Sunday, January 11, 2009

Let There Be Light

In September our chandelier in the computer/dining room blew out. We flipped the light switch heard a pop, saw a flash and then the light did not work again. We check the breaker and still no light. We had to call the electrician. I was hoping that the chandelier could still be used because I really like its old look. It turned out to be a problem with the light switch and not the chandelier. Once the switch was replaced the light worked again.

In talking with the electrician, Doug told him that we did not like the light output in the kitchen. It is too dim in there especially at night. In fact, when I sew or work on crafts I have to bring up a floor lamp from the basement to provide extra task lighting. Doug told the electrician that we were at a loss as to a good solution. Should we add track lighting or recessed lighting? He suggested getting new fixtures. The candelabra style lights do not give off much lighting and we could purchase other fixtures and use several 100W lights.

This is what we had in the cooking area. Notice on the right that there is a bulb missing. That socket burned out and never worked again. Our limited light was even more limited.

And this was in the dining part of the kitchen.
They actually look a little better in the picture than they really look. The glass panels are not adhered as you would stain glass and they tend to slip around when you try to clean them. Trying to clean the inside part of the glass lighting of the fan was very awkward.

Here comes the saga. In October Doug and I went to a local lighting store to look for some new fixtures. We looked around and didn't quite see what we wanted, although we weren't sure what we wanted. One of the salespersons offered to help us. Doug told her about our current lighting situation and I told her that we wanted an Arts and Craftsman or Art Deco kind of look.

She steered us towards some pages in a catalog. I found a fixture in particular that I liked for the kitchen and it would take up to three 100W lights. I then found a similar look for the dining area. The salesperson was concerned about the drop of this fixture and thought we should get our ceiling height before ordering.

We went home measured and called her. She was also calling the company that manufactures the light to see if they had shorter rod inserts. Well the company did not have shorter rods and our ceiling height was too low. The salesperson felt we would be unhappy with the fixture. Although I was glad for her attention to details this put us back at square one. Do we look for two new fixture or pick something else to complement the cooking area one that we already picked out?

There were several other choices in the catalog that were part of this particular collection. None of them looked like the second light fixture I picked out. From the catalog choices I didn't like the globe shape and I didn't like that the fixtures had a chandelier look to them. I wanted something different. The sales person offered to mail me some more pages of the catalog. Although she felt the globe shape of some of the other options we discussed would compliment our chosen fixture.

I waited several days and the additional pages arrived with the salesperson's notes. Basically the fixture images were the same as the catalog pages I already had. I was O.K. with two of the chandelier shapes. I still did not like the globes, but the salesperson said that they would go well with the other fixture. I was torn between the fixture with fewer lights and the one with more. It seemed to me that the larger one was too large. I again took her advice and agree to purchase the larger one. She helped with this when I gave her the table size and the room size. She also suggested that we have a dimmer installed that would adjust the lighting to what we would desire.

I waited for Doug to return from a conference, showed him the fixture, and then placed the final order. We were now in the first week of November. We got a call that one fixture was in stock from the manufacturer in CA but the other would have to be made and shipped to CA or here. This would take at least several weeks.

Finally, Friday, December 19, our ice day, the salesperson called to tell us the fixtures were in. We headed out in the afternoon to get the much awaited for fixtures. We loaded them up in the van and took the two large boxes to the basement, called the electrician to set a date for after the holidays, and went about our crazy schedule. It was a good thing we were busy and were getting ready to leave for Christmas. Otherwise it would have driven me crazy waiting till December 30th for the lights to be replaced.

We returned home and finally December 30th arrived. I went to school to do some work and Doug stayed to wait for the electrician. I came home excited to see the new fixtures go up. No electrician shows. Doug calls and leaves a message, still no electrician. Bummer. Later that evening the electrician calls with a reason for forgetting about us and will come out early the 31st.

I get up and plan to rush to the store to get bulbs for the fixtures before the electrician arrives. When the electrician said first thing in the morning he meant it. He sent two of his guys to put up our lights. The guys begin by taking down the fan light and discover a code problem. There is no box, the fixture was wired up through the beams. They have to have a box. They begin to work on this. I take off for the store.

I come back and they have hung the fixture and want to make sure the height is good. The electrician says that the height with the rod insert is the standard height from the ceiling to the table. I kind of wanted it higher but say O.K. The two men continue to work and as I watch I notice that the globes are the wrong color. They are amber and I wanted white frosted. I tell the guy to put up all but one globe because I'm going to take it and have the lighting place order the correct color. I'm watching them finish with the fixture and I can't figure out why I don't like the fixture. I'm really not liking it and am thinking how did I go so wrong. I can't live with this. So I start looking at the rods and shape checking them off in my mind. They match what I picked out and then it hits me. The metal is the wrong color too! I tell the guys take it down. Of course they heard me mumbling earlier. The one on the ladder says your kidding. I said nope it the wrong color. It should be brushed nickle and I don't want that.

They grumblingly take it down and pack it back in the box. I call the salesperson and tell her we are bringing this one back and she needs to order the correct color. What do we do now that the original light fixture is down and the new is not staying? This!

The guys did put up the cooking area fixture before they left. One out of two, not good. It is beautiful and my favorite of the two we bought.

Here is the ending. On Wednesday, the 7th we get the call that our fixture is in. We rush to pick it up right before closing. Lucking Dugger, who made it home from school before us, called to tell us they had just called and were closing at 5:00. Coincidentally, our electrician's van was parked in the lighting lot. Doug went in and asked for the electrician who was checking out in the back. I got the light and we scheduled the electrician for Friday. Yea!!

He remembered, arrived, and fixed us up. I did have this fixture higher than the last attempt. I really didn't not care for the standard drop. Here is the newest and last fixture. Sometimes when I look at it I see a wagon wheel look and other times I see the skyscraper Empire State Building/Sears Tower look. Hopefully I'll see more of the skyscraper look than wheel. The lighting and aesthetics are definitely better.

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