Let There Be Lights!

The house exterior saga continues.

When last we left our heroine (the house), she was in the process of a cosmetic makeover. Paint. Which is still happening, but should be done today!  And why go through all that paint job just to put back rusty, nasty, ineffective lights?  Here is what mine looked like.

Isn't she lovely....NOT.
Isn’t she lovely….NOT.

That is one of four matching lights on the front of the house. It is the least corroded, least bug-infested, least troublesome. It illuminates my front porch and greets visitors. Not a good first impression anymore.  I wanted BIG. I wanted DOWNlights whose bulbs could be changed easily, and that would not accumulate bugs. I wanted less brass.

Plus, I needed to replace the horrible, ugly, “functional” security lights on the side and in the back. We had an attempted break-in some years back, and immediately put up motion-sensor security lights (the only ones I could find at the time).


Why, I ask, do they not put UV coating on the finish of exterior lights? Why do they not put ANY coating, other than paint? And, of course, ugly.  So not what I ever wanted on my patio.  We rarely turned it on out of courtesy; behind neighbors moved in a few years ago and do not have curtains on their windows (that’s another story).  Definitely time for a change.

How overwhelming is it to shop for exterior lights!?  Sensors, not sensors. Big, small. Finishes! And, OMIGOSH, the prices!

Functional, yes. Ugly, YEEEEESSSSSS!


Better......sort of.
Better……sort of.


THIS is what I’ve been looking for.

At $45 per light, that was not going to fit under my $100 budget.

Two words: Habitat ReStore!  Love this place at 108th/West Maple. I have donated, I have purchased, I have dreamed there. It’s basically a thrift store for household and building items, with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity. (I have also worked two Habitat projects, and I support the organization.) I found three that would suit my purpose!

The Three Amigos.

The two on the left have motion sensors, which I am choosing to not use. The one on the right is just a little different, and I thought it would be just right for the front porch. They were $7.50 each! That total fit my budget nicely. That meant that I only had to buy one new light. Menard’s had another 11% rebate week, so after the rebate, the new light cost about $40.

But what to do about the ugliness, and the copper on the new light?

“Let me introduce you to my little friend!”

My weapon of choice.

I like to use spray paint because I can apply light coats an not deal with brush marks. Plus, at less than $7 for one can to do more than all my lights, this is a very frugal choice.

I took apart the lights just enough to make it easier to paint. I scrubbed, and sanded a little. I taped off the glass with blue painter’s tape, which I have in excess. I got to painting, on a drop cloth, with all vehicles moved out of the garage, and with the doors open about six inches each. Several very light coats meant that the finish should last longer. I did not want to topcoat because that would change the satin finish, and my experience is that it changes color, as well. I made sure to paint the older nuts, as well, and to turn the lights to get all the angles. The new light was almost an exact match, so I just taped on a shopping bag, and spritzed the copper areas.

I’m pretty pleased with these. The mis-matched mounting nuts are being replaced with ones from the lights I’m taking down.

All dressed up and ready to hang.

This is the light I got with the Three Amigos at Habitat ReStore for $4, to hang on the patio wall. It was already a dark brown, so it got a light coating. It doesn’t have to “match” because it’s alone back there.

Much, much better!

For the side of the garage, I painted the light that had been at the front door, after cleaning and sanding extensively. No photo for that one, sorry. You’ll see it in the wrap-up post. It’s not the prettiest, but it’s not an eyesore. The bulb won’t need to be changed hardly ever, and I don’t have to look at it every day.

The painters said that since they had to take down two lights to paint, anyway, they would put up whatever lights I wanted installed.  That takes care of those. Since I put up the other ones myself, I know I can take them down and install the others. That’s not an urgent project, since the current fixtures actually work, but I am looking forward to finishing the whole project.

Light project: under $80.




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