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DIY Wall Sconce Installation

By Picardy Project on Jan 15, 2013

Before we insulated the attic, we wanted to complete a wiring item on our to do list: bedroom wall sconces. Eventually we will build a storage platform bed for our bedroom so that it doesn't look like this

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Bed on the floor with a plastic "door," yup, we're classy.

Once we build the bed frame, we'd like to have sconces flanking it so that we can have light in here without having to turn on the overhead light, you know, for reading and such.

To figure out the placement of the lights we were very scientific: We estimated how high our bed will be, based on other platform beds I google'd online, then I leaned up against the wall at that height put my hand up in the air to a comfortable position to turn a light on and off. I told you, very scientific.

Once we scientifically placed our lights, Chris marked them off

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After the lights had been traced out, we used a drywall knife to cut out for the box and then fished the wires through from the attic

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The job for the left side didn't go as fast, because of some blocking, so the hole was made twice as big. Oh well, nothing some patching can't cover up!

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Fishing the wires down through this hole was also more difficult, because we had to drill a hole through that blocking, put a fishing line through the wall, wait until it hit just the right angle on that diagonal bracing so I could pull it through, tape the wire to the end of it, and fish it back up for Chris to grab in the attic. It may have involved some cussing, but we completed the task!

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Then came the task of finding the lights. We wanted lights that turned on and off at the actually light, so we didn't have to get up out of bed to turn them off. We wanted a pull switch or an on/off switch. That was a bit more difficult to find than we thought it would be. And more expensive. I searched and searched for one that was not objectionable and didn't break the bank. I finally found these on Amazon

Contemporary Wall Lamp

(found here)

$24 each, music to my ears. Of course, all of our finishes are oil-rubbed bronze, so I'll just spray paint the metal when they arrive. No biggie.

Normally I buy things on Amazon Prime because I have no patience, but these only came from a thirds party so we had to wait. I purchased them on Dec. 23rd and they were estimated to arrive on January 16th. Holy crap in my pants. They actually arrived about 10 days ago (phew!) and got taped up and lightly sanded to scuff them up so the paint stuck to them better

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Then they got a coat of primer

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And then a couple coats of oil-rubbed bronze

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And they were ready. The only thing is, these lights aren't really meant to be hard-wired, they're meant to be mounted on the wall with a cord that hangs down the wall and plugs into a wall outlet. Not what we wanted. So Chris had to modify them a bit.

The only kicker is that they weren't modified so easily, and Chris may have gotten very annoyed several times (in which case I sheepishly looked away and tried to remind him that they cost about 1/8 the price of all the other lights that were meant to be hard-wired wall sconces)

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Strange perspective, you ask? I was laying in bed snuggled up watching Deadwood. While Chris was wiring the annoying lights. Yup, best boyfriend ever :)

But anyway, back to those lights. The problem first came with the fact that the metal plate the lights came with to make them mount on the wall didn't have a hole in them to wire them to the wall (because they're not meant to do so), so Chris had to cut out a hole and then sand down the edges so they didn't cut through and scratch any of the wires in the wall

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Don't worry, that rough metal got sanded down

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Now the wires from the light could be wired to the wires in the wall to make this a hard-wired light. But the next problem was that the metal plate was smaller than the wall box

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Doh! That was pretty annoying to discover. But again, these weren't meant to be hard-wired, so why would the plate be meant to be larger than the box to have it and the light cover it? Wop wop.

After Chris wired it up, it looked really good on the wall

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But still, that stupid box shows through on the sides

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The second light on the other side of the bed still needs to get wired, but half done is still a success! And I've got a trim idea to hopefully cover the electrical box without things looking too ridiculous. Hooray!

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