Kicking (t)Ass(els) and taking names.

Our light fixtures are on the list of Things to De-Tassel in the House.  Here’s a shot of the foyer where you can see a few of the tassely beauts.

2014-01-30 15.49.11

And for the close-up so you can really see the intricate details:
2014-01-30 15.49.16Time to go, right? My friend picked up Hektar from IKEA for me on one of her trips up and I decided to tackle the tasseled beast.  There are tons of tutorials on how to do this, because its SO easy.  Seriously.  And you’re going to feel like a complete Bob Vila Superhero after you do it.

I’ve switched out a few fixtures in my day. When I say “I,” obviously I mean my dad and/or Jake have done them for me while I watched nervously.  I helped my dad one time but ended up with a slight concussion. Don’t ask.

This time I decided to do it myself. All by myself. Here are the professional steps I followed.

  1. Go home early from work and don’t tell your husband what you’re up to because he’ll freak out (I completely suggest telling someone when you’re dealing with anything electrical… that was silly).
  2. Get your supplies ready. You’ll need a ladder, screw driver, needle nosed pliers, and leather work gloves. Note: the gloves are completely unnecessary but I wore them like a dork until I was confident that I wasn’t really going to electrocute myself.
  3. TURN OFF THE POWER to that room. Some tutorials say the if the switch is off, that’s enough.  I say that’s silly.  Better safe than sorry  here.  After you switch that room’s power off, turn the lights off and on to make sure it’s really truly off. If you have a voltage detector that’s a huge bonus.
  4. Unscrew old fixture (from the ceiling) and unwind the wires by twisting the wire nut off from all 3 wires.  Then just make sure you separate all the wire ends so nothing has a chance of touching (even though the power is off, I’m a bit of nut here so just to be safe… keep ’em apart) and kiss the tassels goodbye. Your house doesn’t have tasseled light fixtures? Huh.  OK, then continue to the next step.
  5. There will be a plate connected to two screw holes on either side of the box in the ceiling. Check to see if that magically matches the new fixture. If yes, that’s great! If not, no big deal. Just remove it and install the one that comes with the new fixture (hopefully you’re able to use the same holes into the ceiling).DSC_0100
  6. Now it’s time to touch wires. Black to black, white to white, copper/green to copper/green. You want to make sure there’s about 3/4″ of wire at the end to twist together. Strip it off using the wire cutter part of your pliers. To twist them, put them together in the wire nut and twist until tight. IF there aren’t wires in the permanent part in the ceiling, there will  be screws.  Wrap the wires around the corresponding screws- black wire to gold screw, white wire to silver screw, and copper wire to green screw.Light Fixture
  7. OK so now your arms are getting tired, yes? Keep going.  This will add to your SuperBobVila feeling in a bit.  Now you just need to attach the fixture box/mounting plate. Your new fixture will have specific instructions how to do this part.DSC_0101
  8. Put a light bulb in, turn on the power, and see your glorious new light fixture in all its lovely lightness.  Oh, it didn’t work? Yeah. That happened to me too.  I de-attached the box and saw that my black wires had come untwined.  The wire was really short so I had to be careful about keeping those together.  Then, voila! Well, almost voila.  Mine was comically low to the ground so I had to shorten the chain but then… Voila!  For real this time. This picture doesn’t do it justice. I had to lay on the ground to get the light bulb in.  Needless to say I was a bit worried about my 6’7″ husband until I figured out how to shorten it.
  9. Roar like Katy Perry, wave your arms around a bit (unless they’re dead weight by this time), and pat yourself on the back.2014-01-30 16.24.36 2014-01-30 16.17.00Cause I am the Champion… 

2 thoughts on “Kicking (t)Ass(els) and taking names.

  1. I’m impressed. Should I ever try to put in a new light (and be allowed to do these things in the house-I’ve lost my privilege due to the unnecessary holes in the wall) I will reference this post. Maybe I should just email it to Neil.

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