In part one, I talked about how we changed the wiring to facilitate better lighting in our kitchen. Part two will deal with the fixtures and installation.
I wanted to find coordinating lights for the pendants and chandeliers since the two rooms are so close together, but it proved to be very challenging. Either Pete and I couldn't agree, the lights were incredibly expensive, too dim, or they didn't make a coordinating pendant. It was really frustrating. Finally, we narrowed it down to West Elm's Five Jar Chandelier and Three Jar Chandelier. They both had a nice gunmetal gray finish, accommodated 60-watt lightbulbs, and had the aesthetic we were going for. We ended up getting two pendants and a large chandelier for about $285, thanks to a 20% off sale and credit card points.
We decided to go with the five jar version over the table, so that meant the three jar was going to get chopped. First of all, we bought two hardwire conversion kits from West Elm. They were just like $12 each. They just came in satin nickel, but amazingly, I had some metallic spray paint on hand that almost perfectly matched the gunmetal finish.
Next, I used wire cutters to butcher my beautiful chandelier (AHHH!), cutting off two of the jars with enough cord to hang as pendants. Then, I slipped the cord into the conversion kit and tightened the screw. I made sure to leave plenty of wire at the top for hardwiring.
Next, I pushed back the fabric around the top of the cord and stripped the outer black plastic to expose each of the live, neutral and grounding wires. Thankfully, West Elm had their wires clearly marked: black was live, white was neutral and green was grounding.
The next step is the most important of all: TURN OFF THE BREAKER. Peter is always nervous about me doing electrical work, so he always makes sure this is number one. Electrical work can be really dangerous, so if you aren't sure what you are doing, then ask someone who knows or hire an electrician. Saving money by DIY'ing not worth getting hurt or killed.
So, after turning off the electricity, I attached the light. This is what it looked like before I did anything.
Next, I screwed in the mounting plate into the light box with the provided screws. Then I wrapped the copper wire from the ceiling around the green grounding screw on the mounting plate.
Next, I attached the other wires with wire nuts. Green with copper, white with white, and black with black. This is simple stuff, people. But, make sure your wires are securely screwed into the wire nuts by pulling firmly.
Once secure, I just tucked the wire nuts and the excess cord into the blue light box, and screwed the conversion kit cover onto the mounting plate. Then I turned the breaker back on and had new working pendant lights. Yay!
I know I haven't shown pics of the chandelier over the table, but you will just have to wait a bit longer. I am holding onto that one for the big reveal! Which is coming very soon!