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View Full Version : OT, But Life Saving - How Do I Move A Wall Mounted Light Fixture



Paul Alciatore
10-21-2012, 10:02 AM
So, my wife wanted a wall mounted light in our hall. No windows so it is rather dark, even in the day. She wanted one that "she could reach". So, for power, I found an outlet about half way down the hall and held the fixture above it and asked, "Is this OK." Then I installed it there after several hours spent fishing the wire up from the outlet.

Well, she really wanted it where she could change the bulb without a ladder, which involves reaching over the top of it to unscrew the bulb. She is "vertically challenged" so that is quite a bit lower than just reaching the switch to turn it on or off. So now, I need to move it down a foot or two. Only problem is the hole in the wall. I need an idea for moving it down and taking care of the hole. The wall is 25+ year old paneling so there is no chance of matching it so I can't just replace the panel. I need a neat idea for this. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

As for shop related, I am building my garage shop and this will take me away from that. So I guess it is sorta shop related. TIA!

loose nut
10-21-2012, 10:08 AM
Make or buy a decorative cover plate. Other then that about the only thing you can do is to fill in the hole and paint it as close as possible to match the paneling. Some of those "faux" painter can do a really good job of it if you want to spend the money..

boaterri
10-21-2012, 10:08 AM
Perhaps the easiest cure would be a different fixture with the light bulb hanging down in stead of up.
You might gain the foot you need.

Rick

Rosco-P
10-21-2012, 10:13 AM
Surface mount Wiremold extension box mounted to the recessed wall box in the original fixture location, short piece of Wiremold raceway run down to the new fixture location. Paint to match paneling.

Lew Hartswick
10-21-2012, 10:17 AM
Get a taller wife. :-)
...Lew...

Toolguy
10-21-2012, 11:20 AM
Hang a picture over the hole.

ftl
10-21-2012, 12:17 PM
Use an LED bulb. She'll never have to replace it.

kendall
10-21-2012, 12:52 PM
Depending on how large the base is, make the cut for the new location slightly larger and use a fine toothed saw to make the cut, then use that bit to patch the old-new hole. If the holes aren't too far apart the grain should be a very close match.
If you don't mind buying tools, pick up a veneer saw or one of the combination type finish saws, the veneer saw is curved so it can start a cut in the middle of a panel, the combo types are short 'standard' saws with a curved tip for the same purpose.
If you can cut out large enough, you can give yourself wiggle room to better match grain, if the grain doesn't match as well as you'd like, a couple of NO.2 pencils, one sharp one blunt are very good for making fake grain lines.

Alternate is to blend different shades of stain to match the color, often that's the only option to blend a patch in.

Agree, the most feasible method would be to use a base-up type fixture.


Edit: build a curio shelf/step to fit under the existing lamp, to change bulb, just move the curios, no ladder.

dave5605
10-21-2012, 01:17 PM
You could always change the bulb for her. Afterall you were either tall enough or had a ladder available so you could cut the hole.:cool:

elf
10-21-2012, 02:02 PM
Sounds like the specs weren't toleranced properly :)

cuemaker
10-21-2012, 02:10 PM
Instead of a ladder, use a step stool....

Rosco-P
10-21-2012, 02:28 PM
Sounds like the specs weren't toleranced properly :)

Sounds like his tolerance band is quite broad. How else would you explain the result when first he prototyped it, then asked the "customer", "Is this suitable?" and achieved sign-off before proceeding on the project. I second the idea of using a CFL or LED bulb, effectively negating the height issue.

justanengineer
10-21-2012, 03:02 PM
As someone who is currently attempting to restore the woodwork in an old house that had many holes cut/drilled for fixtures, locks, bs, etc, I would beg of you to NOT cut another hole, but either change the fixture or tell the wife to deal with it

Black Forest
10-21-2012, 03:26 PM
Raise the floor!

Doozer
10-21-2012, 03:29 PM
Is she thinking about getting rid of you?
Can't you change the bulb for her?
Insane.

That is why I am never getting married.

--Doozer

kendall
10-21-2012, 04:05 PM
That is why I am never getting married.

--Doozer

I said that once

Rosco-P
10-21-2012, 04:08 PM
Is she thinking about getting rid of you?
Can't you change the bulb for her?
Insane.

That is why I am never getting married.

--Doozer

A typical honey-do project. They start out something like this...., "Do you think you could put up a light in that dark hallway? It would make me very happy. Oh, wherever you think it should go..." All the questions and checking still end in the same result, "That's not what I wanted (or asked for). You weren't listening to me! Maybe even, "Next time, I'll hire somebody. He'll listen."

Dr Stan
10-21-2012, 04:17 PM
Hang a picture over the hole.

put a talking bass http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfQw_kEljWA over the hole. She'll never notice the hole. :D

darryl
10-21-2012, 04:47 PM
Make her a sturdy, stylish step stool and leave the light where it is. I'm sure the stool will come in handy in future- after all there are closet shelves up high, kitchen cabinets upper shelves, lots of places where a good single step or even a two step would be handy. I don't like the typical fold-out metal ones, even though they are compact and can be stored easily out of the way. Maybe your wife feels the same about that- .Something that's good and solid sure appeals to me.

kendall
10-21-2012, 04:51 PM
As someone who is currently attempting to restore the woodwork in an old house that had many holes cut/drilled for fixtures, locks, bs, etc, I would beg of you to NOT cut another hole, but either change the fixture or tell the wife to deal with it

That's one of my main jobs at work, restorations and additions that -have- to look original.
If you need original wood, often you can remove a cabinet and take a section of wood down from behind them, always requires aging with a darker stain though, unless the patched area was in direct sunlight that bleached the wood, then you need to lighten it. As said above, a pencil is a great often over looked tool for matching grain.

We did a hospital lobby several years ago in book matched cherry veneer. It was meant to be entirely green with water based solvents etc., problem was that the veneer supplier sent paper backed veneer with a water soluble adhesive holding it to the veneer.
Spent 16 hours Friday putting it up, Monday morning when we showed up to trim it out, nearly all of the veneer was on the floor. Had nice brown paper on the wall though....
Spent two 14 hour days sorting, matching and re-installing the veneer, then another day faking the grain on the sections that were too busted up to use.

fjk
10-22-2012, 09:45 AM
Put a smoke detector over the old hole?
or burglar alarm sensor?

or (and this is making more work, I know)
what kind of paneling is it? Could you remove a
whole floor-to-ceiling strip and replace it (or something
like that)?

also -- be careful about mounting the light too low; your
wife might be height-challenged... but if it's too low then
someone who is shortness-challenged might end up with a
nasty bruise, causing the light to suddenly become "wall-
attachment-challenged"

frank

Prototyper
10-22-2012, 06:58 PM
+1 on the LED bulb...Seriously, you will never replace it! Might cost $20, which is a lot cheaper than moving and repairing the wall.

Man, I thought my wife had some nit-picky requests at times!

martik
10-22-2012, 08:21 PM
I have a couple CFL's I leave on 24/7. They have lasted several YEARS. Switching them off/on drastically reduces their life. If you're concerned about cost a 13watt bulb at 6 cents/kwh will cost $5.70/year to run.

Mike Burdick
10-22-2012, 09:55 PM
Perhaps the easiest cure would be a different fixture with the light bulb hanging down in stead of up.
You might gain the foot you need.

Rick

Marriage is compromise... Rick's suggestion does just that!

Paul Alciatore
10-23-2012, 03:15 AM
Perhaps the easiest cure would be a different fixture with the light bulb hanging down in stead of up.
You might gain the foot you need.

Rick

She suggested that. I already have a CF bulb in is and doing that would trap the heat inside the glass. The CF bulb will burn out ten times faster.


Surface mount Wiremold extension box

Wiremold? Yuck! That offends even my sense of decor.


Use an LED bulb. She'll never have to replace it.

She will still want to be able to replace it. I did say "wife" didn't I?


You could always change the bulb for her. Afterall you were either tall enough or had a ladder available so you could cut the hole.

As I said, "wife". Believe me, I did mention that to her.


Raise the floor!

Now, I kinda like that one. Except, my head will bump into the ceiling.


Is she thinking about getting rid of you?
Can't you change the bulb for her?
Insane.

That is why I am never getting married.

--Doozer

Smart man.


Make her a sturdy, stylish step stool and leave the light where it is.

We have several stools and small ladders. I have never seen her on any of them. NEVER! And I don't think I ever will.


+1 on the LED bulb...Seriously, you will never replace it! Might cost $20, which is a lot cheaper than moving and repairing the wall.

Man, I thought my wife had some nit-picky requests at times!

You just don't understand, SHE wants to be able to replace it. While standing on the floor, not a ladder or stool or whatever. Probably flat footed.

Sorry, I just couldn't help commenting on some of the responses. This would really be funny if she weren't so serious.

I had thought of the use of some kind of decorative cover plate but wanted to see if anybody had any other clever ideas. I will probably go with that. Hang the plate on the high box and mount the light on the plate. Perhaps incorporate a picture or sculpture into the plate to make it look classy. I will visit the local art and crafts store to see what they have. And this time, I will have her actually change the bulb while I hold it in the new position. If that doesn't work, I give up.

I wonder if there is anything in the electric code about mounting wall fixtures too low where they can be bumped by people passing by.

The really bad news is I have about three or four more of them to mount in the kitchen and dining room.

Thanks to all for the great suggestions!

wbleeker
10-23-2012, 06:33 AM
Paul,
Would you like me to send you a milk crate for her to stand on? we use them all the time!
Will

Ridgerunner
10-23-2012, 07:08 AM
Sometimes a piece of base or casing around a door can be temporarily removed to steal a piece of matching wood for an inlay.

Make her a removal tool using one of these (http://www.webstaurantstore.com/unger-bs010-sticky-fingers-light-bulb-changer/905BS010.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=905BS010&utm_campaign=PLA&gclid=CIXuq6H6lrMCFUYw4Aod3V8AaQ) on something like a shepherds hook or on a flexible cable powered by a battery drill.

Design a sliding fixture mount or spring arm mount using something like SO or SJ cable so she can pull the fixture down lower to reach the bulb.

Put a naked picture of her or worse yet you over the old spot to remind her there is a price for change orders.

Black Forest
10-23-2012, 07:12 AM
Paul just buy her some of those real tall platform shoes that strippers and porn stars wear. Not that I have any first "hand" knowledge of such! Maybe get her some matching sexy clothes and then it would be a win win situation for everyone. Including us as you would have to post pictures!

macona
10-23-2012, 09:06 AM
Just tell her it must be done by a licensed electrician and show her a quote.

elf
10-23-2012, 04:22 PM
This is an opportunity to show off your metalworking skills by building a light changing tool.

Design #1: Attach a light bulb grabber to the end of a flexible shaft. Hold it in a U shape with an upside down umbrella handle. Attach drill to the other end of the flexible shaft.

Design #2: Build a scissor lift with a large platform (large enough to remove any fear of heights) into the floor under the light.

Design #3: Put a pivot in the base of the light so it can be swung down to light bulb changing level.

Design #4: Mount a steel plate behind the wall. Attach the light to the wall with large magnets. When it's time to change the light bulb, slide it down the wall to light bulb changing level.

Paul Alciatore
10-24-2012, 02:12 AM
I love 1 and 3. Both need motorizing and servo control. I feel a project coming on.

1. How about a motorized light bulb changer with a flexible handle. If you add attachments for unscrewing those small nuts that hold the glass to the fixtures it would be complete. Oh, and some way of holding the glass on the way down or up. Really, this could be serious.

3. A universal mounting plate for wall mount light fixtures that would allow easier changing. I really love it. Can anybody think of anything to base this on? Some kind of thin Lazy Susan? Add two detentes and use high flex wires. I love it. And it would keep the fixture above the level where it can be hit by people passing by. Much safer.

I was looking at ways to do the decorative cover idea today. But I did not buy anything yet. I need to get her to tell me in writing where she really does want it first.

Again, thanks to all.



This is an opportunity to show off your metalworking skills by building a light changing tool.

Design #1: Attach a light bulb grabber to the end of a flexible shaft. Hold it in a U shape with an upside down umbrella handle. Attach drill to the other end of the flexible shaft.

Design #2: Build a scissor lift with a large platform (large enough to remove any fear of heights) into the floor under the light.

Design #3: Put a pivot in the base of the light so it can be swung down to light bulb changing level.

Design #4: Mount a steel plate behind the wall. Attach the light to the wall with large magnets. When it's time to change the light bulb, slide it down the wall to light bulb changing level.

darryl
10-24-2012, 03:40 AM
This thread is entertaining, but there is a serious side or two to it as well. One- it would be dangerous to people if they could easily walk into the fixture. That is something to avoid, and your husbandly task is getting your wife to realize this on her own, then tell you she changed her mind about having it so low.

And of course the other serious thing is that you risk becoming like Meatloaf in that song- praying for the end of time so you can get out of the doghouse and back on the couch.

danlb
10-24-2012, 10:27 AM
My thought is to hinge the mount of the light at the bottom so that it swings down making the light upside down so she can change it.

Dan

outlawspeeder
10-24-2012, 11:34 AM
Put a clock outlet in the old hole and lower the light. Or tell her you will remove the fixture for her to change the light.
A levitation or anti gravity device?

Sorry I couldn’t help more.

garagemark
10-24-2012, 12:00 PM
Swag chain. You know, that 70s look.