Lamp Idea for Transponder

A reflector spot light in a celing fixture is a great solution. Or, with a dropped 8 foot ceiling, a smaller reflector spot can be suspended lower, perhaps 4 feet above the finish line. It is good to suspend a lamp from three ceiling points because this will prevent swaying.

But it is often the case that the derby event is held in a gymnasium, which has a high ceiling. In this case, a suitable lamp will have to be obtained. Here is a popular concept, the exact details are subject to your creativity, but it is a good solution. It puts the light on the finish line from a stable base located on the side of the track,

You will need about 5 feet of 1/2" PVC schedule 40 pipe, two 45 degree couplers, a cheap light weight extension cord, and two small wire nuts.

Get a 4" cement building block from Home Depot for about 75 cents. You will need some cement, water, a mixing bowl, tools to stir with, and a 9" piece of 1/2" PVC pipe.

Lay down some plastic, you will be making a mess.


Turn the block up vertically, and prop up the pipe in the center cavity as you fill the cavities with cement. The pipe will stick out an inch.

When it hardens up, rub with a brick or something to smooth off your cement work. Don't wait too long, or it may get too hard to smooth.

You may want to paint it, but wait several days.

The filled block weighs about 30 pounds and makes a very stable base.

Cut off the socket end of the extension cord and feed the wire through the pipe. Attach a 45 degree coupler to the end of the pipe sticking out. Thread the extension cord up the pipe, perhaps cut to 3 or 4 feet long.
Then press the pipe into the coupler.

Attach another coupler at the top. Join the extension cord to a porcelain lamp socket, using small wire nuts.

We sell the porcelain socket for $5.00. It is the only item that you might have trouble finding locally.

The bulb is a GU-10 halogen bulb, 35 watts, available at Home Depot. It is the best bulb you can get for this purpose.

Tuck the wire nut splices down into the coupling. Once they get past the corner, they will lock in place.

The lamp will aim straight down because of gravity.

Adjust the position so the the lamp is over the finish line in the middle of the track.

The pipes and fittings hold together by friction. You will probably want to disassemble for storage, since it takes up room in the assembled state.