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Christmas List – Stair Lights (WIP – Work In Progress) December 10, 2010

Posted by Sindy in Favorite Instructables, My Original Ideas.

First a little background story: Our house has a set of curved stairs. Since the house was built in the 70’s when there weren’t many laws about curved stairs, the end of the steps on the inside of the curve came to a sharp point. There was no place to securely put your foot on that end. There was also a super short step at the bottom (only 3″ tall) which was constantly tripping us, plus the house has few good window so it’s constantly dark.

15 years after we moved in, my Mom broke her leg on those stairs and my awesome grandpa (the best contractor in the Boise area in his time) came down and rebuilt them. They are still curved, but now they have a proper platform on both ends and the super short step is gone.

One problem persists though – the house is still dark. Even after we removed the dark blue carpet and installed a beautiful cream, it’s still dark. One of the tricks of DIYing Christmas is to listen to what people complain about, and those dark stairs are what I heard. Now, how to fix it?

I found some great Instructables on how to make stair lights (including one with an IR detector, which would be nice but there isn’t any good place to put it), but I have a simpler idea – battery-operated LED tea lights. They already have the bulb and the battery case in one unit, and they’re fairly cheap (I can get them for about 50 cents at my local dollar store). Plue, if a battery dies it’s only one light that goes out instead of all of them. I could also make reflector covers out of aluminum cans to direct the light down onto the step. There’s a nice wide overhang on each step to cover them too.

Now the question is how to attach them to the step – especially so they can be easily removed to replace the battery. I wonder if the hardware store has some really small L brackets I could glue on the sides and then screw into the stair riser? I’ll have to think about that one.



1. What I Did This Weekend « Too Many Talents - December 20, 2010

[…] did do some soldering over the weekend as I was working on the stair lights for my parents. I was replacing the LEDs in the tea lights with ones that don’t flicker […]

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