Monday, October 12, 2015

adventures in lighting

I moved back in with my parents last year, and since I work from home full time I got to move into a larger room in the house to accommodate my workspace. We're thinking about moving out of state next year but to be honest I'm REALLY going to miss this room if we do. It's been my favorite place I've ever lived, I love it even more than my old apartment!

The only downside has been the light fixture. It came with the house and it's one of the only lamps that my parents never changed. It hangs crooked and every time I had to change the light bulb I was positive it was about to fall on me. It hung high enough that my 5' body had no trouble walking underneath, but anytime I had a taller visitor they'd bump their head.

Here it is! The crooked chandelier. That would be a good name for a mystery novel, wouldn't it? Maybe someone is strangled and left hanging from a chandelier, and it always hangs crooked after that, taunting the guilty party with its crookedness until they finally can't take it anymore and confess their crime.

Actually is this even a chandelier? I think it's just a lamp? Anyway. It was here and I carefully cropped it out of every photo for the last year and a half. Last month I was at IKEA and I saw an awesome 60's mod light fixture that seemed like the perfect replacement. It was one of those "last chance" items so I HAD to get it.

I have no idea why this picture is so grainy but the lamp isn't up anymore so I can't take a new picture :\ Isn't the shape and style awesome, though?! It's basically my dream lamp, if I was the type of person to dream about light fixtures.

So a few weeks ago my dad installed this for me. It took three of us about three hours to get this thing installed. I normally love IKEA but in this case I felt like it was one of those products that everyone complains about... the design is very flawed, the directions were impossible to understand and nothing seemed to actually work. When it was finally up and running we switched the power back on and.... it's essentially a night light. You could barely even tell it was on. Which would be fine if this was hanging over a nightstand I guess (?) but it's supposed to illuminate my work area.

So I started searching for a new lamp. Can I just say, it is REALLY hard to find nice lamps that aren't hundreds of dollars. So many of the ones in my price range looked a lot like the one I had been trying to replace from the beginning. I would have been happy with a simple sphere or something but even the simplest modern fixtures all seemed to be over $300.

Somehow I ended up finding this scalloped lighting fixture from pottery barn kids. It's nice and simple, not super expensive, and the scalloped border adds just a little me-ness ;) And best of all -- it takes two 60 watt bulbs so it should be bright enough. SCORE!

Yesterday we decided to install it, thinking it would be a breeze after that horrible IKEA one. "We'll have this done in 30 minutes, tops!" We were so naive. The wiring went smoothly, but once it was time to actually screw it to the ceiling we ran into multiple setbacks. The screws weren't long enough, so we rested the fixture on a box that was precariously sitting on top of a ladder and ran to Lowe's to get longer screws. Even then we still couldn't figure out how to line up the screws to the holes in the lamp, though. I ended up asking my brother to come over and help, since he's more handy than the rest of us. He managed to get it screwed on (yay!) so I handed him a 60 watt light bulb. And it didn't fit.

It turns out this lamp takes SPECIAL 60 watt bulbs. (Actually they're just the kind that are shaped like candles that go in chandeliers, which aren't too special.. they're just not the kind I keep on hand..) So I still don't have a functioning lamp yet. I'm going to Lowe's later today to see if they sell the right light bulbs. Honestly I think at this point even if it turned out that every store on the planet was sold out of the bulbs I'd just let it go and live without a functioning light fixture. I'd rather my eyesight suffer than have to spend one more minute, nay, second, installing lighting!

Anyway... the new lamp is so pretty though, isn't it? :)