Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Light Fixture for the Dining Room

First of all, Happy New Year everyone! Here's hoping everyone had safe and happy holidays. I have to admit, I didn't even stay up last night.....probably something to do with my date being on the other side of the globe....

Anyway, I went to SC to be with my family at Christmas and stopped in Atlanta to see my brother in law. Kind and patient soul that he is, he actually walked through IKEA with me, and I came home with this.

Now, my husband and I installed the light fixture in our bathroom, but I had never done this by myself....safety in numbers I suppose. Anyhow, since the hubs is off defending the country, I thought I'd give this a go on my own.

To give you an idea of what I was replacing, here is the "boob light" that was there when we moved in.

Just a basic ceiling fixture....but I wanted something with a little more pizazz to go over the dining table. I've actually been looking for months and despairing at how much it was going to cost me to purchase a cool light (everything I saw that I actually liked was over $100....some I saw were upwards of $400!!). While I was home for Christmas, my sister and I were pouring over the IKEA catalog app on my iPad and low and behold, was the Maskros light for a mere $39.99. I almost danced with joy.

Once I made it back home to Nashville, I asked some friends if I could borrow their ladder and got down to it. Like I mentioned before, my husband and I had changed a light fixture before, so I knew it wasn't hard.

First, let me stress safety.....I made sure the power to the fixture was off. Since my breaker box is not labeled well, that meant shutting off the power to the entire house. Better safe than sorry right?

I got the boob light detached from the ceiling. At first glance, there wasn't really anything unusual. This is what it looked like...

Now, to give you some orientation, this is a two bulb fixture, with a white and a black wire coming from each bulb. Those four are consolidated to one white and one black wire, which is what is actually wired to the ceiling. The only weird thing is that instead of grounding the fixture, whoever installed this took the grounding wire (the copper one coming from the middle of the fixture) and just wrapped it around the white and black wires. Weird.

And speaking of weird, when I looked up into the wire box, here's what I saw.

It's kinda hard to make out (keep in mind I was balancing on a ladder while doing this), but there is a second set of black and white wires in the wire box that have been capped. Being the careful girl that I am (and really, REALLY not wanting to burn down the house), I called my dad. He told me those extra wires were probably from a second light switch that probably used to be in the room, that was somewhere along the way removed. Seems plausible to me, and meant that I really just had to leave those extra wires right where they were, so I got the old fixture un-wired, and the new one wired in, simply matching white with white and black with black, then attaching the ground wire to the screw-to-nowhere in the wire box. Screw that puppy into the ceiling, turn the power back on, give myself a high five and then all I had to do was attach the million and two wire thingys that stick out from the center.

That was about halfway through (boy do I need to get a tripod for my camera...sorry about the blurriness!).  Once I got the rest of the wire things attached, then it was time for the billion and two paper star-flower-thingies. Those just snap on to the ends of the wires. It's not hard, but there are a TON of them! Anyway, here's the finished product.

Pretty cool right? I'll try to get some better pictures after I get my dining room put together so you can see the full effect, but I love how it makes cool patterns on the ceiling!

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