Sometimes Things Don’t Pan Out: A Light Experiment

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

It’s true.  Sometimes things just don’t pan out.  Everyone makes mistakes, ya know.  We're all only human.  Even the pros.

But, have no fear, because we all make mistakes, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.  This is how we learn.  And as we have learned, learning is a good thing.

This isn’t the first time I’ve made an error.  And goodness knows, it definitely won’t be the last.

Mistakes used to bother me too, oh for sure.  And sometimes still do.  I mean, no one likes them, right?  Yeah, sure, it does suck but let's remember it’s an opportunity do something again.  Better.  Or, heh, make another mistake and learn more.

Don't forget too, everything is un-doable, nothing is permanent.  Ok, fair enough, it may cost some extra hard-earned dough to undo but still.  It's just design.  And trying all sorts of different things is oodles of fun.

Mmk, so I was perusing the Sunday advertisement for Menards as ahem, I do weekly.  With bated breath I await the new week’s worth of sales.  I know.  It probably seems a ridiculous existence but hey, it makes me happy.

(Mike:  "whatcha lookin' at?"  Me:  "What?  Me?!  Nothing!"  Mike:  "You're looking at the Menards ad again, aren't you?!"  Me:  "What?!  Me?!   Nooooo."  [hides electronic device]  Mike:  "uuugghh, great!"  Yes, that would be every Sunday.)

Anywhooo!  A particular light fixture that I had kept a remote eye on was on major sale.  Like half off or something crazy irresistible.  The uh Patriot Lighting Keilen 3-light Track Vanity Light, if you're so inclined.

If you have played this game with me before, you've already guessed correctly:  I ran out for it the very next day, thinking maybe it’d be perfect in the first floor bathroom as I didn't know where else to put it.

mid-century bathroom light wall
A-yup, there it is, in the box.
Yes, I do that.  Buy then pick a spot.  Generally that's not advised, so say "the rules."  Maybe not the wisest approach at times but it does work for me.  Mostly.  Not always.  Like this time.

Oh.  Huh.  I could've put it in the basement bathroom.  Have I changed that one yet?  I seriously had to get up and go look.  Normally I've got everything filed in my head, what's wrong with me?

Ope, nope, just the mirror and the sink turns out.  Hmmmmm.....

By now you're scratching your head, but wait a darn stinkin' second here missy, I thought that bathroom was done?!

Heh, busted.  Nothing is ever done in this house.  Shrug, what can I say.

I mean, it’s merely an Ikea ceiling mount halogen fixture that I wall mounted to serve as a vanity light.  Which you can totally do by the way, as I’ve done on numerous occasions.

It’s nothing fancy.  As such it’s on some random list in my head of replaceable items if a suitable fixture pops onto my radar.  And this one at Menards, I had a few hopes pinned on it.

ceiling mount wall vanity light Ikea
My pal Caitlin finally saw this bathroom and laughed at my Exorcist wallpaper (season 2, it might be this episode, maybe).
Granted, I must confess, I wasn’t 100% on it panning out.  I was concerned about its size, the antiqued brass band a little but not really, but mostly its mid-century modern vibe, if any of these things would gel with the cacophony of design elements in situ.

And even more honestly, I’ve been hedging bets on some of the design-y concepts ambling through my whackadoodle doo brain as of late.  It happens.  Self-doubt, ya know, in the category of "can we skip this feeling please?"

Probably because I’m not feeling the light fixtures I installed on either side of our master headboard.  Every time I take a photo of the headboard, I dislike the sconces more.  Not the fixtures themselves; the combo is meh, wrong.

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to rattle my lil’ cage.  Sometimes it takes a lot.  Lately just a little.

To the point I'm even contemplating removing the wallpaper in the kitchen in order to solve the flooring issue (an idea which ultimately may or may not work and/or be too cost prohibitive) and record album storage next to the kitchen, to tone down visual noise of all those things together.  I looove that wallpaper though.  I dunno, I'm gonna keep contemplating.

But right!  Veer, sidetrack, whoops.

Despite my vanity light hesitations, and they were itchy, I figured I’d give it a whirl otherwise I’d wonder forever.  Or ok, maybe not forever but at least until I run across The Fixture which could be a while.

So satisfied my curiosity I did.  I mean, these things are simple to change out, right?, no big whoop, right?

Uh, right, not this time.  A confluence of things....right.

Unpack and that hesitation is bubbling up again as I'm not sure what it is about the fixture...are the proportions off?  Something is weird.  Hm.

Then I find this gizmo.  Which is clever and cool and is designed to make installation a breeze and I get it.  Plug and play, how simple.  Right?

plug play install bracket wires wiring light fixture

Nope.  Not here anyway.

wiring plug bracket install light fixture vanity bathroom
These pluggy thingies stick way the hell out, man.
I take down the Ikea fixture and go to zip on that gizmo when doh, omg, you're kidding me.  Whatever type of junction box or box cover or whatever that dumb flipper used, the opening is round and small.  The gizmo will not fit.

wall mount electric box circular narrow opening
Sorry for the blurry shot here.  You can kinda see how the opening is closed in and rounded.
Nope...won't...what if....nope... can it....   how about....  can ....  will.....  ugh.....nope.

Back to Menards I run and get this gizmo.

light offset crossbar fixture wall mount

But couldn't get that to work properly.  Not sure why...oh, the screws through to the fixture front were henceforth too long and I was avoiding cutting them in case the look was wrong overall.

bracket electrical box wiring wall mount
I tried every which way with this thing but nope.
There was another reason why this wouldn't work and it's escaping me.  I think I'm blocking it out now, I was getting so frustrated.  I think the fixture wouldn't sit tight to the wall due to the voluminous crap inside the base of the fixture itself in combo with the bump of this gizmo too.  Something like that.  Sorry.  I'm getting old, what can I say?

Discouraged, and not one to let discouragement ever win, I went back to the original gizmo and thought, well, what if I install it backward.  Yeah, wiring...I'll have to skip the plug and play I tried it.

It stuck way off the wall thanks to those large plastic plug in bits.  Buuuut it looked like I could get the fixture on this way.

reversed installation bracket plug play wiring wall mount
Backward gizmo.  Because why not.  And then I'm concerned about the wallpaper gap; the Ikea fixture sat higher up.  Ugh.
Then the screws were still too long.  Because someone has yet to figure out another way to design light fixtures other than attaching it to too long out-pointing screws with little ball things that you drop and lose constantly that screw on from the front.

So I cut the screws.  Screw it.

(I mean, what the hell size are these screws anyway?!  I cannot for the life of me find exact substitutes in shorter lengths.  Anywhere.  Like at all.  They are the world's most mysterious screws.)

(Those and the screws for our gawd awful storm doors.  Is there like a mystery screw factory where all they make are screws you cannot replace?!  Arrggg, so infuriating!  hahaha)

And then the fixture was up.

mid-century replica wall mount bathroom skull wallpaper
That took way too long, like way way way too long.  For a fixture that was designed to install simply and easily in seconds with a one size fits all gizmo.  Guess what, this is not a one size fits all world.

Shoved in some forty watt LEDs in bright white.....Yeesch the light coming off them was uncouth.  Heh, not all LEDs are created equal, my friends.

Stepping back to take in the resulting grand scheme, I was scratching my chin.  Hmph, yeahhhh, Iiiii dunno.  There's something weird about the fixture itself.  Can't put my finger on it.  Plus yep, it really doesn't go with anything else in there.

mid-century replica bathroom vanity light fixture wall
Here I am jamming myself into a corner for this blurry shot.

I left it up though, I was wiped.

Mike came home, flipped on the light and I hear this loud "Oh!!  No!  Oh!  Oh yeah, no!  Mmmmm mm, no."

installed mid-century wall bathroom light fixture
It's still bugging me, what's off....I think it's the proportions.
That was the end of that.  The next day the fixture came down and back to the Ikea halogen we went. And fyi, lest you think I'm a terrible person hosing another purchaser, I tossed in replacement screws to the ones I trimmed.

Sigh.  Alas.

And so it is.  We make mistakes.  This is how we learn.  No big deal.

Hey, in fun news, I finally have this blog hooked up on its own domain name.  I know, I'm so speedy and tech savvy, four years later.........It's now!  Suh-wheet.

And don't forget to come share your one time, no registering, once per email address (so use 'em all!) vote for lil' ol' me over in the Amara Interior Blog Awards!  Be sure to share the link with all your pals!  Thank you!


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