Thursday, June 28, 2012

Curse that wind

When I first showed you our family room it had four unattractive light fixtures.  The middle light was some cheap looking white ceiling fan.  The previous owners must have really liked wind, because every room with a ceiling fixture had a fan.  I personally hate wind, which brings us to today's post...

After three years of light browsing I had finally decided on the style of light I would replace the fan with.  I wanted to go with a round drum shade style light that wouldn't hang too low since the ceilings are standard 8'.  Even though our family doesn't produce super tall people, a low hanging light would make the room look even shorter and smaller.

The first option I found was a nickel fixture with a white shade seen here.I loved that the white shade wouldn't darken the already dark downstairs like an amber shade would, and the brushed nickel would go with the other hardware we already had.

Next, I found this light.  The shade on was wider than the first, which would be nice since the family room was fairly large, therefore, the light would be proportional.
Last, I found this Rutbo light from Ikea which at $39.99 was by far the cheapest.  Knowing Ikea, I worried that this light could be a little too papery for us and likely hang too low.  However, in the interest of saving some money, we opted to check it out in person.

Turns out it is completely papery in a wrinkly sort of way.  It reminds me of one of the Chinese lanterns, which would totally work in some rooms, just not what we were going for in the family room.

Slightly bummed, we continued to browse the seemingly never ended rows of affordable goods at Ikea which led us to our destiny.  Destiny went by the name Alang and was willing to come home with us for only $29.99.

After looking at Alang a little closer, we discovered he took three light bulbs which was a huge plus because he would need to light up our whole downstairs world.  We happily brought Alang home and made new room for him by removing the ugly white fan.

We did so only after turning off the light switch as well as the breaker for his light box.  Then, we took Alang out of his box and awed at his lovely woven shade. I wouldn't classify the shade under the material fabric; he is more of a textured plastic type substance.  The bottom of the shade is actually paper, however, it isn't the wrinkly sort of paper like the other Ikea light we had looked it.  More of a standard smooth light fixture paper.  He is also light cream in color, so that was a nice compromise between white, which would give the most light, and amber, which would give a softer feel.

His parts were certainly not what I am used to seeing when assembling light fixtures.  He had some sort of traingular shape made of plastic as the base of the fixture.  I had to wrap the wires around like the Ikea directions showed.  The directions were slightly hard to follow at times, and even though the directions specified languages they supported, no words were actually written in the directions.  Apparently pictures are language specific.

After putting the lights into the triangle, and wrapping the wires, the light was ready to be hooked up.  Alang's wires were the kind that had the ridges on one wire and not on the other, which annoys me because I always forget which is nuetral and which is hot.  After a google search I was reminded that the ridged wire is neutral and is therefore connected to the white wire in the box, and the smooth wire is hot, and is therefore connected to the black wire from our box.  The ground wire is connected to the ground screw on the metal plate which connects to the box.  You can see that metal plate hanging between the plastic triangle and the light box in the picture below.

After the wires were connected, I connected the metal plate to the light box with two unprovided screws.  Ikea just hates including the necessary screws with their goods.  After the metal plate was screwed in I actually had to connect a zip tie to the plate which then went through the bottom of the plastic triangle to hold it up.  You can see this zip tie in the middle of the picture below.  It is sort of a glow in the dark green color.

After screwing in the three bulbs I attached the shade to the light.  See the three little metal arms coming out of the plastic triangle above?  Those actually have little magnets on the end which correspond to magnets on the shade.  So I just had to match the magnets up with the shade and the installation was all complete.

When I switched the breaker back on this is the lovely glow I saw:

I love the woven texture, and the fact that the light doesn't give off a nasty yellow glow.  Especially considering the yellow potential with the yellow walls down there. 

Definitely an improvement from the cheap white fan.  Now, to replace those other three inappropriately shaped lights down there...

Sorry, the after picture isn't one of my best lit photos...

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