Holiday Lighting

This is the second Christmas at our new house. Last year I didn’t get much decorating done because of how much there was to do still. This year has us in better shape from a maintenance standpoint. Last year I started with some printed cones to go around the carriage lights. I also had little inserts that went in the small lantern yard lights. I didn’t document those last year. This year I added the spotlights to the mix.

Cone Shades for Carriage Lights

I 3D printed some cone shaped shades that go around the LED light bulbs in our carriage lights. CFLs would likely be too hot for PLA plastic, and incandescent bulbs would melt everything for sure! They are a single layer thick which you can do with the vase setting on most bits of slicer software.

A single layer thick is going to make them delicate, but they spend most of their life in storage or hanging off a bulb. I printed enough to do all 3 lights as orange for halloween and have the two by the garage be red and green for Christmas.


Lantern Lights

I replaced all the incandescent landscape lights with LEDs really early on. That gave me the ability to add a color hood to each one. These also were a single perimeter width so they would be thin enough to let the light through.


Spotlight Colors

Instead of doing 3D printing alone I picked up some color gel plastic to filter the spotlights in our front yard. I figured this would handle the heat better and let a lot more light through. I printed rings to go around the LED spotlight bulbs. These were glued down to the light gels with E6000 and trimmed once cured.

The results were pretty spectacular. Our icicle lights are overpowering when shooting with my camera, but everything looks really cool. Lots of color all across the yard and front of the house.

At least it DID look good for the first few days. I noticed the reds were looking really pale. I pulled a few of the filters off to inspect. The reds must absorb more than the greens, it completely bleached the gel filter right where the emitters were. The green one got hot enough that the printed part deformed and stuck itself to the LED bulb. Clearly this is going to need a re-think. Next year. It is well after Christmas and I haven’t sat down to work on a solution yet.

I did print a canister that holds all the piece parts for next year. The cone lights stack inside each other to be really compact. The lantern bulb covers are tiny and jingle around the bottom. The spotlight filters are junk at this point, so they don’t need to be stored.

Kitchen Renovation Part 2

Welcome to Kitchen Base Camp Charlie.  It is starting to really look like something now!  The cabinets were not installed by me, so I can’t take any credit there.  I did install the lovely plywood countertops though.  The real countertop guy isn’t going to show up for weeks, so we had to make due.

There was always a light over the sink, but I tied in two more lights under the cabinets that flank the sink so they are all on the same switch.  Very bright now!

Similarly I ran wiring so the two lights over the microwave are tied in with the pantry and lights over the stove.  Now, with the switch for the stove and the one by the sink you have a considerable amount of kitchen lighting without even going to the main overhead lights.  It is a nice place to be with a lot more storage than before.  I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

Kitchen Lighting Upgrade

I have made the first salvo in the kitchen makeover war.  It needs a better name.  How about instead of the war of the roses it could be the war of the spatulas?  Any who, instead of leaving everything for the two weeks or so I will be doing our kitchen renovation, I am tackling small jobs that are easy and won’t involve a lot of backtracking.  For example, some of the lights can be installed now and left in place throughout the renovation.

First, what did I have to start with?  A fluorescent tube set over the sink, a hanging light trifecta over the stove, and on the ceiling, a spot light array.  I did the one on the ceiling a few years back, and the one over the stove when I first moved in.  The stove one looks nice, but doesn’t provide the best lighting.  The ceiling one is bright, but kind of harsh and the color temp isn’t great.

For above the sink I went with an under-cabinet LED light.  I want to put lights under the cabinets to the left and right of the sink.  I figured using the same light over the sink and under the cabinets would tie together well.  I found some with a good color temp and really high CRI.  I installed one as a test.  I love it and bought the rest of what I will need!  There is going to be a second one under the window, and one under each cabinet all connected to the same switch after the cabinets get installed.

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I went with a matching set of lights for the ceiling and over the stove.  They are the same style from the same company with 4 lights over the stove and 6 on the ceiling.  Frosted spot lights directed most of the shine downwards over the stove, while regular bulbs were used in the ceiling.  The modern “daylight” LED bulbs are amazing!

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The kitchen is already nicer to work in.  Next will be an early appliance delivery.  After that, I am out of things to do before starting a full kitchen destruction in ernest.