Light me up!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Basic wiring is not rocket science.* I'm so glad I learned some.

Our master bath is a disaster, laid out all weird and it just doesn't function well at all. It's got 5 different types of tile, two showers and never mind the creme de la creme vanity, the worst of the bunch. Photos will be forthcoming. Mike has grand plans for this room but I just couldn't handle the light fixture or the mirror anymore. I reached my breaking point.

The light fixture was pretty flimsy, too small, and not in a style we liked. I'd post a photo of it but it appears I deleted it after I sold it. Sorry. It wasn't worth your time so don't be sad.

As per usual, I shopped everywhere but nothing was striking my fancy. I had replaced the cheapy fixture with one from Ikea but it didn't really put out enough light so the search went on. Sometimes things just don't work out. Don't be afraid to admit it.

I've drawn up the vanity I plan to build some day (holy intimidating) and it's got a mid-century vibe so I decided to broaden my search to include used fixtures. That's when I found the one I got on eBay.** It's a new fixture but an old retro style.

Now, it's not for everybody. You may even laugh. I was shocked when Mike said he liked it. If everything turns out the way I've got it visualized in my head, it'll be right cool.

But before I could hang it, Murphy's Law kicked in as it usually does for me. Even my parents say, wow, how does that happen to one person so repeatedly?! The blue protective film had fused to the chrome like nobody's business. Ugh. I contacted the people I bought it from since for once they were actually local, hoping I could exchange it for one less in shambles. They said all of the fixtures were like that. A little irksome but after a bunch of acetone and a lot of elbow grease, I finally got it cleaned up.

chrome light fixture with stuck plastic wrap

What a mess, right? Oy.

Thankfully I kept this little tool, if you will, from when I put the Ikea fixture in.

Ikea light fixture tool

When you're putting in a light and only have one set of hands, this little gizmo is beyond handy. Hook the fixture, hook it to the box in the wall, let go and bam, it's like having two more helping hands.

Oh, heh, here's some quality work by the flipper by the way. See how it's bright in the little holes inside the box? Yeah, that's a window. They drywalled over the window on the inside. In total, they actually covered over three windows on the east side of the house. ????

electrical box in bathroom wall

Anyway....It was still a bit of a struggle on a ladder with a screw gun and a fixture and pieces and parts and bits but I was determined. And here it is: 

lucite bathroom vanity light lit up
lucite bathroom wall light fixture
I have 40w bulbs in there now but I think I need to go the max with 60w. The electrical box is a bit high, the proportions are weird on the wall with the mirror, so maybe at some point I can move it down, we'll see. Or get a bigger mirror, even though I just bought and installed this one. Yeah, we'll see. 

So what did I do with the Ikea fixture? I thought the halogen would do nice things for my brand new custom vanity so I popped it in there. The flipper's light wasn't too bad but it didn't really do it for me. So here's the vanity with the light. (I picked up that big mirror from a Habitat for Humanity ReStore for a pittance, $20.) So I think this little corner is done for now. Yay!!

Ikea light fixture over bathroom vanity
better view of bathroom vanity light from Ikea

(I apologize if the formatting is all weird on this post.  I typed it somewhere else first.  Hey, I warned you!)

*Disclaimer: Electricity is dangerous. It can hurt you. It can kill you even. Bad wiring can burn your house down. It's best to hire a qualified electrician if you don't know how to wire things. But, if you are determined to learn, more power to you (ah, silly pun!). There are lots of books and videos that will help you. Start small with a little lamp kit. Do not blow your house up.

**The wall mounted bathroom vanity lights link is an eBay affiliate link. Mwah, thanks! Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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