Sunday, October 19, 2008

To Light or Not To Light

That is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous lighting prices and installation work, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them? To give up and not install lighting.

I’m not sure if that works, but you get the idea: Do I install lighting in the dinning room cabinets I’m building. There are 3 main issues.

First, what to light. Do I only light the exposed counter top area. Essentially under-cabinet lighting like in the kitchen, or do I also add lighting in the upper, glass front cabinets.

Second, how do I light it. I think the low-voltage puck lights you see in home improvement stores are out of the question. I don’t like the idea of a plug-in transformer. It must be hard-wired, and I haven’t seen that locally. The last time I tried to buy hard-wired under cabinet lighting it turned in a months long odyssey. At least I know where to get them now.

Third, how do I turn them off and on. I don’t want to add another switch on the wall because the room has wood paneling all the way around. This means there is a lot of extra framing in the walls. To get a new switch on the wall would mean dismantling some of the paneling. That is not something I want to do.

I thought about putting a switch on the paneled wall of the middle section of the cabinets, but as you can see in the picture below, it doesn’t quite work

I would need to cut the trim around the face-plate. I think it would look like an afterthought. I then remembered that I found an old switch out in one of the garages vacated by my tenant a few months back.

All of the knob and tube has been disconnected in these garages. The switch seems to be in very good condition. I will need to take it off and test it before I commit to using it with the cabinets. It has great potential, though.

And here is a first look at the face-frames with the curly redwood I milled. I hope to get them sanded and oiled today. They should look pretty spectacular when done.


Kathy from NJ said...

I doubt that china cabinets were lit back when the house was built. My present china cabinet was purchased in approx 1986 - it has a light on the top and fluorescent on the bottom (all glass framed with wood on front & sides). I have NEVER changed the light bulbs because the lights are NEVER on.

Greg said...

Good point. No lights means less work. I like it.

Jennifer said...

I vote no lights, either... they don't seem very "homey" to me.

Greg said...

I'm going back and forth.

Mick said...

My first reaction is no lights...

But having said that repro edison carbon filiment bulbs screwed into porcelain sockets might look the part if you could find a good location

Marilyn said...

I vote No Lights. A spectacular chandelier should provide all the lighting you'll need, and maybe some wall sconces, unless you possess priceless examples of rare porcelain and costly golden serving pieces you want to highlight.
And I am really liking that curly redwood! This cabinet wall is really going to move!

NV said...

That redwood is awesome. You really brought that chunk to life.