Thursday, April 5, 2012

And There Was Light

I'm not an electrician.  I don't think one needs to be to install light fixtures.  But then I've never really done it before, so what did I know.  My knowing told me that getting rid of the light over the dining table and putting in a track with pendant lights was on my list of Things I get to do today.  I'd been waiting for my hubby to do it.  Turns out he was less interested in the project than I thought, hence my awareness of the bulb being in my court so to speak.

16 panes of glass to clean--got to go!

Have to tell you right here and now that one of the hardest parts of all the fun things I get to explore is remembering to document with the camera so you can follow along.  I did remember to catch the final minutes of the "before" light.  We loved it nearly twenty years ago.  Over time, it became too bright, even when we didn't replace the burned out bulbs--lots of glare in ones eyes and not much light on the table.  So a change was desired and gradually took shape.

Amazing device making electricity available for 36"

Finding the right circuit breaker before starting, removing and wrapping all the glass panes and the light from the ceiling--no problem.  Installing the box and the track, well, not so easy since reading simple instructions is still challenging for me.  But all went fine.

A loop for fine-tuning the length

Since we were unsure how high we wanted the lights from the table, a temporary adjusting mechanism helped us play until we were satisfied.

Marks to measure how many inches shorter it would be

The most difficult part was cutting and wiring the lamp cords to the right length so the lights would be even/level with each other since the ceiling is vaulted and the track goes from low on one end to high on the other.  Just too many numbers to hold in my head.  But the Handy Andy part of me found a way to cheat a bit and reposition the knot in the connector to make up for a slipped memory. Next time (if ever there is one) I will write down all the steps.

Finished lights.  We love it.

When we turned on the lights over dinner that first night, it was like coming from a gymnasium to a classy restaurant. And the food looked fabulous.


  1. Love the new lights! Great Job!

    1. Thanks, Kat. It's "day and night" different and so much more pleasant. It surprised me how much better it feels--more relaxing, more mindful--to eat in that space now. Our surrounding truly color our experience.

  2. Yes, very classy. I've installed new lights before and ceiling vans. Not my favorite job but glad I can do it.

    1. Thanks, Lorita. Love your attitude--CAN DO IT. Not my favorite job either with all the looking up for the neck and little bits of stuff falling in my eyes. But we learn stuff for next time.

  3. see, Andrea -- i've been right all these years: you can re-wire lamps! and the other extreme of your many genuises: i bet you can take apart and re-build a car! can't wait to see the lights and eat under them with you, Bud, and the rest of the gang.