December 1st., and once again it's been close to a month since I sat down to update. Life moves forward with not a lot out of the ordinary to report. A week ago or so I put my trusty iPhone to work in note-taking mode. I walked through the house, pausing at each room to make more than a mental note of the things that so often leap to mind when I enter the room: the things that need doing, or have needed doing for some time. When I was done, I had a list some 60-70 items long. Strangely, or perhaps not so, they seem to be getting addressed more now than ever. I can't say that I'm doing them in any particular order, or in any order of importance, but it feels good to bite into the list.
One of the things that has been bugging me for... OK, years, is the lighting in the shop. It's abominable. A 4-tube florescent lighting fixture hangs in the centre of the ceiling (which is an improvement over the single 60-watt lightbulb that was there when I moved in) and in recent weeks has finally given up the ballast. I've come to like the brightness and energy efficiency of the new generation of twisty fluorescents. A 23-watt bulb is rated equivalent to that of a 100-watt incandescent. For home use, they're ugly as florescent fixtures always have been, but for a workspace where brightness is key, I think they're great. I'd thrown up a couple of them a couple years ago to aid in the lighting of the shop, so decided to carry through with the theme. Here are some pics of the project started Monday night:
The dead florescent light fixture
Opening it up to peek inside...
Fixture is down to expose the original single light electrical box
Added an electrical receptacle
Finished with a face plate, ready to accept the plug-in lighting
Jumping forward a bunch to show the completed replacement fixtures plugged in and ready to go
The other end of the shop: the two new fixtures in place at either end of the single twisty I'd put in place to experiment.
Yesterday I replaced the plug and light switch inside the man-door. The switch for the room lights now controls the plug, from which additional fixtures will be powered to cover the dark corners under the loft and over the work benches.
It's no surprise to anyone who's lived in an older home (mine was built in 1955) that when you modify and update, you can find all kinds of things that don't always meet today's standards. In doing this project I discovered that the shop lighting is on breaker 13 of the main panel located in the furnace room. To my surprise, breaker 13 is labelled "Fridge". These days, electrical code says that a fridge MUST be placed on its own, independent breaker so that there is no risk of something else being plugged in, possibly overloading the breaker and causing the fridge to quit. I think I may have found yet another project to add to the list: move the fridge to its own breaker! In the meantime, the minimal draw of the shop lights won't endanger my food - especially with the lower-wattage bulbs in place and the dedication of the electrical outlets attached to the switch to lights-only. What's strange is that I'd had the electrical panel upgraded in 1993. The electricians who did the switchover added a sub panel in the shop, but did little else by way of additions. They simply labelled the breakers very generally. The furnace, too, is on with the lights for the laundry room, back entry and the back bedroom downstairs. Looks like I found another project.
With Christmas fast approaching, I thought you might get a kick out of this: