Playing Musical Lights

Light #1

One of the things I realized, after getting the new front door, entry area needed to be kicked up a couple notches. Painting was one of the ideas (but that will probably happen later in the year).

The other idea was to get a new fixture. The original idea was a Sputnik/atomic style light similar to the picture below but instead of it being a semi-flush or chandelier, it would have been a flush mounted fixture.


While doing research, I realized that something completely vintage was pretty pricey and would require wiring to be updated. Then I looked for a new version and was going to have one ordered but then it occurred to me that because it was going to be an entryway/foyer light, I wouldn’t get much use out if it.

So I began to rethink the idea and decided to order a chandelier for the dining room instead.

The before picture (this was an old one – probably a few months after I had moved in):

And the after:


Right before I got the fixture and the 16 light bulbs, I changed out the dimmer switch. I hadn’t realized when I installed the switch a few years ago, that there were different ones for LED/CFLs and Incandescent/halogens.

Unfortunately, I didn’t buy the CORRECT one for the bulbs I was using. I ordered 2W filament LED bulbs and right on the box, it showed which dimmer switch it was compatible with. (The first clue was also how the flights flashed on and off—much like an alert—when I tried to brighten them.) It was also about three times as expensive because it was for low voltage bulbs.

Once I got that in, I moved the previous dimmer into the office.

So now, it is in a more prominent space and I use it every day.

Light #2:

Once I got the Sputnik chandelier up, I debated whether or not to move that fixture over to the entryway. It would require that I shorten the chain considerably which I had the tools. I wasn’t sure if it would look right as a semi-flush but was willing to try.

The previous light that I had installed not too long ago:


The after:


One thing I might end up adding later on is some sort of decorative piece before I attach the canopy. The size barely covered the junction box up there. That was a pretty simple install except I had to look for the instruction manual on this one because the wiring isn’t a simple black wire and then a white wire. This one had a ridged wire coating while the other was smooth.

Light #3

The hallway to the bedrooms had a CFL fixture which I wasn’t crazy about. Plus, it was only one light so it didn’t always seem like it was enough.

The before (this was the same style as the entry light before I made the changes):

IMG_3751 IMG_3752

Continuing with my own brand of repurposing, I used the light previous entry way light. This was probably the quickest install of the three. It was done in less than an hour. The fixture as well as the LED lights really made a big difference.


Update to Electrical

It was a no go 😦

Got the new switches and installed them today. Once again, it looked like the one inside the house worked but the one in the garage was wonky. I didn’t want to spend as much time as I did last Saturday so I gave up and (once again) reinstalled the 3 way switches back.

I’ll have to figure out something along the lines of a programable outside lighting system but for now, the switches work and that’s what I’ll be using.

I Figured Out the Electrical

The good news is I figured out the problem. The timer switch I bought was 20A and it replaced a 15A. Plus, the paired switch in the garage was also 15A. Granted, I’m not an electrician but it made sense why it didn’t work.

The bad news was I didn’t figure it out until early this morning. This after having a rough night sleeping since I was paranoid I somehow messed up on the wiring.

When I looked at the package to confirm, it said 20 amps in teeny, tiny letters. The good news was I DID do the wiring correctly… it just didn’t realize the amperage was off. When I got back from running, I switched back to the standard light switches and they immediately worked. :-/

Unfortunately, the orange big-box store doesn’t carry any 15 amp ones and must be ordered online (and it wouldn’t be here until near the end of the month). The blue big-box stores don’t carry any.

I ended up buying one and using my Prime membership so it will be here early this week. It is by Leviton and was one of a handful that worked with CFL bulbs. I was going to go with Honeywell but they only are incandescent and halogen compatible :(.

On one hand, I’m glad I figured it out. On the other, I wasted my afternoon yesterday AND got bitten by a slew of mosquitos while working on this stupid project.

I should have gotten paint and painted instead.

And yes, that is a bit of a rant – my words were a lot more colorful this morning.

Electrical Stuff

I worked on installing a timer switch today. It’s so I could program my outside lights.

It took a couple hours to install and the programming part works.


However, the lights aren’t working and it’s most likely due to the switch in the garage. I don’t think I used a three-way switch.

I’ll have to get one tomorrow and install. I got bitten by too many bugs today. 😦