Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bare Bulb Dilema

Maybe you're lucky enough to have avoided them...but then again...maybe not. Many homes, especially older ones have a bare bulb somewhere. Pehaps yours is lurking inside your closest; or maybe it's hiding out in the garage, basement or laundry room.
Or then again...maybe not...perhaps I got them all. I have seven such fixtures in my former pizza restaurant turned rental house!

I haven't quite figured out what the person who designed the lighting was trying to achieve. Maybe they just needed lights and were on a tight budget. Whatever the reason, every room, save the kitchen and bath is at least somewhat illuminated by these creatures!

My first impulse was to replace them all with chandeliers, but that idea hit a few roadblocks. The first one was the expense of purchasing seven chandeliers. The second is my phobia of working with electricity, and finally I have to keep in mind this IS a rental house! So what to do?

One day it occured to me to replace the lowly incandescent bulbs with chandelier lights. That helped a little, but not a lot.
Then I had another idea...what if I dressed them up with some crystals... The bare bulb fixtures at my house apparently had some type of globe at one time, and the screws which once kept it in place are still here. Using that as a starting point I dangled some pretty drops from the screws. That was better, but it was still missing something.
So I layered on lengths of rope crystals to give it a little more depth. I thought about painting the fixtures, since they are pretty chippy, but decided against it as I like the contrast of rustic with refined. While still not my choice of lighting fixtures, the crystals have made the bare bulbs quite a bit more bearable than they were in their original state.
For the five bulbs in the open living area I stayed with pretty much the same design, but by the time I got to the bedrooms, I ran out of crystal chain. Time to improvise again.
This time I used a combination of crystal beads and pearls that were salvaged from old necklaces.
Perhaps one day I'll overcome my fear of electrical wiring enough to try something different. Maybe I'll come across a gorgeous chandelier that I just can't resist, and replace the central fixture with that. But in the meantime, I've learned to make do and turn my lemons into lemonade so to speak. Most of my visitors compliment my creative fixtures, so maybe they're not so terrible after all.

If you have a bare bulb lurking somewhere, you might want to try a similar treatment. If you don't have the screws to drape the crystals from, try using small cup hooks screwed into the ceiling. This approach would give you even more options when designing your "bare bulb chandelier".

Until next time,


  1. Hi Sheilla:

    Just found your blog (not sure how but once I start looking at blogs, there's no stopping the clicking of my mouse). Anyhow, I love how you dressed up your bare bulb so I decided to visit your entire blog. I LOVE your style! Seriously - very unique and original. I am now becoming your newest follower. I hope you'll visit me sometime soon too!
    Take care - Lisa@SuburbanRetreat

  2. WOW -- I am so amazed at the talent I see out here. I love your idea and it's simplicity...

  3. Hi Sheilla,
    This is wonderful, I have a bare bulb out in my little shack. I am going to try something like what you've done here!

    Got your email, I'll chat w/you next week about animals! Love them so!!


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