Friday, April 25, 2008

Let there be light

How many 7th graders does it take to put in a light bulb?

Apparently, more than one, the one being my daughter.

Her ceiling fan has two bulbs burnt out. Been burnt out for a while now. It's not a matter of reaching them, there's a step stool in her room she uses to climb into bed. Her bed is higher than a regular bed but lower than a loft. It's about boob-high when I walk up to it. We got the bed at Ikea, you can make bunks with it or put the bed at the top for a loft, in the middle or at the bottom and hang curtains on the top rails for a princess-style look. Ikea doesn't sell it anymore because kids were getting hurt hanging from the top rail. Stoopid kids. Now her bed is in the middle position and I got her a wooden step stool so she could climb into bed. So I know she can use the stool to reach the ceiling fan.

The other day she asked me if I'd change them for her. Huh? OK, maybe I did forget to teach her how to change a light bulb. Still.

A couple years ago I bought a cool ceiling light fixture for my closet. It has three bendable arms so you can point the light anywhere. It's kinda like this one. I thought it'd be good for a closet because I could shine the arms on different racks of clothes. I installed it and it worked out great. That is, until I realized the bulbs burned out quickly. It was a pain because I had to go back to Ikea to get more to change them. But I could, I knew how. I never researched if I could get bulbs from the hardware store. Oh well.

Then, recently I discovered compact fluorescent bulbs with the equivalent lumens as a 100 watt bulb. I like a bright light, but could not use them often because the lamps would often have a safety rating of 75 watts or less. However the wattage used by a 100 watt-equivalent compact fluorescent bulb is about 24 watts. And a light went on over my head, I can use these.

The other day another bulb burned out in my closet light. This event corresponded with cloudy gray weather so it was pretty dark in my closet and I decided I'd switch light fixtures and use a 24 watt CFL. Except it was dark and I couldn't see to do the work. Let me explain about my closet. It's large and strangely shaped, the builder put it in the front of the house under the eaves, it has a window that faces the street, and when it's empty you could put a bed in there, but it's never empty. About fifty-thousand legos call the floor home, along with a tool box and many shoes. Kevin likes to dump the legos on the floor in there, and when I pick them up, well you know what happens. The legos are very happy on my closet floor.

I wait until a sunny day. I live life on the edge, I don't flip the breaker, I just turn off the light at the wall and start taking down the fixture. I drop a bolt and I don't hear it fall. Then, of course, I have to go somewhere and have to leave everything hanging for a day. When I get back to the project I start by looking for the dropped bolt. Since I didn't hear it fall I shake out all the clothes under the light hoping to hear or see it drop. Nothing. The legos aren't talking, they don't reveal the bolt's location no matter how many I move around or how many are crushed by my knees. I give up and see how far I can get without it before I look into getting a new one. I finish disconnecting the old lamp one wire at a time and immediately connecting the correct wire on the new one. Just as I'm reaching for the last wire, lo and behold, the dropped bolt is sitting in the old lamp I'm taking down. The rest of the job went smoothly and I now have 100 watts of light at the price of 24 and can actually see what I'm wearing. And where the legos are on the floor.

1 comment:

greeny said...

I'm worn out reading your post.
And when you get a week, please come to my house and help me install all my light/exhaust fans, light fixtures, siding, insulation, garage door gasket, plumbing, heating/cooling unit, insulated sleeving for ductwork, decking, guttering...and bring your checkbook/credit card while youre at it.