Monday, August 18, 2014

Basement Stairwell Ceiling Light

After discovering the horrible condition of the ceiling light in the basement stairwell yesterday, I didn't want to waste much time getting things fixed. I went to IKEA today, but unfortunately a suitable ceiling light was not available in the as-is section at a ridiculous discount - I had to pay full price this time.

Here's the stairwell before I started working on the light fixture this evening. Brianna has often mentioned that she wanted some way to light up the whole stairwell, not just the bottom.

Here's what I found when I took the light fixture down:

One of the black (hot) wires was completely broken and loose. I guess that explains the sparks yesterday.

Here's my solution:

I had been toying with the idea of lights along the walls of the stairwell for several months now. I was initially thinking of LED light strips where the walls met the ceiling. I was hoping to hide the wiring behind the drywall - somehow fishing the wires through a few discreet holes without having to do any significant drywall repair. But since I had to replace the old fixture immediately, and since this area hasn't been repaired and repainted yet (and probably isn't going to be until well after the baby is born), I took a cruder, simpler path.

I found two clip-on reading lights at IKEA as-is for $2 apiece when I bought the main light fixture. I mounted them to the wall, cut off the plugs, drilled holes in the main light fixture, and wired everything together. It doesn't look super-great, but it is effective. I think painting the black electrical cords white and putting longer shades on the reading lights could go a long way to improving the looks. And Brianna is never one to say "no" to more light.

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