Aquarium Lamp Stand

I acquired a large, odd shaped, glass jar that I thought would make a cool aquarium.  Due to the strange shape, a traditional aquarium hood/light combo would not work on this aquarium.  I decided that a cheap aluminum 8.5″ clamp light would work well but I needed a way to hang it over the tank so I designed and build this simple wooden stand.  This project solves a very specific problem and may not be applicable to you but perhaps it will inspire new ideas.

Aquarium Lamp Stand
Aquarium lamp stand

The lamp part of this project is a standard round, aluminum clamp lamp you can buy at most hardware and home improvement stores (like this and this).  I used a 8.5″ diameter one because it fits nicely over my aquarium but other sizes are available.  The stand part was made with 0.5″ square wooden dowel.  Most hardware stores sell round and square dowel in various sizes.  I bought 2 dowel rods, each 36″ long.  To hold the stand together I used 8×32 bolts, nuts, and washers.  I needed 2 bolts that were 1.5″ long and 1 that was 2″ long.  I needed 1 nut and 2 washers per bolt.  I also needed a c-clamp to hold the lamp stand to the aquarium stand.  My aquarium stand is a wooden night stand with a lip around 3 sides of the top.  The c-clamp holds the lamp stand to the back lip.  It isn’t elegant but it works and you can’t see it when viewing the aquarium normally.

1/2" square wooden dowel
1/2" square wooden dowel
nuts, bolts, washers
8X32 nuts, bolts, and washers
C-clamp
C-clamp

I cut 4 pieces of 1/2″ square dowel.  One piece was cut to about 30″ long to act as the main vertical riser.  One piece was cut to about 12″ long to act as the horizontal piece (dowel) that hangs over the aquarium and holds the lamp.  The 3rd piece was cut to about 4″ long and acts as a triangular brace, connecting the vertical riser and horizontal piece.  The 4th piece was cut to be a cube and acts as a spacer so the brace can connect the other 2 pieces.

I removed the spring clamp from the lamp but kept the little metal piece that connects the spring clamp to the bulb holder.  This metal piece has a bolt and wing nut that tighten to hold on to the lamp.  I drilled a hole in one end of the horizontal dowel and connected this metal clamp to the wood thus connecting the lamp to the horizontal dowel.

Clamp on horizontal dowel
Horizontal dowel with lamp clamp attached.
Horizontal dowel with lamp
Horizontal dowel with clamp and lamp attached.

I then eyed up the pieces and drilled holes in the proper places.  The holes should be slightly larger than the bolts.  Then, I put all the pieces together with bolts, washers, and nuts.  Later, I took everything apart, sanded the wood, stained the wood, and reassembled.

all pieces
All the wood pieces.
All the pieces assembled
All the pieces assembled except for 1 bolt so you can see how the bracer and spacer connect to the other pieces.

The vertical riser is held to the aquarium stand (wooden night stand) with a c-clamp.  This works for me, you may need to come up with something else depending on your situation.  I intentionally left the  vertical riser long so I can loosen the c-clamp and adjust the height of the lamp.

C-clamp in action
A c-clamp holds the vertical riser to the aquarium stand.

With everything assembled, the lamp stand works quite nicely.  The lamp can tilt forward and backward easily so I can access the aquarium from above although it would be nice if it could swing out of the way more.  Even with that minor complaint, I am quite happy with how it came out!

Finished lamp stand
The finished product, pre-stain.

2 thoughts on “Aquarium Lamp Stand”

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