Do you know what the best thing is about a to-do list? HECK YES! Checking things off of it! And I have actually been making better progress then expected on my backyard list.
~plant veggie garden
~build a stone path to the veggie garden
~take down extra bird house posts and
~find/buy/build a bench for corner of yard
~buy a new patio umbrella ~improve lighting
~and with the lighting motif – change out outdoor lights on the house
~plant in window boxes
I shared the planted veggie garden with you a few days ago. My hubs bought me an umbrella for my b-day. I also shared the mason jar lanterns I made for the tree and there is one more “improve lighting” project I will share in a couple of days. I painted the posts and bird houses that we are keeping and now I have tackled one more item on the list – change out outdoor lights on house! Well kinda. I didn’t actually get new lights. I was feeling so good about all the money I saved by painting rather than replacing the bird houses that I thought I should do the same with the outdoor lights. They started out looking like this…
The shape wasn’t to terrible, it was just the brass that I hated. So down they came.
Before I go further let me say that I am in no way an electrician. I feel comfortable doing one (and only one) electrical project – changing out lights. That is, as long as it is a straight forward, same location, no wires being replaced job. Here is how it is done…
First, turn off the power. And I don’t mean flip the light switch to off. I mean find your breaker box and turn off the breaker for that area of the house. Then switch the light switch on and off to be certain the power is off.
Second, remove the existing light. Most lights have some kind of decorative screws that you will need to un-twist to remove the light. Once the light fixture is off the wall, untangle and un-connect the wires. You will see 3 wires – a ground, which is usually a bare copper wire, and then two color coated wires – usually black and white. Notice that the copper wire is attached to the copper wire coming out of the wall. The white to the white and the black to the black.
And all you have to do to replace or put the light back together is re-attach copper to copper, white to white and black to black. There will hopefully be plastic caps that go over the connections. Re-attach those too. Affix the fixture back to the wall and you are done. Now turn the power back on. See simple!
But now back to my fixtures. I cleaned them with water and some Windex and covered the glass with trash bags and painters tape.
Using Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint I applied light even coats to the entire fixture, including the decorative screws.
I let everything to dry overnight in the garage and then put them back up.
Let’s check out a little before and after…
And since I had the spray paint from a previous project this transformation was free! So lesson learned – don’t rule out what you’ve got. You not only save money and shopping time, you keep one more thing out of a landfill and you get to cross another item off your to do list!