Friday, March 25, 2011

Finished Lanterns

It seems as if I've been obsessed with updating the lighting in my home lately.  I made this metal hanging light recently out of garden baskets I already had.

I finally finished the lantern project.

I was inspired by pictures of something like this. 
The Calisse Pendant from Ballard Designs, $299.

This lantern is from Restoration Hardware, $399. 
Not in my budget especially because I would need two of these.

Here's my thrifty new lantern installed over my kitchen island.

I started with two of these.   I found three brass lanterns at Habitat For Humanity, Restore for $15 a piece. To see other lighting fixtures I've found at Habitat For Humanity click here

I took the lanterns apart and spray painted them flat black. Sorry I didn't take pictures of this part.  Take a before picture of your lantern to refer back to for re-assembly.  Be gentle and work over a towel so if your glass unexpectedly falls out it doesn't break.  Remove the glass and wash it with warm soapy water to get all the old grim off. 

I needed to install an adaptor to hang the lights from the ceiling above my kitchen island.  I purchased two Recessed Light Conversion Kit at Lowe's.  Home Depot doesn't carry these, I checked.  I've used this kit before and it works great.  The kits are $34 a piece, still cheaper than hiring an electrician and a totally doable project for someone that likes DIY. 

This is the front of the box.

Here is the back.  It says it can hold up to a 35 lbs. light fixture.

This is one of the can lights that went bye bye. 
TURN OFF THE CIRCUIT BREAKER before you start any electrical work.
 Perms aren't making a come back anytime soon.

 Remove the light bulb, the white trim, and the black inner trim of the can light.

Here are the contents of the box.  I like to check to make sure everything is included before I start.  Have you ever gotten half way through a project and realized the kit was missing parts?  I have, it's not fun.  I read the instructions first all the way through before I get started too.  I guess I'm a nerd or I'm mentally challenged and need to read everything twice.  I would paint the ceiling medallion included in the kit at this point before you get started if you plan on painting it at all.

After you remove the bulb and trim your can light hole looks like this.

You will need a drill, or a Phillips head and a flat head screw driver.

I also needed this drill because the "self tapping" screws weren't penetrating the metal can light shell.  I had to pre-drill the holes.

Here is the first screw.

Put on one of the brackets, but don't tighten the screw down yet.  You will need to mark where the other two screws will be placed and you need some play to attach the other center piece before you tighten everything down.

Attach the other two brackets to this piece and mark where to drill your pilot holes for the two other screws.  Here it is with the first bracket loosely attached.

Mark in the can light where the other two screws need to be placed.  Disassemble the piece I have in my hand in the picture above and put the other two screws into the can base.  Add the three brackets but don't tighten them down yet.

Screw the light bulb adapter into the existing can light socket.

Add the center piece and once it's attached, tighten the self tapping screws to hold it in place.  I installed mine upside down compared to the instruction's picture.  It just fit better this way in my light.

Next add the large center screw and feed the black and white wire from the adapter through the center of this screw.

Screw on the the circular plate.  See the two screws coming out of this plate?  They didn't come with the kit.  I added these to secure the light fixture to the ceiling.  At this point you will need to determine how low or high you need to adjust this plate.  You want it low enough to allow the screws to come through the light fixture ceiling plate, but high enough to keep the medallion tight to the ceiling. 

At this point it would be great to have another pair of hands to help hold the lantern while your attaching it.  My husband held the lantern for me while I attached the first lantern. 
Here is the painted ceiling medallion that came with the kit.

See the screw on the left in the picture below.  This is the screw that didn't come with the kit facing down out of the circular plate.  You will need this to secure the light to the ceiling.  The one on the left shows the cover to hide the ugly screw.  These little screw knobs (I don't know what they're called) can be purchased in the lighting parts department at Home Depot or Lowe's.

For the second lantern installation my husband was at work.  I perched a stool on top of my ladder with a beach towel on it to get my lantern high enough to attach the wires.  This allowed me to use both hands to attach the wires.  Black wire to black wire, white wire to white, ground wire to ground ( in this case yellow to thin copper wire).   A little precarious, but it worked.  It would have been really bad if the lantern had fallen off it's "beach towel nest."  A helper is much better for this step.   

I didn't paint the medallion of the first lantern till after it was installed.  I didn't like how stark white it was.  I wouldn't recommend spray painting in the house, but I was too lazy to take the whole thing apart to paint it.

I also didn't like the white candle covers so I painted them black.  I put a string through them for easy painting.  Paint one side and then spin them on the string to paint the other side.

I originally had the third lantern installed in the middle outlet, but it looked weird because it was slightly different than the other two lanterns.  The middle ceiling outlet was already there when we purchased the house so I didn't need a converter kit here.  I'll find a place for the extra lantern somewhere.  I didn't like just two lanterns either because they are spaced too far apart.  For now I hung a candelier in the middle and it's been decked out for Spring.

This room has 10' ceilings.  I hung the lanterns 35" from the island below. Not sure what the recommended height is, but this looked right to me?  My husband and I are tall.  This clearance allows us to work at the island and not bump our heads.  It also is visually about the same height as the hanging pots on the pot rack above the adjacent island.  I will need to live with these awhile and decide if they need cord covers on the chain, maybe more burlap?  It seems like a lot of black chain at the moment.  What do you think?

The lanterns are on a dimmer switch.  More light for homework, art, and sewing projects, less for dinner parties and date nights with the husband.

I spent a little over $100 total for the two lights, spray paint, and recessed can converter kits, not including the extra light that I didn't use yet.

I have more light projects to show you, like I said I've got lights on my brain.

Thanks for checking in.



  1. Wow, I'm impressed! You are so talented, lady!!

    It looks great, and I think burlap would make a nice cord cover.


  2. It looks fantastic Shannon! A girl after my own heart - I grew up in the family real estate business and my father taught all 4 of us girls how to do all kinds of things like this. I have to say that I was always a bit afraid of electrical though. Well done! Keep it up, I am enjoying seeing all your work and decorating skills in action!
    Wishing you a good week,

  3. Thanks Mimi, I learned from my dad too, and sometimes it's scary because I don't want to end up burning the house down! This was a pretty easy job. Thank you!

  4. STUNNING!! I have been on the lantern lookout for awhile myself and went to ReStore to check out their options. They had some good choices, but I wasn't sure about the scale for my space, so I didn't get them. I'm going to keep on shopping after seeing your transformation. So classic and high end - LOVE them!

  5. I love your lanterns! Just read through the last few months of your blog, so happy to add yours to my morning blog routine. Thank you for all our inspiration!

  6. Oh my gosh both of the lights look great! Especially the lanterns- they really look like a PB version! Great job : )

  7. Beautiful! They look amazing in your kitchen.

  8. Gorgeous Kitchen! I wish we had a habitat store here! I've been trying to find lattern lights as well.
    New Follower!

  9. You are seriously one talented lady!

  10. Absolutely gorgeous! The three light are the right amount to balance out the large table.

  11. That looks AMAZING!!! SO in love with the lanterns:))


  12. I featured this last week and am just barely getting around to telling you! sorry! it's fantastic!

  13. I love the idea. It seems so simple, even I can make it.

  14. I love your work!!! thanks for sharing such great ideas - fantastic inspiration.

  15. I love how you painted the medallions. I've seen it a couple of times when they were just left white and it looks horrible!

  16. I love the circular hanging lamp! I have a corner in my LR that needs a light without having to run electrical work. Where did you find the hook for the ceiling and was the light kit that plugged in strong enough to hold the planters or is there a chain also attached? Thanks!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...