Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How Add Light Without Calling an Electrician

When we moved in to our first home, I wasn’t willing to settle for the floor plan that the previous homeowners had set up. Everything was in a weird place, making the house feel cramped and messy! In the second livingroom area, they had workout equipment and an enormous aquarium. Then, they had their table shoved into a tiny nook in the corner! I couldn't handle it and decided that my dining area needed more space. The problem: the light fixtures reflected where they had placed their things. A hanging light fixture in the corner and no light fixture in the large room! With my big farmhouse table being a staple in my home, I wanted it to have a place of glory. But how could I arrange my home the way I wanted without being left in the dark?

Well, after switching out the hanging light in the corner for a more modern fixture, I began to feel like one heck of an electrician. So I thought that installing a light box couldn’t be too hard, right? Wrong. After some research, I gave up on that DIY project, because the process was tedious and complicated. How about calling an electrician? Yeah, for a few hundred bucks I could have it exactly the way I wanted. There was no way I was going to spend my tiny home decor budget on that! So how could I light up my dining room without spending a fortune or electrocuting myself? 

My inspiration came in an antique store, but I wasn't interested in their merchandise. While shopping one afternoon, I wandered into one of the stores,but instead of looking around, I happened to look up. There, hanging from the ceiling, were 20 or so light fixtures that reached from the sides to the middle of the store supported by antique pulleys. It was clear that they had the same problem I did! Certainly, I could pull off this magic trick myself!

The key to keeping it in budget was finding a pulley that wouldn't cost $30-$40, which is how much you usually see them for in antique stores. I hunted for a while before I could start my project. One on Facebook Marketplace for $10? Yes! It was pretty nasty and needed a good cleaning, but for that price, I didn't care!
Now, to buy the fixture. I found many on Amazon and chose the one with the longest cord. However, I knew I would need an extension cord to make it to the plug, so I didn't stress too much about length. The one listed below is even better than the one I found on Amazon. It comes with the bulb, cage, cord, and hooks! And at only $20, it's a steal!

Your next step is to hang it. You'll needed two hooks: one to hold up the pulley and one to hold the cord to the wall (if you order the kit above, those will be included). Mark where the middle of the table is, then move the table out of the way. Screw the hook into the ceiling above where you marked the center of your table to be. Make sure the hooks you get are long and sturdy enough to hold up the pulley because some of them can be rather heavy. The second hook will attach to the wall to support the weight of the light fixture. Find a spot on your wall that is somewhat out of the way. The height at which you hang it is completely your preference. If you don't have this support, it could unplug and fall to the ground or destroy the socket, so secure it tightly. I had to tie the cord to the hook instead of wrapping the cord around the hook. I used black string. It's not noticeable and holds firmly.

Next, lace the cord through the pulley and hang the pulley up. Make sure it is in the center of your space so it hangs evenly over your table. Now, you have to decide how high you want the fixture to hang. I pulled the fixture up and moved the table back so I could vitalize where it needed to be. Once I had it at the right height, I tied it firmly to the hook on the wall. All of the weight of the fixture should be supported by now, and you can plug it in (whether you need to include an extension cord or not).

Here's my finished product...

What a change! I am so happy with the outcome! However, I do plan to eventually change the low watt Edison bulb out for a brighter one to give us even more light. Have you ever worked with lighting? Have experience with lighting up a difficult space? Tell about it in the comments below and keep creating!

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