Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Library lights (finally!)

So I mentioned last week that I finally ended what was a four month long search for lighting for the dining room bookcases I am finishing up.

Actually four months is conservative. I think it’s probably been more like eight. :) When I last blogged about the bookcases, this is where we were:

DIY built ins with bases

I said I was going to be finished with them in September. I was wrong. :)

Now, I’m aiming for end of October. I think I’m gonna be able to do it.

Anyway, see those spots at the top? Those are where the lights were supposed to go. The lights I. could. not. find. ANYWHERE.

Until last week. ;)

Now that I’ve gotten over the HUGE hump that was the lights, I’m SO ready to get this done! When we first started this project (ohhh, back in March), I showed you the lights I had picked out for the tops of the bookcases:

plug in spotlight

They were little plug in spotlights that I was going to hardwire in. But they were dinky, and my whole goal with them was that they would be directional, so I could direct the light down over the built ins. These didn’t stick out enough to really be able to cast light over the shelves.

So, I moved on to my next idea. Hardwiring a picture light, like this:

 

plug in art light

This one is from Lamps Plus, for like $70. You can find the exact same thing at Lowe’s for about $30. (I showed you how I used one of them here.)

Anyhoo, Dad and I were standing at Lowe’s one day, about to put four in the cart, when he noticed something – the arch at the top of the light wasn’t going to work. We put in a header at the top of the built ins, but it was only eight inches tall. These wouldn’t work because they were too tall.

Bummer dude. Seriously.

So that was forever ago, and since then I’ve looked online everywhere. This was perfect:

 

SINGLE LIBRARY WALL LAMP(source)

Again, a plug in I believe, but they are easily hardwired.

But this one was more than $200. Each. I needed four. Not happening.

This one too…gorgeous:LIBRARY WALL LIGHT

(source)

About $250 I think? Choke.

I loved the long arms on this, and I knew I could pull it out away from the wall so it would work with my clearance issue:

swing arm library light

(source)

But again…more than $300.

It was getting frustrating. I looked at sign lights (too big and expensive), I looked at lamps I could hardwire (way too big).

I considered something like this from IKEA:

ikea wall light

Only $20! But it was too small, the wrong color and four hours of driving to get it. :)

I was starting to feel like Goldilocks. ;)

Lamps Plus had this:

(source)

But the light part didn’t move. So when it was installed it would just shine light down to the floor. Not the look I was going for. They had another version I found over labor day that was $95, and I was thisclose to ordering them, but I held off cause I still didn’t want to pay that much.

Of course a few weeks later when I was so frustrated I was considering it, those were gone. :)

So the other day I had had it. I tried one more place -- a local lighting store and they carried exactly what I wanted. For $170. And a six week wait.

I was totally defeated. But I was determined to find something that day. I had already looked everywhere fifteen times, but something took me to Home Depot (again). I had a feeling I’d find something. (I really did…I have a weird sense about these things.)

This time, I had a different idea. I’d look at the outdoor lights too.

And wouldn’t you know it. I found the one:

home depot bronze outdoor light

They had two sizes, and I went with the bigger one. It’s a dark copper/bronze, which is what I wanted. The clearance was good for the ceiling, and it was the perfect size – not too big, not too little. The bracket was the perfect size for the header. The light didn’t tilt like I wanted, but that was an easy fix – I just bent them ever so slightly myself. :)

You can see this one online here, but the funny thing is that it’s listed for $90 online – they were only $35 in the store! So I got all four lights for $140 – basically $100 less than ONE of the fancy ones would have cost me.

I was thrilled but didn’t want to get too excited till I got one up to see how I liked it.

I LOVED IT:

outdoor light fixture inside

They don’t stick out as far as I had originally wanted, but I realize now that may have bugged me to have them eight to 12 inches out from the wall.

IMG_3352

Ignore the unfinished top. :) My plan is to add crown around the top and there is just enough room to get it up there.

They were a breeze to install – I just screwed the wall bracket into the wall and then wired it up. Light fixtures are usually my nemesis but these went up so easy and fast. That never happens to me when it comes to lights.

In the store they used the little round light bulbs instead of full-sized ones, and I loved that look. I don’t want to see the bulbs at all when you’re standing in the room:

bookcase light

With the little tilt that I added, they shine down onto the shelves beautifully:

outdoor lights turned bookcase lights

Love them!! I couldn’t BELIEVE after all this time I found them at that price, and in the outdoor section of all places!

Of course this is just a peek – the painting and some trim isn’t done. The accessorizing and arranging isn’t done either. But I am thrilled with the lights – they are just what I imagined in my head when I started dreaming this up almost a year ago!:

inexpensive library lightsI cannot tell you how great it is to have these up!! I added a dimmer, of course, so they are on all day long lately. And today was perfect for pictures because it’s a dark and stormy one. ;)

Of course my gauge on projects is always the Bub and the hubby – their reactions tell me a lot. My husband loves them and I got an actual “Ohhhh and ahhh” from the kiddo, so I always take that as a good sign.

Thanks for being patient with me on this bookcase project – they have been a labor of love but I had NO idea they would take this much time. I hope to have a full reveal for you soon!

Hooooolla!

66 comments:

  1. I knew exactly where you got them based on the pic! =) I spent all weekend there (and Lowes) myself picking out my bathroom lights! I ended up purchasing at Lowes, because they have awesome clearance items when you least expect it. Sometimes the big box stores come through! Love how those lights look on your bookcases!!

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  2. This really looks fabulous. I love lights.
    ~FringeGirl

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  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! Can't wait for the final reveal!

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  4. Oooooh, LOVE it! I seriously just picked up two of these over the weekend to use as vanity lights in the master bathroom. We're building a house, so I had to just kind of visualize it in my head. It's so nice to see them in person in a room! Great choice ;)

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  5. beautiful - can't wait to see the finished project!

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  6. They look great! Man, lighting can be so expensive, and needing four, no wonder it took a bit ;) I love the finish on these, and they really do look perfect. I have outdoor lights on my stairwell and I have been looking for replacements for years. Same thing, every time I find some, they are several hundred each, or ugly. LOL

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  7. They look great! Man, lighting can be so expensive, and needing four, no wonder it took a bit ;) I love the finish on these, and they really do look perfect. I have outdoor lights on my stairwell and I have been looking for replacements for years. Same thing, every time I find some, they are several hundred each, or ugly. LOL

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  8. Beautiful lights! They are PERFECT!

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  9. they look so great! it was worth the wait!!

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  10. So glad it finally all worked out!! Those look gorgeous. They add so much character to your beautiful bookcases. LOVE the whole look as it's coming together. You're almost there!!

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  11. Oh those are gorgeous! Great find Sarah. And you couldn't beat the price. I can't wait to see the whole reveal. The peek you gave us looks soo good! Get to work girl. ; )

    ~ Catie

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  12. I love them!! I've been excitedly waiting for more of your bookshelves project to pop up in my Google Reader—it's looking better and better. Can't wait to see the final reveal!

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  13. LOVE IT! We having really similar sconces in our basement. I can't wait to see your finished project :)

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  14. looks great, and good thinking heading to the outdoor lights!

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  15. Very nice! You're inspiring me to consider built-ins around our living room picture window. Heaven help my husband. =) Can I just say that I am so encouraged by your thriftiness. Obviously, knowing what you've shared about your financial goals, you had the money in hand to bite the bullet on the more expensive lights you were considering; but you persevered and found great lights for much less. We're on a really tight budget and you always prove to me that we really can find great stuff for less if we just have the patience and vision.

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  16. Gorgeous and what makes it even better is that you paid so little for them. You are my hero!

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  17. Just had to tell you that I also call my 10 yr old "Bub", his name is Matt, and when he was younger it was Bubby. :)

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  18. So fantastic! I LOVE the fixture you selected...and at such a bargain!!

    Cheers
    ~ Jillian
    www.hersplitends.com

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  19. They turned out fantastic. I'm so glad you waited because I think these are the best choice for your shelving. :) Megan

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  20. They turned out fantastic. I'm so glad you waited because I think these are the best choice for your shelving. :) Megan

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  21. Gorgeous!! Most definitely worth the wait!

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  22. Wow, I absolutely love them! And, what a bargain...aren't you glad you waited?

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  23. Perfection!! I love how these turned out - well worth the search. I can't wait to see the full reveal - it's looking fantastic. So impressed!

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  24. They look awesome!! I almost purchased the small version of the very same lights to be sconces in our new half bath, but ended up going in a different direction. I love that moment when you finally find the PERFECT thing you've been searching for and it matches your budget! Maybe it's just the motivation you needed to finish the cabinets and load them up with all sorts of pretty things :)

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  25. This is awesome! You're so talented!

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  26. Looks great with those lights! I wish I had the space for something like that in my house.

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  27. Oh my gosh, I love these lights! I just want to run out and buy them for both bathrooms! Looking forward to the final reveal!

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  28. They are beautiful! Way to bargain shop girl...love me a good deal!

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  29. I have that exact same light on our outside entrance to the basement and I am sooo in love with it! It looks great with your shelves!

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  30. OMG! I just love everything came out!!! Great job!!!

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  31. Looks gorgeous! I can't wait to see the rest.

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  32. Looks gorgeous! I can't wait to see the rest.

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  33. I'm not sure if this will make you feel any better or not but I started bookshelves in... May.

    Yep, May. They're up, and the books are inside. But I still need to caulk, paint, and find a long-lost piece of shoe mold.

    Lighting? I never even thought about it. Uh, I think it's too late now.

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  34. I am so happy that worked out for you. I have the same problem. I see what I want in my 'mind's eye', but can't find what I want (well, at least not for the price I am willing to pay). I applaud your determination. Great design all around!

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  35. I can't believe what I'm seeing when I read your post today. I was at Home Depot checking out the different Granite Colors (dreaming) & generally just going up and down the isles. I love it there and just love the smell when I walk in... I know call me crazy!

    Anyways during the lighting section I came across a couple of outdoors lamps and took a couple of photos on my iphone along with the price UPC sticker as well (so I would remember where it was - lol). It's the same exact lamp that you bought and used with your bookcases. Too funny!

    Oh yeah - Great taste!

    Liz VanKirk

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  36. Wow love these! We have outdoor lights in our kids bathroom - such a great look and cheap to boot!

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  37. Looks great...what a score. I would be interested in knowing where you found your six drawer chest that is on the top shelf of your bookcase in one of the light pictures....THANKS!!

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  38. They look awesome Sarah! Can't wait to see the whole finished project!

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  39. The new lights look fantastic Sarah!! LOVE them!! Can't wait to see everything finished!!

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  40. So classy- can't wait to see it all!!

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  41. wow, those lights look fantastic! great find!!

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  42. I love them! They really do look great! I'm glad all your hard paid off in the end! I'm rooting for ya!

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  43. That is just terrific! Mounting lights on the outside is genius. I avoid HD as much as possible, but sometimes it works out.

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  44. Great idea. Really thinking outside of the (big) box.

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  45. Who knew lights could be SO expensive, yikes! Those are lovely though and a good deal...score!

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  46. Love it, love it! Glad you stuck it out and found the right ones. I'm in the process of ripping out ugly as sin built ins and trying to figure out how to replace them and I've been watching your library project for inspiration :) Bring on the sledgehammer, I'm ready!

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  47. Yay!!! Don't you hate when you are hunting for just the right thing...you know exactly what you want and need, but yet you can't find it? You are one determined girl! Who would've thunk that you found your lights in the outdoor section, of all places?! Your bookcase project is looking awesome. Can't wait to see the entire thing!

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  48. LOve the whole library idea! Your Light choice gives a great look!

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  49. Sarah, I'm just like that - I know what I want and won't settle for anything else until I find it. I love those light fixtures! Just the perfect touch of "old world" look to them. Can't wait to see the finished project!

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  50. So the lesson learned here is "Always, always, always explore outside lighting too!" I've gone that route many a time when I've not found what I wanted in the indoor section.
    Not only do I do this for lighting but other decor as well.

    Your lighting is great!

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  51. Great idea to use outdoor lighting- you found the perfect ones for your book cases!

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  52. That looks so sharp! You did a great job. Waiting the four months is so worth it to see a result as great as this!

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  53. Gorgeous! The lights totally look like something you would find in a Pottery Barn catalog. Well done! :-) Isn't it nice when you find exactly what you're looking for, at a price point you love? Makes the wait worth it! So happy for you, and I can't wait to see more!

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  54. I love them! Such a good idea! I would keep them on all day too!

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  55. When I grow up, I want those bookshelves (and those lamps!) in my home too. :)
    Gorgeous.
    Sarah

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  56. Those look great! I absolutely love the look of the external spotlights.

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    Perfectlyposh.us/lorieslovleylathers
    I am an Independent Consultant for Perfectly Posh Pampering Products.
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  58. You are killing me with not showing the whole shebang with the lights! That last picture in the post is such a teaser. You have to get a full reveal post up soon!

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  59. They look wonderful! I am rejoicing with you. So happy for you. I love that you thunk outside the box & looked in the outdoor section, and also were able to give them the directional tilt you wanted. And of course I love the price.

    Yay!
    Chrissy

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  60. WOW. love them as much as you do.

    I'm thinking if you want them to be farther out, you could add a board to the front to increase the top of the front of the shelf's thickness. That would make them farther out.

    I'm hoping I can find some at H/D too.

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