rotary switch and used a heat gun to activate the glue.

how to make a pipe lamp with a valve switch phone charger

Then I fed string through my pipe pieces in the desired order and glued them together using loctite. I used string rather than the wire itself to prevent the wire from possibly getting twisted while connecting the pieces of pipe.

I used 16 gauge primary wire and spliced it to my rotary switch. Then I spliced a separate piece of primary wire to the other wire on my lamp/toaster oven cord.

how to make a pipe lamp with a valve switch phone charger

Then I taped both strands of wire to the string and pulled it through the pipes.

Then I connected my wires to the socket. My wires ended up being too long though, so I has to shorten the wires coming from my socket.


I used a piece of live edge that I had for the base. I used a 1 1/4” spade bit  to make a hole big enough for my plug on my lamp cord to fit through, and then drilled the four holes for the flange part of my base.

Then I flipped the base over and routed a straight line from the large hole to the end of the base to that my cord would sit flat on the bottom.

how to make a pipe lamp with a valve switch phone charger

As an afterthought, I decided to add a phone charging port to the base. Click here to see how I added a charging port to my pipe lamp.

how to make a pipe lamp with a valve switch phone charger

Click here for full materials list.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Lee
    on Aug 6, 2019

    Did I miss the directions for adding the phone charger components?

    • Jb
      on Aug 6, 2019

      Click on the word “here” in her last comment above the very last picture of her finished lamp.

    • HEIDI
      on Aug 9, 2019

      you can view all the details in the video or be clicking on the link to my blog thats listed above. it's really just routering 1)a slot for the phone to sit, 2)a smaller slot for the little charging piece, and 3)a slot across the bottom so the charging cord will sit flat. then you just set your phone charger in place :)

  • Lenny Graham Sr.
    on Aug 20, 2019

    i lost a diy project you had on how to make a wooden cooler holder

Join the conversation

3 of 8 comments
  • User
    on Aug 7, 2019

    Nice Idea and good work, Heidi!

    • HEIDI
      on Aug 9, 2019

      thank you!! :) who knew there were so many things you could make with some steel pipe!! haha

  • Robyn Garner
    on Aug 9, 2019

    Ingenious and industrial - great job!

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