August 11, 2009

Replacing Light Fixtures: New Kitchen Light

As I've been decorating my new home I've learned some decorating basics, which I'm here to share with you! Today I bring you the first installment of my home decorating 101 tips which is home lighting design.

A room's lighting sets the tone for the room, dimmed lights are more romantic and formal, while bright lights are more casual and energtic. Dimmer switches are great because they let you modify how much light you get and can also save energy by keeping lights dimmed when brightness is not necessary. Kitchen lighting can be a bit tricky since bright light is needed for cooking, but a dimmer light is usually perferred for entertaining. I don't have dimmers in my kitchen, so instead I utilize 2 sets of lights. One is a ceiling fixture that hangs above my cooking area and the second is a lighting fixture above my kitchen table with a more gentle light.

But there was a problem with the lighting fixture above our kitchen table- it was hideous! No sense in worrying about how lighting sets the mood when the actual light fixture is so ugly! The previous owner took her kitchen light fixture with her when she left and left me with this less desirable one that the builders put in:

Upon moving in, hubby and I picked out a new light fixture from Lowes. But it sat in our garage until one day I decided I could no longer look at the old one. I had no idea how to install a lighting fixture, but what better way to learn than to play with electricity and try it out myself! It was surprisingly very simple (although it looked daunting at first).

First (and most importantly) turn off the power to the circuit you will be messing with in the breaker box! It's then pretty simple to mount the fixture and wire it. Since the instructions that came with my fixture were awful, I used this handy video to learn how to mount and wire the fixture:

Not only do I now have the satisfaction of knowing how to replace a light fixture myself, but now I have this beautiful lighting fixture in my kitchen. Tada!


PeaceLoveMath said...

Linked to you from, I really need to replace my two hideous, old-fashioned light fixtures too! We haven't sprung for new ones yet though, there's been too much else to do so far. But now that the dining room is otherwise done, it will have to happen soon! I like the one you got a lot.

FYI, dimming the lights does NOT save energy! In fact, it makes your lightbulbs burn out faster. I do love having dimmers, but I think I'm going to switch to a fixture where I can have one, two, or all three bulbs on instead (or something like that) because that really would save energy and wouldn't run through bulbs. But it's not as nice as a dimmer, so we'll see. But thought you might like to know!

Jenny said...

I'm right with you, it took us months to replace our awful kitchen fixture but are so happy that we finally did. Could you spray paint your current lighting fixture (textured spray paints look great) until you are ready to buy a new one? Lowes sometimes has sales on energy saving lighting fixtures so you might be able to catch a good deal then. That's a good point about the dimmers, I've always wondered about that myself, but have heard they're supposed to cut energy usage. I will have to research this some more!