I’ve been in covid-related limbo the last couple of months.
Jamie’s job hasn’t really been affected.
While I’m not in demand so much anymore.
Not a big deal because with all my new-found free time I have been catching up on the myriad of house projects that have slipped through the cracks over the past decade.
It’s good for me to keep busy.
Idle hands and all,
One of those overlooked projects is replacing the light over our garage.
Neither of us remembers what was on the back of the house originally, and we can’t really tell from this tiny, tiny little picture that I saved from the Trulia listing. (Notice the stylish pea-soup green garage)
I assume it’s one of those double-headed outdoor floodlight fixtures, probably with a motion detector, and 2 exposed lightbulbs.
Not very sexy, I know. But these were the “standard” on every single basic American house built from about 1945 until…… actually, I don’t think they’ve ever stopped being the “standard”.
I found this ever so affordable (somewhere in the $30 range) silver barn light on Amazon sometime after we moved in.
It’s sans the standard barn light gooseneck,
It’s oddly shallow,
It’s been… fine.
Utterly forgettable, … but fine.
With the addition of the sunset sensor, that little box over the top of it, it has served its purpose for just over 10 years. Until sometime in January when the sensor just stopped working.
I thought about painting it glossy orange, but why bother if I have to keep flipping a switch like a neanderthal every time I want to see what’s happening in the driveway at night?
I’m kinda ready for something new anyway.
I started the hunt on Amazon for a replacement (preferably one with a built-in sunset sensor – which is a surprisingly rare feature in a barn light.)
There were a lot of beauties to choose from, but I settled on this goosenecked girl right here.
In bright red.
THE COLOR OF A FIRE ENGINE!
16 inches is plenty big, and just happens to match the size of the black factory pendants already hanging inside the garage.
Pricey though. Costs as much as 9 of those black factory pendants.
But here’s the clincher. I had American Express rewards points transferred to an Amazon gift card and my final cost was only $7.24.
(Plus another 10 bucks for the sundown sensor – sold seperately)
It’s even more beautiful in person, heavy and well constructed, with a glossy powder-coated enamel finish. American-made even. Huge improvement over that last 2 light fixtures that hung in that space.
Since nothing is ever easy, I had to move the light mount up 5 inches on the wall above the garage door so it would be centered on the little wall section appropriately.
Tedious work, I know.
But it absolutely needed to be 5 inches higher.
I used a Dremel to cut a new round hole in the exterior and simply transferred the round mounting box to the new hole and the cut-out wood circle to the previous hole…
…and filled in with a little putty.
Since I’m already painting the wall I might as well paint the sundown sensor to match.
Another tedious detail.
That odd little black box…
- Why is it black?
- Who has a black house?
- Why would anyone ever need to see it?
…will definitely distract from the beauty of my new glossy-red lamp.
I taped around my newly-installed red lamp, and placed a little circle of blue painter’s tape over the sundown sensor eye. Then I coated everything that wasn’t a red barn light with paint to match the color of the house.
“Vanilla Cream” is what we call it because we honestly don’t know what it’s real name is, the house just came this color.
(Well, that garage didn’t come this color, the rest of the house did, but now it all matches)
Now, here’s the one detail about this kinda pricy barn light that just doesn’t make sense to me…
THE MOUNTING SCREWS ARE SILVER….?
Who produces a product like that?
Jamie had to remind me that not all of the world is designed by art directors and “regular folks” don’t care about details like this.
I’m sure silver screws on red laquer are just fine and dandy for “regular folks”… but there are
anal-retentive detail-oriented people living in this house.
And we just can’t have that.
Remember that glossy enamel paint we used to use on model airplanes as kids?
They still make it.
(My dear friend George will remember road-trippin’ us to a hobby shop in Grapevine, Tx to buy it when we were kids because we were too young to buy it in our hometown.)
So I took another road-trip, this time to Michael’s in Cedar Hill, and returned with four little jars with four different shades of red to choose from.
In case you’re wondering…
“RED” matched the best.
Pretty, ain’t she?
Notice how the patched hole, silver mounting screws and black sundown sensor all fail to distract for her beauty……
“Detail Oriented”, he whispers to himself.
Here’s our driveway right after I installed the little silver light about 9 years ago…
And here’s that same view today, with our new red barn light in all her glory.
Way, More, Much better.
Am I right?
Looks even better at night….
OH, and as if moving the wall mount up 5 inches and painting the screw heads red wasn’t detail oriented enough….
Over the past 2 weeks I repainted the garage door – you can see how battered it looks in the top-most picture, power-washed the driveway, replaced the river rock border with pea gravel, added a few more razor grasses, replaced all the cap boards on the fence… and, why not, restained the entire fence.
Just to take a picture….
I had the time.