Friday, October 12th, 2007
11:38 pm - Let There Be Ligh... Not So Fast, Bucko...  
There are three ceiling lights on the first floor of my house: one in the office, one in the back room, and two in the kitchen... There are four ceiling lights on the first floor of my house: one in the office, one in the back room, two in the kitchen, and one in the hall... Bugger.

Ugly ChandelierActually, there are seven overhead lights all told, but I'm really only concerned with the overhead lights in the office, kitchen, and back room. This all started with the light in the office (which for any normal person would be the dining room), because it was a hideous piece of crap (as you can see in the photo). Fortunately, I had a replacement fixture, an overhead fan unit that I'd installed in the bedroom of my old apartment, and then brought along with me when I moved here. It was a nice fan. Didn't cost much, and the only problem I ever had with it was that it wobbled excessively at higher speeds, which had much more to do with the fact that my landlord never bother to brace the overhead circuit box properly than any problem with the fan itself.

So, the easiest option would be to just swap the two fixtures. Except that I really would prefer the fan be in the back room. There's only one window in there, and when the A/C is installed, there's not a lot of air movement in the room if you're not actually using the A/C. Besides that, the overhead fixture in that room (shown at the left) is framed with oak, and thus matches my kitchen cabinets.

Wood Framed Light Fixture Kitchen Cabinets


Cut Glass Plates Light Fixture Meanwhile, the light fixture in the kitchen is pretty snazzy. It looks good in the kitchen, but it would look equally good in an office/dining room setting. Plus there was one final consideration. If I put the fan in the office, it would be directly over where I sit when I'm at the computer. There are two reasons I didn't want that. First is that the fan is frelling heavy, and if it ever dropped (however unlikely that might be), it'd land right on my head. The other reason is that it has two pull chains that'd bang off my noggin every time I stood up from the chair.

I'd actually taken down the ugly fixture a couple of years ago, then couldn't find the installation instructions for the fan. It was never an especially urgent project, so the wires had just hung loose from the ceiling ever since. Wednesday I finally got around to hunting down the instructions.

Noisy Overhead FanIt all went pretty fast. I took down the kitchen light, cleaned it, and put it in the office. Then I did the same for the back room light, moving it to the kitchen. Finally I installed the fan. That was a lot harder because of the heaviness factor, but I got it attached and wired up. Before I attached the fan blades I decided to flip on the switch to make sure the connections were good. It lit up just fine. Then I pulled the chain for the fan. Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz... WTF?!? The fan is supposed to be almost silent, and last time I'd used it (albeit seven years ago), it was. Now it sounded like a nest of hornets. I let it run for a little while, hoping that maybe it just needed some time to work out seven years worth of accumulated dust, but no joy. Not good.

There was another problem. I planned to install a 100W equivalent CF bulb in it, but there is a problem with in trying to use CFs in many overhead fixtures. Normal incandescents are all the same size, and most light fixtures are designed around them. This is especially true of the globe on overhead fixtures. CFs, OTOH, get bigger, mostly longer, as the wattage goes up. The CF bulb I wanted to use didn't fit. I managed to solve that problem by accident. I dropped the globe, and it shattered into a gazillion pieces. No globe, no globe problem. Sigh. I have a similar situation with the fixture over my kitchen sink. The globe is again too small for the bulb I want to use, so the globe is currently sitting on top of the kitchen cabinet, while the CF bulb sits naked in the fixture.

I took a ride up to the Depot to look at ceiling fans, but times have changed. When I bought this fan, there were a lot of choices for fans that mount flush to the ceiling. Now almost every fan HD sells hangs down at least a foot, and most more, designed for the cathedral ceilings of modern mcmansions. There was only one flush-mounted fan, but it cost way more than I was willing to pay. Tried Wal-Mart, too, and had no better luck. I also looked at standard fixtures, but didn't see any I liked. Didn't have any luck finding replacement globes, either.

So now the kitchen and office are all set, but the back room now boasts the incredibly ugly bladeless, globeless ceiling fixture shown at the right. Will try Lowes tomorrow, but I don't hold out much hope.

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As long as I was working on lighting, I changed the bulbs on two halogen torchieres, and vacuumed out all the dead bugs.

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Today I was up in the attic cleaning and straightening. Wound up taking an entire pickup truck load of trash to the dump, and still barely scratched the surface of what I need to do up there. I also made a list of stuff to drop off at the Salvation Army, which I'll try to do tomorrow.

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It rained all day yesterday, and since I wasn't able to do my usual Thursday ride outdoors, I hauled the stationary bike up from the basement, and rode that for 25 minutes while watching an episode of the Muppet Show. Not nearly as satisfying as riding a real bike, but it's something. The bad news is that I think I pulled something in my back while lugging it up the stairs. It's not the same pain I've been having (which has mostly gone), and it was bugging me all day today.
 
 
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fatoudust: dafatoudust on October 13th, 2007 - 04:02 am
Hey, check into those fans, 'cause I know at least some of them can be mounted with the downrod but can also be mounted flush. Look for 3-position mounting, which can be mounted slope, flush or downrod.

Anyway, sounds like a good lighting redesign.
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fatoudustfatoudust on October 13th, 2007 - 04:03 am
Also, Home Depot's Energy Star rated fans are 10% off right now.
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DXMachinadxmachina on October 14th, 2007 - 02:27 am
Didn't know about the 3-position thing, so thanks. Took another look, and now I have some options.
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