Basement Landing Light Replacement


A couple weeks ago I noticed that when I'd start up the steps from the basement the light over the landing sometimes flickered.  This went on for a little bit of time because I didn't really think much of it the first few times, but then last night there was a little bit of a scare with a carbon monoxide alarm going off. I'm sure the light had nothing to do with it, but the potential for a short got me thinking - and taking action!

So this morning, that alarm and my flickering light was the first thing on my mind. So this post is about the replacement of the light fixture landing to the basement. It's not terribly interesting, so I'll keep it short!  Let's get at it.

Out With The Old 

It should be noted right from the start that the light fixture in the landing was ooold, and certainly original to us. If I had to guess, it was probably installed sometime in maybe the 40s or even the 50s.

And here's a little close up. Look at that thing, it really wasn't much of a fixture at all and was mounted to one of those small octagonal, almost round electrical boxes. that really isn't seen or used in today's electrical work.

Before I went to Lowe's to get a new fixture I thought I might want to measure the holes in the box because that box is so old, I was afraid that if I got a new modern fixture it might not fit. 

Watson, ... if I can get a mechanism which will make a current of electricity vary in its intensity, as the air varies in density when a sound is passing through it, I can telegraph any sound, even the sound of speech. - Alexander Graham Bell

And as it turned out the fixture I did get actually had holes for the modern electrical boxes, but it also had knockouts that would allow the fixture to fit on the small 3 and 3/4 inch-wide hole alignment.

And as has been the case in a number of electrical projects here at 173, the wires in this box were of the cloth-cased wiring, which is always scary. So while I was in the box I wrapped some electrician's tape to some of the wires just to ensure the integrity of the insulation.

In With The New

While I was at Lowe's to get a new fixture I considered different styles, including some LED bathroom-light type of fixtures and I looked at a couple of sconces. But I came to the conclusion that the landing always had a naked bulb and I kind of liked the idea original look.  

Without electricity, the air would rot. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

This was one of those situations where keeping it original and of such a simple really made no difference.  Because it's in the basement stairway landing, no one would likely see it, so - I stuck with the simplest of minimalistic aesthetic - the bare bulb. 

While this was a rather simple job and took maybe 45 minutes to accomplish, it still took 6 or 7 trips up-and-down the stairs to pull together, the tools I would need for this job. Because I just simply didn't plan ahead.  As you can see, I ended up with a nice little handful of tools at the ready.

Like I said, this really didn't take that long to do, and in no time a new light fixture was in place and there was no longer a flickering of the light when I walked up the basement stairs.

And here we are all cleaned up with all the little things that we keep on the landing.  The bags are mostly my shoe shine stuff, rags, shoe polish all the different leather protection products and so on. 

We also usually have a bag of apples hanging there, and on the floor are the dog treats and the random thing that lands there from time to time. 

A few posts involving electricity at House 173
An Outlet for the Basement Landing - January 4, 2021
The Untold Story of Remodeling with a Beagle - August 8, 2020
Hallways: New Lights, Outlets and Switches - May 20, 2018
Basement Wall Demo - February 11, 2014
Random tag from House 173 - enjoy:  Dining Room

Its Natural Habitat 

And finally - here's a nice little close up of the new light in its natural habitat.  I know it seems so simple, and it's not an exciting project by any means, but I do like the idea of keeping simple, and in a very small way, remembering those who came before us.

Thank you so much for stopping by See you next time!
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