Posts Tagged ‘screw cap’

Adding Light

March 1, 2023
The accent wall in a Houston Heights master bedroom where I’m working is a little dark.  Here I’ve removed the light sconces , and am getting ready to skim-float to smooth the textured wall .  A little more light would be helpful!
My bright 100 watt light bulb is screwed into a little gizmo that’s quite handy .  It’s a socket for a light bulb that can be plugged into an electrical wall outlet .  Alternately, as you can see, because there are two holes in the bottom of the metal prongs , you can slip the ends of the electrical wires into those holes . 
Of course, you have to be careful that the ends of those two wires ( one white and one black ) don’t touch each other .  That could cause a spark and a shock , and maybe even trip the circuit breaker .  Oh, and, also, be sure to turn the power off at the switch before doing this.  If you want to be extra-cautious, you can kill the circuit at the breaker box – but really, turning off at the wall switch and then taking care not to let the two wires touch each other, will be pretty safe.
When ready to work around this improvised lighting , especially with metal tools or wet wallpaper , I will turn off the power at the switch , remove the socket thingie from the wires in the wall , use screw cap wire nuts to cover the exposed wire ends , and tuck the wires a bit into the electrical box . 
Once the paper’s up in that area, I can reattach the socket and get me some light again. 
I stumbled upon these things at a garage sale decades ago, and got maybe 10 of them for a buck or two.   But they’re still available in electrical departments of places like Home Depot and Lowe’s and our neighborhood favorite here in central Houston – Southland Hardware .  They cost about a dollar or a dollar and a half each . 

Modern Electrical Technology Makes Hanging Paper Easier

November 10, 2022
Bad photo, but I’m to put wallpaper in this room, including the tall and deep fir-down at the top right, which has two recessed light fixtures in it. You want the paper to go behind the light fixtures, not cut around them, if at all possible. In the photo, at the far middle left, you can see one fixture dangling by it’s wires below the fir-down.
Some of these recessed fixtures are tricky to take down (many won’t come down at all), but these ones turned out to be held in place by tension springs, which fit into sideways hooks, which you can see at the left inside the hole.
Here’s a closer look. These are the same type springs that hold the vent covers to exhaust fans in place. As you push them upward, they spread apart and hold the fixture securely in place. Easy-peasy! You can also squeeze the springs together and remove them from the mounting housing, which lets the fixture dangle from its electrical wires.
That’s what I’ve done here. Now it’s much easier to work the wallpaper around the fixture. But it could be made even easier – by removing the light fixture all together.
Most light fixtures have black and white wires coming from inside the wall that connect to black and white wires on the electrical fixture and are connected and held in place by a twist-on screw cap or wire nut. What’s very cool about this particular fixture’s electrical connections is that it’s made by this orange plug, which fits into the orange receptacle – no wires to twist or cap, and no need to cut off the power. It’s all simple and perfectly safe.
Here I’ve disconnected the two orange parts.
With the light fixture completely out of the way, it’s much easier to install the wallpaper, and no paste gets slopped onto the fixture.
Here’s the wallpaper installed and trimmed around the inside of the opening.
Oh, and don’t mind the slight pattern mis-match on the left … there were issues with un-plumb and un-level walls coming into play.
And here I’ve reconnected the orange plug parts, and placed the spring back inside those hooks, then pushed the light fixture up and back into place. Look at how nicely the flange (outer ring) of the fixture covers the cut edge of the hole and the wallpaper.