A giant can of electric worms

The wiring of the lights in this house is just bizarre. And cobbled together. And inconvenient. Wait, inconvenient is too nice a word. More like, a fucking pain in the ass.

I feel very strongly about this. Every room on each floor has a central ceiling light. And every ceiling light has the current wires running to it, but also, a set of still-hot wires that have been abandoned but are right under/next to/mixed in with the in-use wires. And every light is hanging from a tube with a cup or bowl-like object hiding and securing this wad of wires.

(I should add here that the current wiring, while next to old wiring, is fine. And all the outlets were brought up to code years ago. The ceiling lights just come with a little something extra.)

This means that when we want to change out any of these ceiling lights (like we do right now, because dusty, dated brass and faded plastic fixtures aren’t really our thing), we are very limited in our choice of light. It must 1) hang from a tube that screws in to the existing tube, 2) not rely on those really common light kits that oh, just about every ceiling lamp uses, and 3) not be flush mount or semi-flush mount to the ceiling  because we cannot disturb the abandoned hot wires.

Finding an affordable (ok let’s be honest, cheap), decent-looking ceiling light fixture is hard enough. But now we have to find one that meets all these requirements and isn’t meant to shine a spotlight over a kitchen, pool, or interrogation table. From Home Depot to Ikea to West Elm to really expensive lighting stores to really cheap, ugly, online lighting stores, we have looked and looked and even brought one home to try out.

Interrogation Lamp

During daylight hours, when it wasn’t on, it was okay. But at night, when you’d need it to work, it was too much of a dark blob in a white room (in my opinion) and cast a severe shadow around a room that’s meant to hold a couch, not an interrogation table. Lou didn’t mind it. But I fought for its removal and, after a lot of failed searching, settled on spray painting our second-floor chandelier white and using that in the rental.

Jeweled Before

The original, in all its brassy, yellowing, dusty glory (and with new round bulbs).

Lou Ladder

He misses the interrogation light. But he’s just happy I finally settled on anything.

White Chandelier

It’s like it’s not even there. Perfect.

Personally, I think it’s very Urban Outfitters, or even a little West Elm, like this one with contemporary shades (Lou just read that word and threw up a little) they’re trying to sell for almost $400. No thanks.

Meanwhile, on the second floor, where the wiring conditions are of course the same, we attempted to give brassy light fixture #2 a more goth modern look.



No, that’s not a weird grey primer on it. That’s filth from the last century.

Black_AfterMatte black. Never mind the odd silver bulb. Or the poor photography.

Next we tackle our office, aka the second bedroom on our floor. The light we ordered is in. And Lou has finagled the wiring. And as of last weekend, the wiring worked. But then we turned off the breakers to the room, turned them back on, and it has since stopped working. Ah, Deep Eaves. The fun never ends.

About Lynn

Attempting to renovate a house and keep a blog alive.
This entry was posted in The Beginning and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A giant can of electric worms

  1. Pingback: Part I: The rental unit | Deep Eaves & Empty Pockets

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