Saturday, August 13, 2016

Review: Ikea CALYPSO Ceiling Lamp

Didn't buy this Ikea CALYPSO ceiling lamp recently. Its been around for years and I've only tried to change bulbs twice: the first time, I couldn't figure out how to get the shade off so gave up, and the second time was this past week. This let me check the label and confirm that it was a CALYPSO.
Ikea CALYPSO Ceiling Lamp from years ago
x1 - Ikea CALYPSO Ceiling Lamp: CA$ 34.99

Paid: ~CA$ Something.Something

Can't make one without having to get up on a ladder and take the shade off again -- not doing that unless it's life or death.

Not an electrician or knowledgeable about home electrics. I seem to recall this lamp being installed by professional electricians or renovators. They did a pretty good job from what I could tell. The lamp appeared level and solidly mounted. And it worked.

What I can speak to is changing bulbs and getting the shade on and off. This short statement summarizes my experience: I almost dropped the shade from the ceiling and almost broke a bulb in the process. Allow me to back up a bit first.

The Ikea CALYPSO was still available on the Ikea Canada website when I checked while writing this piece, and the instructions were posted on the product page. Giving them a look-through suggested that there was a spring attached to one of the arms/legs that held the shade up. Despite being bought years ago, it turned out that my CALYPSO did have one leg with a spring. I wouldn't have figured to pull a leg outward without being told -- I didn't when I tried years ago.
Ikea CALYPSO Ceiling Lamp: Different Angle
As I was removing the shade, I found myself having to hold the shade against the fixed-legs with one hand while handling the springed-leg with the other. Having to potentially -- assuming I wasn't doing it wrong -- one-hand a huge piece of glass near the ceiling while on a ladder didn't seem like a great idea.

Screwing and unscrewing the bulbs wasn't a big deal. I swapped out CFLs with new Ikea RYET E26 400 lumen LED bulbs. The brighter 600 lumen RYETs would have been preferred, but they didn't seem like they would fit without more force than I was comfortable with or by bending the bulb mounts.

Then came time to reattach the shade. First time up, I got it stuck on the spring-leg but eventually reinstalled it. Being a somewhat tricky mechanism, I wanted to try it once more to get a better feel for it in case I was up there again. Bad idea. Second time up, the shade slipped out of my right hand while remounting. My left hand was getting ready to pull the springed-leg out but I managed to grab it in time -- I think I was maneuvering my right hand over to prop the shade up before taking my left hand off. On the way down, the shade bumped a bulb -- luckily it was a new, non-glass LED bulb -- and my right hand eventually helped to catch it. Close call.

Design / Construction
Round piece of glass with three fairly standard bulb mounts and four legs/arms to hold up the glass. Room for the bulbs felt a bit snug for LEDs. That it wasn't flush with the ceiling was nice for air circulation.
Ikea CALYPSO Ceiling Lamp: Two Bulbs Lit Up
How was it?
Overall, the Ikea CALYPSO ceiling lamp was fine. It had worked well for years without issue and the fact that it took what seemed to be standard, readily available bulbs was great. Being able to fit three bulbs for extra light was also a plus -- I only used two but I've had to deal with a single-bulb fixture for a big room before and it was never bright enough. The CALYPSO also looked pretty attractive while being simple as well. And the shade seemed to distribute light fairly evenly. At CA$ 35.00, I thought it was a good price for something this big and nice to look at.

The design of the mounting mechanism and size of the glass shade were the main issues with me. I managed to get the shade on and off three times within half an hour with no problem. However, the shade came dangerously close to shattering on the floor and almost took a bulb with it. Maybe I wasn't handling it properly? In related news, there was another ceiling lamp with a big shade in another room of the house -- think the fixture was from Ikea but since discontinued. It had a square shade and I thought it was much easier to handle.

I liked the CALYPSO ceiling lamp when it was in operation and already installed. The price was attractive, as was its design. Servicing the fixture, however, wasn't completely satisfactory for me.


  1. "Not an electrician or knowledgeable about home electrics. I seem to recall this lamp being installed by professional electricians or renovators." it goes without saying that your conclusion statement didn't surprise me at all "Servicing the fixture, however, wasn't completely satisfactory for me."

  2. I don't think it was you that caused the glass shade to shatter. My Calypso Ceiling Lamp just spontaneously broke into many razor sharp pieces in my hand when I attempted to remove the glass to clean it, and I got cuts from the glass in both hands. Somebody is going to get seriously injured by this IKEA product. It seems the glass is just breaking for no apparent reason to anyone who has one installed. Just read the reviews.