Monday, January 30, 2012

Swapping out a light fixture.

I did it! I hung a light fixture. All by myself. And it works!

This is a big thing for me. I have this fear of anything having to do with electricity. I like being able to hit the switch and have the lights come on, but I don't really want to have anything to do with what happens within the walls to make it work.

Alas, my go-to guy (Steve) isn't around and the last thing I want to ask him to do when he finally gets some time at home is to hang a light fixture. (Although I did find out it's pretty uncomplicated, it just helps to have another set of hands to assist. Which I didn't.)

I've been on the lookout for lighting fixtures for ... ever. Our house is full of builder-grade brassy, cheap-looking fixtures and I'm tired of looking at them. But rather than spending hundreds of dollars for a bunch of new fixtures, I have kept my eyes open for fun, funky, used (or clearance priced) fixtures with character.

A few months back I bought this one at the Habitat ReStore:
I wasn't sure where it would end up, but I knew it would look better than any of the lights we had in the house. I purchased it with the idea that I would spray paint it, and once I decided where it would go I chose Rust-Oleum's Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze.

$15! Not bad. Maybe not as great as a garage sale price, but certainly better than new. 
And yes, the glass really was that dirty.

Here is what I was replacing:
Looks safe, no?

And classy.

I don't even remember how long that "temporary" fixture has been hanging there. It's one of those things that we got used to, and it started blending into the background.

Well, NO MORE!

I luuuuurve this new light.

And though I can't say I am totally over my fear of working near electricity, I can at least tell you I will attempt a similar project again, with a little less trepidation.

Neat detail, huh? It has almost a Moroccan feel. I likey.

The glass cleaned up fine (but even if it hadn't I wouldn't care - I'd put the light up without it), the paint looks good (though I do have a couple touchups to do), and best of all the light actually worked when I turned it on.

I do have a couple of adjustments to make. The screws that came with the crossbar that attaches to the box in the ceiling weren't long enough, so I had to dig through my toolbox to find some replacements. They'll work for now, but if you look closely - in person, maybe not on the pics - you can see the canopy isn't quite flush with the ceiling. Definitely gotta' fix that. But overall, I think I did pretty good!

So now I can add something to my list of possible projects I can do myself. Win!

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