DIY Copper Barn Pendant Lights (Under $20)

My inspiration for the barn lights and the actual end product ended up being pretty darn far apart actually.

Mini Artesia Lights from Barn Electric

I ended up here

DIY Copper Barn Pendant Lights

I originally fell in love with this image a long time ago, possibly when doing my first set of DIY lights for the pantry. Since I used bright yellow there I thought I would switch it up to more of a mustard yellow for the shed. I liked the mix of lots of white (my original plan was to paint the inside of the shed AND coop) with the mustardy yellow

Mustard Yellow industrial pendant lights

Of course the easiest way about this is to not live 3 hours from IKEA or have the type of life that would allow you frequent jaunts down to said amazing Swedish purveyor of cheap lighting that you can just spray paint and be done like so.

At Home on the Bay - Ikea Barn Pendant

I may not have IKEA, but I do have something that is almost as magical. In less of a modern urban Swedish way, but in more of a rustic country in the middle of nowhere surrounded by livestock kind of way, Tractor Supply. Oh yea. So during Chick Days I picked me up a couple of these brooder lights on sale.

I looked for a good few months for the right mustard yellow spray paint and almost committed to buying some online a couple of times but the price, quantity (do I need a case of mustard yellow spray paint… maybe?), size (is 8oz enough? [No]) all made me balk. Finally at some point I asked my lovely and much more accurate color sight enabled wife what she thought and she suggested just doing copper. Of course I could buy gold, bronze, silver, chrome, aged copper, hammered copper, but it took me again way too long to track down just straight copper spray paint. Finally I found this online and could finally start moving ahead.

Rust-oleum Copper Spray Paint


The first step was to tape up the socket, cover the holes from the outside with tape and cover the cord and outside with some grocery bags. I left the lip exposed because I wanted it to be white like the inside. I used some Rustoleum gloss white on the inside and after a rough start of not making sure I had a good clean consistent spray before I started, spraying the inside was  a breeze.

Spraying inside of brooder lights white for DIY copper barn pendants

DIY Copper Barn Pendant Lights

Once I had the insides nice and dry for a day or two I tore off the tape and taped up the holes from the inside this time. Then I had the not so fun job of trying to protect the rim with tape as well.

Taped rims of DIY Copper Barn Pendant Lights


From there I glued up some 3/4″ conduit in two different lengths. The main shed pendants are about 26″ long and the one in the coop is maybe 18″. I clipped off the end of the cord and slipped it into the pipe.

Cord in conduit for DIY Barn Pendant lights

Then I attempted to glue them together. Sadly nothing worked. Gorilla Glue failed me, completely (it may just be that the bottle is old enough to drive and is going through a phase though, mouthy disrespectful teenager glue). Caulk faired a bit better but was still to wobbly even after curing for a day. So I busted out some flashing tape that I had from the metal roof and decided to give it a shot. It looks all crinkly and ruins the effect of the lights a bit for me so I’m not thrilled with it, but they are sturdy and in a shed so good enough! If I were to do this project again I might consider bond-o or some other serious adhesive (PL? True love? Heh.) to get a better look.

Then I took them to my spray hut (ie under the deck outside the basement) and clipped the cord up to keep it out of the way.

Spraying under the deck

That weedy, rocky, clay-filled pit is on the list for next year. Including the super classy plywood surround for the french doors. It’s not permanent, just WAY longer lived than we first hoped.

Once they were all sprayed up they looked a lot more like this

DIY Copper Barn Light


The next step was to trim the cord and clamp it off so that it didn’t slide around too much. I just used some 1/2″ knock out box clamps that I had on hand.

Clamped off cord for DIY barn pendant light

And then finally I hung them up in the coop and the shed and they look a bit like this.

I am really happy with the copper color, especially in the coop with the black and gray/white walls and gray floor.

They look pretty good out in the shed, but it really makes me want to paint the whole shed.

DIY Copper Barn Light for under $20

DIY Copper Barn Pendant Lights

The final cost / material list for one of these lights looks like:

  • Brooder Light $8 * 4 = $32
  • Conduit $2
  • Slip Connector <$1 * 4 ~ $4
  • 1/2″ Threaded to 3/4″ conversion $1 * 4 ~ $4
  • Mounting plate $2 * 4 = $8
  • Copper Spray Paint $10 * 2  = $20 (I barely started the second can but one was just not quite enough)
  • White Spray Paint $4
  • Not counting the painters tape, flashing tape, pipe glue, other minor materials on hand etc.

So total of $74 for 4 lights a unit total of $18.50 each. Not bad. And my only (minor) regret is the tape job that I had to do around the collar of the light



One thought on “DIY Copper Barn Pendant Lights (Under $20)

  1. Wow, your chicken coop is amazing and you did a wonderful job making those cool coop lights. Love the copper look and your creative design that cost so little but added such expensive looking charm. NICE job.

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