DIY Ping Pong Ball Lights
These ping pong ball lights are fun and easy to make. They’re great for decorating interior spaces as well as illuminating outdoor patios and gazebos. My daughter and I worked on this together and we enjoyed coming up with creative ways to make our lights unique.
Before we get to the step by step guide below, here are a few pointers to help you out before you set to work.
How many ping pong balls will I need?
The amount you need will depend on the length of your LED strand. Shorter ones have about 20 bulbs, where longer ones have around 100.
So once you know the type of LED strand that will work best in the space you’re decorating, just count the bulbs. It’s always best to buy a packet with a few more than you actually need, as ping pong balls can break easily, even when you’re cutting carefully.
If you don’t happen to have 100 ping pong balls lying around - and why would you? - Amazon usually offers good deals on bulk orders.
Brighten up your patio
These lights are so versatile you can use them to decorate outdoor spaces too. They’re ideal for adding soft light to patios, balconies, gazebos, anywhere you like. Just remember to check if they’re rated for outdoor use.
If you do hang them outside, you’ll need to seal the balls to avoid rainwater getting inside. This is easy to do, as you can just spread some silicone around the entry point around the bulb socket (see Step 3).
You could also use glue, but silicone is easier to peel off should you need to remove any balls to replace burned out bulbs.
Can I use Christmas lights?
One of the reasons I like making my own DIY projects is being able to use up things we’ve accumulated around the house. One of the most common questions about making ping pong ball lights is whether you can use those extra Christmas lights which are just lying tangled in a box and gathering dust.
As long your bulbs are LEDs (which don’t get hot), then you can definitely use your Christmas lights. Just check that each bulb is working before you start the project to avoid disappointing results.
LED strands come in white or multicolored, so choose whichever look you prefer or use the lights you already have at home. We decided on white bulbs as they illuminate with a warm glow, but I’ve also seen outdoor spaces be transformed with colored ping pong lights.
You can use ping pong ball lights to add a decorative touch to any space. As well as hanging on walls, they look great draped along tables, wrapped around cakes, and can be used in wedding venues, birthday parties, cafés, etc… So get as creative as you like.
Step by Step Guide:
Things you’ll need
- Strand of LED lights (white or coloured, it’s up to you)
- Ping pong balls (enough for each bulb)
- Precision knife
- Silicone sealer or glue (optional)
This is probably the fiddliest part of the project. Cut an X into each ping pong ball using a precision knife. To make this process easier, you can use an empty egg carton to hold the balls in place and help avoid injuries to your hands.
Next, push each bulb through the X in the ping pong balls. Make sure you push the bulb right in to avoid touching the inside of the ball. This will also help to hold them in place and avoid the balls coming loose.
Place a small amount of silicone sealer around the bulb socket and the X on the ball, which will make them watertight and secure the balls in place. It’s best to lay the lights out on a flat surface to let the silicone dry completely. (If you’re not hanging your lights outside you can skip this step).
All that’s left to do now is hang your lights, plug them in, and enjoy the view.
About The Author:
Callum Mundine enjoys working on DIY lighting projects and loves creating new designs with his children. He is the co-owner of LED World, a professional lighting company based in Australia.