Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lover of the Light

Side note: I'm a little late, but I'm obsessed with this Mumford and Sons song.  I watched the video the first time I heard it and literally broke down it's so beautiful. (Check it out here!) Now back to renovating...

When I showed the floor leveling I purposely cropped the photo short, that's because we finished the drywall, (specifically the ceiling), before I got around to photographing the floor.


Before the ceiling went in, we had to pull all new wiring to the new lights we are going to install, (those fugly bulbs hanging down are just temporary work lights).  This was probably one of the most exciting parts of the project, since we've never had lighting down here.  You think I'm exaggerating, but for the last 3 years we've used a single ugly lamp the previous owner's left in the basement to light the entire room.  As you can see in this photo, Mike finally got smart and attached it to a ceiling joist with some screws.  


As much as that solution has worked for the last couple of weeks we've been working down there, it's not really the look we're going for.

Instead, we've added 10 new lights.  Six alone in the family room.   Most are brand new lights where there wasn't one before, and a couple are new wiring and boxes and slight adjustment to placement.  I made a little lighting scheme to show how it'll all work.


The stairs got a light at the top and the bottom.  We had a light in the middle of the stairs, actually at the landing, where the pantry used to be, (the same area that we had to tweak before we built the deck).  Both will be on a three-way switch and have one at the top of the stairs and bottom.

The six lights in the family room are new and we're really excited to bring a lot of light into this room.  Even though it's a basement we have two glass block windows that bring in a good amount of light.  Obviously, at night it gets really dark.  All of these lights are on a dimmer.  Mike even got fancy and bought a remote dimmer, which means we can sit on the couch and dim when we're watching a movie.

There's a light in the new beer cave, (Mike changed the name from nook to cave - "More manly"), one in the closet, and new overhead light in the bathroom.  Mike also added a box for a light over the vanity, (not pictured), that we'll add later.

All these lights are LED's and Mike's really excited to test them out.  He did a lot of research of recessed LED vs. florescent can lights, and came out with a pretty good deal.  What drew Mike to pick the LED was not only the energy efficiency, but also the ease of construction.  Unlike traditional can lights where you need to buy separate housing and trim kits, then the bulbs, these LED's are one piece that fit directly into the J-box.  On of the guys at Mike's jobsite first pointed them out, and then our friend who's a commercial electrician also recommended them and told us where the best deal was, and if they are good enough for those guys, they're good enough for us.

These are the lights we ended up getting, and although they do extend out from the ceiling a little, (something that I, at first, wasn't too excited about), the amount of light, (or lumens), was really important to us, and the recessed LED's don't put out as many lumens.  So, in the end, we chose one that was both economical, as well as having all the specifications that we wanted, like 180 degrees of illumination instead of just a spot light.

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Once we finish the drywall, both installing and mudding, we'll add the ceiling texture and we can finally install these bad boys.  I'm excited for not only the light, but I've also been putting off picking a paint color before we have all the lights that will be used installed.  You all know I'm not afraid to paint a room a few different colors before getting it right, I'd just like to get it on the first try this time!

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