"I love my cats because I love my home, and little by little they become its visible soul." Jean Couteau

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

wait, aren't you an electrical engineer?

I have a degree in electrical engineering. I wouldn't say I really do that right now, but until fairly recently I did. So I expect I will get some flack for not doing the following project myself, but hiring an electrician. However, majoring in electrical engineering is not the same as being an electrician, especially when you focused on signal processing and communication theory. Also, I was afraid that I would end up making way more holes in the ceiling and wall than a professional would, and I didn't want to have to do all that drywall work and repainting to fix all those holes.

The main floor of our house came with recessed pot lights everywhere, except the area where we decided to put our dining room. To be fair, we may have set up our house not the way the builders intended. We think that area was intended to be the TV/living room area, so maybe you don't really need lights there. But we put our TV on the other side of the house, so we could see it from the kitchen while we're cooking. So our dining room ended up in the area with no lights. Now, we don't use our dining room that much. We have a little kitchen table on the other side with the living room, but we do occasionally have lots of people over and then we do use the dining room, and it's been pretty lame for the last two years to have floor lamps in the dining room that don't provide the best light. 

After much searching and debating, we finally picked a chandelier. It was out of stock. So we waited, looked at some other options, got confused, and went back to the original choice, which eventually came back in stock. We ordered it, it arrived quickly, and I called an electrician recommended by some friends. Today they came to install our chandelier in the dining room.

Before the electrician came, Zach and I figured out exactly where we wanted the light fixture to go. By amazing luck and magic (and perhaps a little design foresight by the architect/builder), it was a pretty straight shot over to the wall switches. One of the switches originally controlled one of the outlets in the room; we planned to have the chandelier go to that and have the outlet go to always being hot. By some more amazing luck, the once an appropriate hole was cut around the location we had marked for the center of the fixture, the hole turned out to be right next to a stud that the fixture box could attach to. The electricians did have to cut more holes than I would have liked -- one in the ceiling and one in the wall -- but it's still probably less than I would have had to do. They also patched up the holes, so I'll just have to fix up the paint at some point. The ceiling won't be a big deal, but the red wall will take a few coats. At least it's high up, so if it doesn't look perfect, probably no one will notice.

And so now we have a chandelier in our dining room like normal people :-)


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