Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Let There Be Light Fixtures

The light fixtures in the bathroom were the typical builder-grade ones you'd expect in a new construction home. Our place was built in '99 though, so the owners held out for a solid 13 years on changing them. I held out for a month.

The half bath.

The guest bath (old faucet and all, because I'm too traumatized to ever change it).

The master bath 

You may have noticed the angle is super weird... taking pictures with a mirror in the frame is just tricky. I'm worried about having a MySpace moment... see?

Anyway, I went to trusty Home Depot and found zero light fixtures that I liked. I didn't want anything fancy or expensive, just a little upgrade to bring the bathrooms into this decade. I swung by Lighting Inc. and found a very helpful man named Roland who showed me a lot of different options. Once I had found some fixtures I was happy with he surprised me by giving me the contractor's discount which saved me about $15 on each fixture. I was extremely pleased and thankful! I had had a few bad experiences at this place before with another salesperson so I'm glad to have found Roland. I won't forget him.

Now, onto changing them out. First thing is to always shut off the power to that fixture. Then I unscrewed the bulbs and pulled off the little silver rings that went around the bulbs and held the plate on the wall.

Then I took the plate off.

I removed the screws holding the back plate to the wall.

Then I removed the caps that connect the fixture's wires to the house's wires.

I pulled the plate off the wall.

I was expecting to find an electrical box here, but instead they just punched a hole in the wall. It's not even a nice round one, or a small one, it's just a randomly shaped, randomly sized, uncentered hole. I just used the screws that held the old fixture in the wall to screw the new one in.

Then I capped the wires. Black from the wall goes to black from the fixture, white from the wall goes to white from the fixture, copper (the ground wire) from the wall goes to copper from the fixture.

Then I put the fixture on the plate and screwed it in using the little screws they provided (you can see the two on top and two on bottom). Please forgive my nasty fingerprints.

I screwed bulbs in and flipped the breaker to make sure it worked... and it did!

Added the shades...

And DONE! Well, the light is done. The mirror is a work in progress that I'll share soon :)

I repeated the same process for the guest bath. Sorry you can't really see the fixture...

The process was more or less the same for the master bath, but the fixture was much heavier so I broke out some anchors/mollies to secure the back plate to the wall.

And done!

Hello there...

Anyone have any tips for taking pictures with mirrors in them? Doing it from the side was tricky because the wall was in the way. 

I'm glad that overall this upgrade was pretty quick and painless. Just another project that makes me thankful for my headlamp, because boy oh boy is it dark in a windowless room with no power ;)

I'm about to make John & Sherry a little DIY project for their book signing tonight. I CAN'T WAIT TO MEET THEM!!!! Matt Damon? Sarah Jessica Parker? The Dalai Lama? Superman? Nope. John and Sherry are my heroes. 

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