Friday, November 16, 2012

Burnt Out

I'm beginning to think that the reason the people sold this house to us was because they didn't want to replace all the burnt out light bulbs. Both times we looked at the property before buying it was during the middle of the day which is why I suspect I never noticed the burnt out light bulbs but I have certainly noticed since.

After moving in, the first ones I replaced were all the can lights which were sunk in the ceiling and had the old style incandescent 60W bulbs in them. Because they weren't designed for those bulbs, the light was more like that of a dim flashlight than one meant for home illumination. So I bought some fluorescent bulbs to replace them in areas that didn't need immediate bright light and LED's for those that did.

Then I went around the house replacing burnt out incandescent bulbs on all the other fixtures and replaced the few that worked with CFL's just so I don't have to replace a lightbulb every other week. This also included buying some specialty bulbs to replace those in some appliances that were also burnt out.  About the time I got the interior of the house lit, I noticed that the light out in front of our house didn't work. While replacing that one I noticed that there was one of the motion activated security lights over the garage door. It wasn't working so I had to replace it completely.

So I thought I had got everything replaced and a couple months went by of complete lighted bliss. My only complaint was that on the back side of the house, it was completely dark except for one light on the deck that only worked part of the time. But since I had other bigger fish to fry, I forgot about those things. But one day I was up on a ladder on the backside of the house pulling the remnants of some vines from the eaves where they were firmly attached to the wood and collecting leaves that happened to fly by when I noticed something else. I had another security light on that side of the house that I hadn't seen before.

Suspecting that the bulbs were burnt out like anything else, I put an interior bulb in one of the sockets and went around flipping on every switch that I could think of that might control it. No dice. But in doing so, I discovered yet another security light on the other corner of the house. I put a new bulb in that but still couldn't find the switch. I suspected that I had the right switch, somewhere, but that the motion activation part of both lights were fried like the one I had replaced over the garage. So I bought a couple more security light replacements and replaced them. I put the new outdoor flood light bulbs in that I had bought but still couldn't find the switch.

I finally chalked the non-performance up as something not wired up in the attic and decided I would fix that when I got to my growing list of attic projects to do this winter. I turned my attention to the one light I had in the back that only worked part of the time. While inspecting it, I saw that it was actually a motion activated sconce light, something I didn't know even existed. I adjusted the controls on it and I was back in business with a fully functional light.

While flipping the switch on the outdoor sconce light off and on, I suddenly realized that there was another switch beside it that I had completely forgotten about. It was one of two switches in the living room that I had flipped on after we had moved in (and replaced the interior lightbulbs) and had not seen any apparent reaction. One I had later determined controlled some switched outlets, and the one I had just rediscovered, I had simply forgot about. Without a drum roll or any fanfare, I flipped that switch and found that it indeed controlled my two recently replaced outdoor security flood lights.

So now I am sitting here thinking I have finally got every light in this house up and functioning as intended. But if three months later I find yet another burnt out lightbulb, I won't be surprised.


Murf said...

This is hilarious. I'm picturing you like Clark Griswold and his Christmas lights in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Vince said...

(chuckle)When I read this at lunch the Griswolds came to mind also.

I expect the fellow doing the selling wasn't over pushed as you would hardly go about the place worrying about lights. It's good all the same that you don't have to rewire the place.

Ed said...

Murf - I hadn't thought of the Griswold's until you brought it up, but now that you have, you are exactly right. I just hope Cousin Eddy doesn't come visit me this Christmas!

Vince - So far, the wiring has been very good. At our old house, I found all kinds of shoddy stuff like electrical tape instead of wirenuts, etc. In this house, I have been into a lot of the electrical system and have not seen one case of that. It certainly makes me sleep better at night.

sage said...

Maybe he just saved up his old burnt out bulbs and replaced them with working ones the day before he turned over the keys so that he has new bulbs for his new house--probably not, but it is a funny thought! Was there toilet paper in the bathrooms?