Greg here for round three of project carport ceiling makeover. For round one and two, click here and here. This time, we’re talking about wiring, the new light fixture and all that jazz. Let’s jump right in…
Before the contractors came to work on the ceiling, I turned off the breaker, took down each of the old 1970’s light fixtures and capped each wire. Even though the breaker was turned off, I wanted to make sure that everything was safe if the breaker got accidentally switched back on.
In the midst of the ceiling process, we spontaneously decided to change up the lighting placement and have one larger light fixture in the middle of the carport, rather than two smaller ones. We thought this would give the ceiling a less cluttered look and let the planks be the main focal point. On top of that, the patio lights we plan on adding to the perimeter of the carport ceiling give off a ton of great ambient light.
While the contractors were cleaning up the drywall mess from removing the old ceiling, I quickly installed a pancake box for the new fixture and a single gang box for the outlet that would power the patio lights. The plan down the road is to switch out the main light fixture for an outdoor ceiling fan (we’ve heard they do wonders for keeping bugs away when you’re entertaining), so I used a pancake box. Pancake boxes attach to the bottom of the stud, so they can support heavier fixtures like fans.
As for the box for the patio lights, we wanted it to be out of eyesight as much as possible, so we tucked it into the corner, close to the left side of the fireplace.
Once the light boxes were installed, I got out of the way so the contractors could continue with the planking process. A few hours later, the ceiling was done, complete with a hole ready for the new light fixture…
Now, for the light fixture. As I mentioned earlier, we’re planning on switching it out for an outdoor ceiling fan later down the road. That being the case, we didn’t want to spend a ton of cash on a light fixture that might be changed out by next summer. To find an affordable barn light, Ash and I did a lot – and I mean a lot – of Google searching. Here are the five that ultimately made their way to the top of our list:
ONE // $79 // This one made it to the list because the price was right and it was readily available at our local Lowe’s. While the wave shade was “cute”, as Ash put it, the overall width was a tiny 11.25″ – much too small for the space.
TWO // $342 // This one was the most expensive of the bunch, but had the most going for it. It was 20″ wide (big enough to stand on its own) and we really liked the fact that it had a cage and a glass diffuser. One thing that kept us from pulling the trigger on this one was how close it would be to the ceiling. We really wanted something that would hang down from the ceiling a bit. That, coupled with the feeling we could get a similar (or better) look for less if we did some more Googling, made this a no-go.
THREE // $224 // Ash especially loved the color of this fixture. It came in 20″ width and it would have been a great way to add a little pop of unexpected color. However, ultimately we wanted to be able to easily change the color scheme outside by way of pillows and accessories. By having a robin’s egg blue light fixture, we’d always be tied to that color until we changed it out.
FOUR // $235 // This one was at the very top of our short list. It was galvanized (which goes with everything and would stand out against the medium/dark planks) and 16″ wide (an acceptable size, but definitely not too big), and we really liked the 6″ stem mount coming from the ceiling to the light. On top of that, the little pop of red in the light guard was pretty cool – but probably not noticeable enough once the light fixture was hung.
FIVE // $49 // While this light was definitely affordable, it was only 14″ wide – too small by at least 2 inches.
Even though those were our “top five”, we ended up not going with any of them. Just when we were about to throw in the towel and go with number two or four, Ash found this galvanized warehouse pendant for $127.
The price was right (at least half the price of similar designs we found during our search), the size good and Ash and I both really liked the shape and the industrial look of the wire guard.
The installation process was pretty simple, overall. Of course, the first thing you should always do before doing anything with electricity is make sure the breaker is off and everybody in the house knows not to turn it back on. I always turn things off at the breaker (and not just the switch), since I know she’s not going to just walk into the room and accidentally turn on a breaker like a light switch.
To start with, I installed a plate onto the pancake box (not pictured, but it came with the fixture) and ran the wires through it. At that point, I assembled the fixture (just a process of running the wires through the stem and canopy, then screwing it all together) and trimmed the wires back to a length that would allow Ashley to hold the light fixture from the floor while connected the wires at the ceiling. While Ash held the light fixture, I stripped the wires and connected them with wire nuts. Finally, I coiled the extra wire inside the canopy and attached it securely to the ceiling. The whole process took about 20 minutes. No big deal!
We’re really pleased with how it looks against the dark planks – the galvanized finish really stands out.
Now that the ceiling and 50% of the lighting is complete (we still need to hang the patio lights), we’re more than ready and anxious to move on to cleaning and painting the floor. Boy, does it need it. We’re one step closer!