Ian (lovingboth) wrote,

Let there be light

I am normally a fan of IKEA stuff. So when we decided that we'd had enough of the light at the top of the stairs - a three armed thing that we didn't like with some fault leading to two of the three bulbs not going on, even though they work elsewhere - it seemed sensible to have a look there when JA and I were going past anyway earlier this month.

And we found something. It's an upside-down coloured glass bowl surrounded by chandelier pendants. I'd link to it, except that when we tried to find it later on the IKEA website, it was only in the remaindered section of four stores, none of which were Nottingham, and all at different prices, all of which were higher than the £4.50 we paid... There was a choice of pink or green for the bowl until JA spotted that there was also a box with a purple one. Much better.

Yesterday, there's a chance to put it up in daylight as L is around for a while during the day. OK - after switching off the whole lighting circuit with that light in it - how does the existing one come down? For most of the ceiling lights in the place, it's obvious - a small screw holds the 'bit on the ceiling' high on the 'down shaft'. Loosen the screw, and the top bit slides down, exposing what's there. Not this one. OK, if you rotate the three arms at the bottom of the down shaft, they begin to part... does rotating the down shaft in the top bit work? Yes, it eventually does.

Eventually, some old wiring is exposed. It's simpler than the usual ceiling rose - just three wires (live, neutral and earth) going into standard terminal blocks connecting to the wires in the light. At some point, the wires to the light are snipped, which made it much easier (no need to support the old light!) Right, the IKEA one needs a hook, and the old one won't do because wrong size / location. So L goes back to work, and I walk into Newark to get a hook. Ah, it needs to be the right size - as well as needing to be able to support about 1.5kg it needs to be at least Xmm (or it won't reach the loop it needs to go through) and no more than Ymm (or there will be a big gap between the top bit and ceiling) - and I'm not entirely sure of X and Y.

X turns out to be 35 and Y is about 40. Back into Newark... nearly all of the hooks at the three places that do them are the too long, too small, or too feeble. Fortunately, Poundsaver have some that look just right. Back home... hmm, they don't go into the wood in the ceiling, do they? The ice pick* that I use as a bradawl couldn't penetrate it either. Fortunately, the hook does fit nicely into one of the two holes the previous one used. OK, it will mean the whole thing will be off centre, leaving a small visible hole, but it is clearly strong enough to hold the weight.

Right, the electrical connection. For some reason, rather than use an absolutely standard terminal block using screws, there's some plastic box. You stick the wires in, press and release a switch-like thing, and the wires stay in! Erm, no they don't.

OK, this is getting annoying, so take the thing off the hook, and have some new wires going from the terminal blocks in the ceiling to the plastic box - it's much easier to work on this on a desk rather than three metres in the air. Some new wires are created from a bit of flex and.. that sodding plastic box still doesn't work properly. The IKEA-done wires to the light fitting itself are solidly in, but no matter how many times I try, the new wires won't stay in if given even the lightest of pulls.

So I end up cutting the wires to the light, trimming the covering off and sticking them in a.. ah, they're the same colour and not labelled in any way. Fortunately, it's still possible to see that the plastic box does say which is which and the curve in that flex means it's not too hard to say which one is which because of which hole they must have gone in. Right, stick them in a standard terminal block, put the new wires in the other side, rehang the light and put the other end of the new wires in the old terminal block to connect up to the lighting circuit. Cover with the bit at the top.

And, once the circuit is switched back on, it works! It looks nice too. Yay, but I would still like to know WTF IKEA chose to use that stupid plastic box rather than a standard terminal block. It may have saved on four screws, but I would be amazed if it hasn't lead to lots of returns because that one at least simply didn't work. Oddly, I can't find anything about it on the interwebs...

* Not an ice axe, but a long pointy bit of metal you can hit to break up ice. As used in Basic Instinct.

This entry was originally posted at http://lovingboth.dreamwidth.org/509630.html, because despite having a permanent account, I have had enough of LJ's current owners trying to be evil. Please comment there using OpenID - comment count unavailable have and if you have an LJ account, you can use it for your OpenID account. Or just join Dreamwidth! It only took a couple of minutes to copy all my entries here to there.

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