Hanging Pendant
Aquarium Plant Lights

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This pair of do-it-yourself hanging pendant compact fluorescent fixtures was made from large soup cans and parts from the hardware store. The parts in blue packages are Westinghouse brand.

Parts List:
Two 50 .oz aluminum food cans
1 package of steel nipples (lamp parts)
1 package of hex nuts (lamp parts)
2 Porcelain Fixture Sockets (lamp parts)
1 package of closed-end splice connnectors
Three 12' extension cords
2 GE brand "Daylight" 6500k CFL bulbs
1 can of Black enamel spraypaint
There are a variety of products that come in these 50 - 52 oz size cans. These cans in particular were originally filled with tomato soup.

First things first, rinse the empty cans, remove the paper labels then remove the sticky label adhesive.

My personal experience is with a product called Goo Gone. This is one of those products you buy a small bottle of that lasts for years since it takes a tiny amount to get the job done.
The step drill bit has multiple sections of increasing diameter so as you drill down farther, you create a larger hole.

I found a 13/32 or 7/16 inch diameter hole works well for this project. The can on the left has some sawdust because I placed a section of 2x4 lumber inside to support the can while drilling. I since discovered the extra support wasn't really necessary.

To keep the inside of the can shiny and paint free, stuff a small piece of paper towel in the holes. If you do this from the inside of the cans, the paper towel won't be in your way when painting.

Wipe any oil from fingerprints and layout some newspaper in a well ventilated area for spray painting.

Depending on the type of spraypaint you use, the cans may be ready to handle in 10 to 15 minutes or a few hours.

Fast drying enamal spray paint may cost a few more dollars, but may be worth the convenience.

For best coverage, it's a good idea to let the first coat dry, then inspect the cans for any missed spots then apply a second coat of spraypaint as needed.
welcome to
do-it-yourself aquarium and semi-aquatic background designs beyond the traditional
Dramatic AquaScapes
Disclaimer: Exercising reasonable safety precautions when performing the steps described in this article are the responsibility of the individuals building the background. is not responsible for personal injury or property damage as a result of following steps outlined in this article.