Fiat Lux

We have a new feature in our unfinished back room: Photons.

The bare rafters of the room peak about 15 feet above the floor, and there are stringers across most of them about 2 feet lower. When we moved in there were two light fixtures in the room: a single bare bulb (incandescent, for now) near the kitchen door and a 2-tube, 8-foot fluorescent fixture screwed to a stringer. I contemplated what would have to be done if one wanted to replace the tubes or otherwise service the fixture. I did not look forward to it.

A few weeks after we moved in, the fluorescent fixture stopped working.

We have a folding ladder. In its stepladder configuration it’s about 8 feet high, which clearly is too short to reach the stringers. In its 3/4 length straight configuration it’s 12 feet long, also too short. In its full straight configuration it’s 16 feet long. Too long.

For a while we got along with the incandescent light, but it didn’t provide enough illumination for much more than not falling over stuff. Clearly we needed a ladder with smaller quanta of length.

Fortunately our friends Fred and Kate, who unfortunately for us are moving to Albany, own a 24 foot extension ladder and have no place to keep it at the apartment they’re renting, so when they came over for Thanksgiving they brought it along and loaned it to us. Thanks, Fred and Kate!

This weekend I took the fixture down, replaced the T12 tubes and magnetic ballast with T8 tubes and electronic ballast, hung a couple chains from hook screws in the stringers, and hung the fixture back up on the chains… about 10 feet off the floor.

It should serve until we redo the room. The fixture is not pretty. But the light is.

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