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Monday, July 30, 2012

Installing New Lighting~ So Easy A Ten Year Old Can Do It!

Sweet Boy recently learned how to install a wall sconce.

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Let me start off by saying that moving during the summer with a child home 24/7 is no easy task. We’ve found the best way to keep from hearing “I’m bored!” is to involve Sweet Boy in various projects.

I would also like to calm any fears regarding having our son work with electricity. Let me assure you that:

A. The power was turned off during the wiring process. This is the MOST important instruction.

B. He was heavily supervised by BOTH of his parents.

I am blessed that Sweet Boy’s father has a degree in aeronautical engineering. For years he kept America safe by working on multi million dollar military aircraft. So it goes without saying that Mr. Décor knows his way around electrical systems. While Mr. Décor could have installed the new wall sconces on his own in under 5 minutes flat we both though it was more important to take 30 minutes and teach Sweet Boy a valuable skill. He is a cub scout after all. :)

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Changing out a light fixture is relatively simple. You only need a screwdriver and something to stand on that brings you eye level with the work area.

Most light fixtures have a white plastic cap or one to two simple screws that attach it to a metal wall plate. Our old flying saucer wall fixtures were attached by a single white cap and very easy to remove.

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Once the fixture is down you need to remove the plastic wire caps (which are yellow here) and untwist the wall wiring from the fixture wiring. Pay careful attention when separating the wiring not to cross the different colored strands against each other. It is best to do one color at a time. Here we have black, white and green colored tubing (also known as insulation) that covers the wiring. Once the wall wire is separated from the fixture wire replace the plastic cap on each of the single wall wiring strands. You can then remove the old metal wall plate.

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Here’s a close up. You can see the single strands of white, black and (avocado) green colored wires. The yellow caps for each are somewhat hidden.

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The screws may give you a bit of resistance but be determined and show them who’s boss.

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Once the old plate is off install the new metal wall plate. There are standard sizes. If you are working with an antique fixture adjustments may need to be made and this is best left to a professional.

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Sweet Boy had a bit of trouble keeping the plate steady while he screwed it to the wall. A second pair of hands can be helpful.

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He used his mom’s “eyeball” technique to see if the plate was level. You can use an actual level to perform this task.

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You’ll then inspect your new fixture. You may find that the copper wires look a bit “frayed”.

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A few twists are all that is needed to smooth them.

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Ready for install.

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Color coded plastic tubing (also known as insulation) makes it easy to determine which wall wires go with other fixture wires. In most cases it will be white to white and black to black, etc.

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Remove the yellow plastic cap and slide both the white wall wire and the white fixture wire into the cap.

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Secure the wires together with a few clockwise twists.

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Double check that the wires are secure within the cap by tugging gently on the wires against the cap. Then repeat the same steps with the black wires and the single ground (earth) wire which is usually copper or green in color.

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Once all the wiring is complete gently push the wires back into the wall cavity.

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Keep easing the wires in as the light fixture gets ever closer to it’s intended spot.

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At this point you are ready to begin tightening the screws of the light fixture to the wall. Start getting excited that you are almost through!

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Drop a screw in your excitement.

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Like any good HGTV show we have assistants who pounce on dropped screws and make it easy to quickly return to the task.

Please also notice that we padded the flooring of our work area so that in the event any glass elements are dropped no harsh language will ensue. This is a family and pet friendly blog after all.

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Once the screws are tightened, gently add the glass globe and a light bulb. Turn the electrical power back on and hold your breath to see if it works.

Warning: your mom might have tears in her eyes because she is SO proud of you.

Better yet, you’ll be proud of yourself!

(While these aren’t the sconces of my dreams, they are a good/inexpensive temporary solution.)

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Let there be light!


Disclaimer: We here at Décor To Adore are in no way, shape or form professional electricians. If you are installing lighting for the first time it is HIGHLY recommended that you are supervised by an individual who knows exactly what they are doing.


Linking to:

Today’s Creative Blog, SSS, StoneGable, Tip Junkie, Someday Crafts, The Shabby Nest, Tatertots and Jello, Positively Splendid, The 36th Avenue, SNS


jeanetteann said...

What a handsome lad he is,and obviously very smart too. Well done Sweet Boy. xxoo

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Way to go!!!! That's AWESOME!!!!

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

I hope there's a home maintenance badge in the Cub Scout system. Nice job, Sweet boy!

Jane said...

So good to see parents passing on some home skills to their children!

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

good job done by Mr Handsome.. I see lots of lighting in his future..

looks great~!

Priscilla said...

Bravo gentil garçon!

The Boston Lady said...

Well, he is all Gunn afterall! Great job by the cub scout. I can see the Gunn tradition of handyman-ness is passing to the next generation successfully. This reminded me of all the times my dad insisted that I, the girl in the family, help him with various projects around the house. I guess doing those with him made me unafraid to tackle new things and have an interest in how things work. Ann

Karena said...

Laura your sweet young man ( I guess with all of his expertise we will have to stop calling him boy soon!)is so handsome and always seems to be happy to be involved in the home projects!

I think you will like my Giveaway from Royal Design Stencils..

Art by Karena

Kelley Highway said...

Ahhhh! I loved this post, Laura! Good job, Sweet Boy! What a good-lookin' kid he is, too! I'm proud of you for responsibly teaching your children when they're young. I'm sure your son's very proud of himself. Confession: I got that tear in my eye, too...

Dovecote Decor said...

Well done Sweet Boy, although I agree with Karen he is manning up. You'll be on your way to your first dinner party soon!

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME/Doublewide Decor said... electrician in the making! Good job! and an improvement.

Bettyann said...

well done Sweet Boy...our children did most of our renovation tasks but not electrical..good job parents..

G. S. said...

I am impressed - great job young man ! :) I have never attempted to do that. I leave electrical and plumbing up to the professionals, as I know nothing about either.
Thanks for stopping by and nice comment on the necklace.
Have a great week.

French said...

too cute....I love to see Sweet Boy learning such great skills because there are plenty of grown men I know who don't do this kind of work! Bravo!

It's All Connected said...

That's a skill that will serve him well throughout his life. He has a good dad that will stand back and let him learn. The smile makes me a bit teary, too! ~ Maureen

Linda said...

You're all so cute! Loved reading this. Way to go to your sweet boy!! Way to go to you for having him involved in the projects. ♥

Glad to see you're all settling in.

Much love to you and yours,

MFAMB said...

fantastic! i hope you took him out for ice cream!!

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Great job, Sweet Boy! (And Mom and Dad, too.) That's a skill that will make his wife very happy one day!

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Oh my goodness what a fine boy you have there! That is the sweetest post I've seen in a while - looks like I stopped by at just the right time! Saw your link on mfamb...

the cape on the corner said...

what determination, concentration, and then pride on his face! a great way to handle the "i'm bored" for sure.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Great job, Sweet Boy! And kudos to the parents for passing along some valuable skills!

Tammy Partin Spangler said...

What a handsome young man he is!

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

:) That is so cool that you taught him how to do this. He looks so pleased with himself!

Sarah said...

That is awesome

Debbie said...

First, this is my first chance to tell you how much I've enjoyed following the progress since you moved in. I also love the bones of your house! With your eye, it's going to be beautiful.

And I'm proud of your cutie patootie son for learning this. My daughter usually does my stuff like that when her dad is out of town. I need to buck up and do it myself now that she's moved away.

Susan Herin said...

Laura, I love that last photo of your son! He look so proud of his wonderful that you guys all work together as a family. Great light...looks fab in that spot! :)

Mimi said...

Finally I can leave a comment!!!I have been MIA over here because I knew you were SOOO BUSY!!!It is looking good......loved your paint choices......and Sweet BOy is a wonderful helper!!Good for you for letting him help...most people would rather just get it happy for him...I like the lights....
The Royals at the games have been so fun...I watch day and night....I know my way around LONDON...I am good with maps....and once I have been to a place..I could go back and know my when they show things I know exactly where they are and what is near by!!SO glad I made it to London this year!!!
I cannot make it over on the 11th.....we will be at Disneyland!!!!
I was Not suppose to is daughter and her family's vacay...but her hubby cannot take that weekend off...and school starts for little Miss that next no more Friday-Monday short is in session,and Preschool is NOT Cheap...$250.00 bucks a month for 3 days!!!
I paid $35.00 for Corie to attend preschool back in 1985!!!

openid said...

Bravo to 'Sweet Boy' working and learning from Mr Decor! I fear too many young men and women {even those much older than your son} are limited to a specialized skill set that comes with their degree but cannot change a light bulb let alone a lighting fixture. Both of the men in your life should be proud for jobs well done!
Your Friend,

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh things are shaping up and looking good. Great post. Hugs, Marty

Auntie Em said...

You are raising an awesome husband for a very lucky lady, just as your mother-in-law obviously did for you! :)

Sometimes we have to put up with something that 'will do for now' but it's better than leaving the ugly stuff there to annoy us or buying something expensive that we regret.

I have been enjoying your posts and can't wait to see the finished home...wait a minute...who ever has their home 'all finished'? I don't think there has ever been such a thing! :D

Christine @ Angel Stitch Embroidery and Jezebel said...

Good job, Sweet Boy! Can he come to my house next? I want to change out some lights in my hallway.....

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

What a grown up guy! He did a very good job... and so did you explaining all of this. I certainly learned something!!!!
Thanks again for joining TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS...
Do you rent him out! I see a budding business!

Jess @ Spool and Spoon said...

These are great directions. I'm a novice DIYer and I've been dying to change out my bathroom light fixture. If your baby boy can do it, I should be able to as well! Thanks for the encouragement.

Liz said...

Well after that great tutorial .... I think I could actually change a light fixture! Good job Sweet Boy!