Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How Low Can You Go...With Pendants!

Ever since we saw the kitchen in this house, I knew I wanted to try out a conversion kit to turn some of the pot lights over the island into pendant lights.

I even had a bunch of options laid out on a design board:

I had originally decided on N for the pendant lights, because my grandmother had a bunch of the blue insulators.  Alas, she only had one with the wide bottom (which wouldn't have been a big deal because they aren't very expensive), but the bigger problem was that the size of our island just dwarfed the poor little insulators.  If we were hanging a bunch in a row, or something like that, it might work, but we're trying to go relatively easy on ourselves, therefore, we had 2 can light openings.  What we ended up getting was a mix between J and L.

First for the kit itself:
We picked up two of these guys at Lowes for around $19 each.  You buy your own shades separately to make it easier and they have a great selection.
So, inside, you basically have the light socket that the pendant goes on, a long cord that you can pull up or down so it's at the length you want, the light socket that takes the place of the can light bulb, and a cover to hide the opening.

So out came the light bulbs and I had to figure out how much cord to pull (or not pull) through the gap.  I looked it up and apparently the correct height is between 30 and 40 inches above an island.  It just so happens that when I first eyeballed it, it was exactly 30 inches above the island with the cover in place:
  It seemed a little low, and Vinny agreed, so we decided to move it up about 2 inches (Cause we're all rogue like that and 32 is so much cooler than 30).  So once I had the wires set in place, I just needed to tighten down the rubber holder to keep it in that position (no sliding around misters!)
Kind of tiny little thing.  It took a 1/8 inch flathead screwdriver and the manual (which I actually read) suggested not over tightening since you could basically tighten it through the wires if you tried hard enough.  So, no big muscles, just a little tight.  

I measured the second fixture so the wires would be the same length and therefore, the pendants would be at the same height.  I wish I could say I got it perfect on the first try, but I was off a little (because I forgot to tighten that nut til I was standing on the island).  The good news is that it was really easy to to correct.  

So, with the glass shades screwed into place, it was time to put in a light bulb and admire the handywork.  

Ran into a minor snag...the new bulbs are the smaller candelabra bulbs, not regular lightbulbs.  Fortunately we had a breakfast nook light that was willing to donate 2 of its 8 candelabra lightbulbs. (Yes, it had one light...overkill much?)

Then, the big reveal:
It gives off an awesome blue glow and it amped the kitchen up so much.  My only regret is not doing it the first day.  Total cost with the shades was around $30.  Not bad.  You can get kits that already have the shades, but I like the versatility with the Lowe's version.  Though I worry the people there might think I'm living there....I digress.

What do you think? 

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