Lighting Updates: Fail {Part 4}

lighting updates in an old home have a huge impact

Not every lighting problem can be solved on the first try. Ah, yes, even a designer and a master electrician are sometimes stumped. Two parts of my lighting update list did not get done.

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need…

Recessed Kitchen Lights

I am very grateful to have recessed lights over my counters, right where I need them. Sadly, though, they are outdated, ugly, and even have two different trim kits! What is that about?

recessed lights and library lights fail

You might remember that I’ve been having you watch changes in LED lights. The technology is changing every day. When I happened on these retro-fit LED trim kits in Home Depot, I was all excited. The idea is that screw right in to the existing receptacle, but it didn’t work out for us. I tried. Brian fiddled with it. They were just pieces from two entirely different puzzles. Back to Home Depot they go.

recessed light fail

If I really needed to solve this problem, I’d go for retrofit pendant lights. Have you seen these? So cute. But it would not be money well-spent just now, in the face of an impending kitchen renovation (I hope), so I’ll wait it out.


Built-in Bookcase Lights

The other thing that didn’t work out was adding lights to my office bookcase. I was hoping that the LED strip fixtures would work. You saw my little shipping spree, right? I bought 4 different fixtures that might work.


LED strip lights


But when we plugged one in and tucked it up under the valence, all the light got caught in the top shelf, and none spilled down to the pull-out desk work surface. Fail.

cone library lights

I briefly considered track lighting, but even the mini-track would have been way too busy here. I’m not a fan of track lighting, which almost always looks dated.

The best solution would be this type of cone shade wall lamp, three of them, that would be mounted on the very top of the bookcase, on the top part that is called the valence. I am smitten with these types of lamps in silver or nickel finish, but I like this glass shade, too.

I reverted back to my $5 IKEA uplight, which is my little go-to light for so many odd spaces. It’s not a task light, but it does brighten up that corner just fine for now.

Biggest Lighting Mistake

The biggest lighting failure that most homes experience is just flat out not having enough light in general or in specific task areas. Although we couldn’t fix these small problems, I’m soooooo happy with the changes that we did make!

What about you? Have you tried to solve a lighting problem and run into trouble?

This is part 4 in the series. Be sure to visit:

Part 1: Living room

Part 2: Foyer

Part 3: Basement