Try This: Bowls of Light

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These portable pots of light can transform a mantel, dinner table or buffet without the messy wax meltdown of candles. And you can make them with three simple supplies and two easy steps.
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Step 2: Pile on glass marbles to create shimmering pools of light.
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Step 1: Pop a wireless LED puck light into any bowl or vase.

Here’s a smart, simple way to put super-efficient LED lights to work in your home. LED lights use tiny amounts of energy to produce extremely bright, focused light. That intense beam works great for headlights and flashlights but is hardly the stuff of stylish ambient light.

Our solution: Create a jumble of glass beads to tame the harsh light and give it a shimmering, watery glow. Scatter these arrangements on side tables or up steps for your next party, or cluster them on the table as a centerpiece for a magical glow. Either way, you create a big buzz with just a little energy. 


1. Bowls : You can use just about any bowl, vase or dish for these little pot lights. Make sure your LED pucks fit comfortably in the bottom with plenty of room for the glass drops. Wood bowls add a nice earthy touch to the lights. Antique silver plate adds a glow of its own.

2. Lights:  These wireless, battery-powered LED puck lights measure just a few inches across and are available from many manufacturers (Costco sells packages of six for less than $25; Wal-Mart has three for about $15). The energy-miser bulbs last up to 100,000 hours. Just push the front to turn on and off. 

3. Glass Gems:  Called “drops,” “half-marbles” or “pebbles,” these are often used to fill vases or fishbowls and are available at craft, hardware and décor stores. They come in a rainbow of colors and textures; be aware that dark, rich colors will absorb a lot of the light. Tumbled or beach glass also works beautifully.


1. Tuck a light in the bowl.

2. Pile on the glass gems.