Then There Was Light (Fixture)

The bathroom renovation continues with one of my most favorite upgrades.  You might remember my venting about the Hollywood bar light that had been taking up wall space in the bathroom for the past three years.

Since I’m not exactly a 1950’s Hollywood starlet in my dressing room, it was time to bid adieu to the bar light and say hello to my friend (get the Baby-Sitters Club reference, anyone?), the oil rubbed bronze sconce.  First, I had to find the sconce of my dreams on a budget (no easy task).  I was perusing my usual inspiration and found this adorable bathroom sconce.  After digging deeper on Young House Love (one of my all-time favorite blogs), I noticed that they had scored this fixture from Joss & Main for a pretty reasonable price.  Joss & Main frequently has flash sales and pieces that rotate in and out of collections, so I thought there would be no way that I would find the same item.

Thankfully, I was wrong.  Enter the Hilary Wall Sconce.  She’s adorable, bronze, lightweight, and budget-friendly!  In fact, when I scored this fixture, it only cost $40.95 with $9.95 shipping, bringing the total to $50.90.  I’d call that a steal for a brand new light fixture.  I had been looking for something in the oil-rubbed bronze finish to compliment our gray walls, and I was hoping to blend some modern decor items with a more old-fashioned looking light.  I loved it.  Dan was a little harder to convince… but I batted my eyes and got really excited until he gave in. :)

Once our light fixture (hereby known as Hilary) arrived in the mail, we set to work.  First, Dan went downstairs and flipped the circuit breaker off before we did any work.  We had to test this out a few times, just to make sure we were turning off the right circuit.  Then, we brought in a lamp from upstairs so that we could actually see what we were doing – this is a very small and dark space with no windows.  Next, we removed the bulbs from the fixture and unscrewed the collars.

This plate was held on solely by the collars, so we didn’t need to unscrew anything to take it off.  It just slid right off.  Next, we had to undo the electrical.  We removed the wire nuts (those orange caps).  They connect the wires from your house to the wires in your lamp.  At this step, you can separate the wires. Next, we unscrewed the mount from the wall.

Once that happened, we prepared the surface for the next lamp by sanding and spackling over any uneven surfaces or holes.  We took Hilary out of the box, read through the instructions briefly, and got to work (well, Dan did most of this project).

As you can see, first Dan attached the mounting bracket to the wall.  The right screw is in a stud and the left is in an anchor in the drywall.  You can see a blue anchor at the top, left of the top wire nut.  He originally put the bracket in vertically, which made the wiring bunch up, so he changed it (and accidentally ripped out some drywall in the process, so be careful!) to a horizontal bracket.  Next, Dan spliced the two white wires from the lamp together. Since these are stranded wires (there are little strands of wire coming out), Dan fanned the strands of each wire, pushed them together, and then twisted to connect them. He did the same with the black wires.

Next, he took the white wire from the house and the white spliced wires from the lamp and twisted them together clockwise (this is important).  Then he screwed on a wire nut clockwise.  He did the same with the black wires.  The wires from the house were solid core (one thick wire instead of a bunch of thin wires) so he spliced these differently than the wires coming straight from the lamp.  For the last wiring trick, he took the thin copper wire from the lamp (aka the ground wire), and looped it clockwise around the grounding screw, which is the screw in the middle on the right.  Once it was looped, he screwed the grounding screw down to secure the ground wire.  Then he twisted that ground wire with the ground wire from the house and secured them with a wire nut.  Lastly, we put the hollow threaded rod in (it’s in the middle). He had to play around with the nut to make sure the rod stuck out the right amount to fit the light fixture body over it.
With the wiring all connected, we put the fixture body over the threaded rod, tucking all the wiring into it.  Then we secured the body by screwing the threaded cap onto the threaded rod.
The threaded cap is decorative so it blends in with the design (it’s the little ball thing in the middle of the body).   We also put the lamp shades (for lack of a better word) on.  They just slid up onto the sockets and we screwed a plastic nut on the socket’s outside threading to hold it in place.  Then, we put the bulbs in and flipped the circuit breaker back on to make sure it worked.
As the title of this blog post says, and then there was light (fixture)!  I can’t get over the cuteness that Hilary brings into our little bathroom.  Stay tuned for our next episode, when Dan and I set off the smoke alarm trying t remove a mirror (yes, it happened).  Happy Wednesday!

2 thoughts on “Then There Was Light (Fixture)

  1. Pingback: Changing Out an Old Bathroom Mirror | Creating Krista

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