Saturday, 23 July 2016

A Few Good Lights

The kitchen and service balcony lights conked out about a fortnight ago. 

We had been pottering around the kitchen and service balcony in the dark for a while. I actually got used to it except that it would be a challenge to do any cooking.

So William called up an electrician and asked him to come down to fix up lights for these two areas, but I was extremely displeased with the design, or rather, the lack of design, of the lights.

It was a round, mundane-looking ceiling light. 

I told him a grandmother's story,"Once, my friend visited me in the house and she asked,'Eh, why your kitchen light like that one?' I have been waiting for a lifetime to get the lights changed! They are so fugly! I am not going to let you put another ugly light up there!"

He didn't seem to have any choice. 

I Googled for 'nice kitchen lights' and found that Sembawang Lighting House had quite a variety and a few of those lights were what I found interesting. We made a trip down to the small lighting shop the next day.

I adored three lights and could not make up my mind on which two to buy. Incidentally, William wanted a brighter light for the study. An idea struck me,"Coco always complains that her room light is too bright. Why don't you shift her light to the study and we get one more light for her room?"

He agreed after a little consideration. However, he insisted the hanging light I chose was too dim for the girls' room. I argued that they have a study light and the ceiling light hangs directly above Coco's bed so a dim light would do just fine. Furthermore, it would be a 12-watt LED bulb which was quite bright.

After paying for the lights at $75 per unit, my next two days were spent worrying,"Oh dear, did I make the wrong decision? Hanging lights for the kitchen and service balcony? Should I change them for more practical options like the boring ceiling lights? Was I too impulsive? Am I crazy to have pendant lights for kitchen? Even Renotalkers don't have many - actually, only one or two - opting for hanging lights for kitchen or service balcony. Not both. And even then, their hanging lights are much bigger. The ones who fix lights I have chosen put them up at smaller areas like the toilets. Will I regret it? Is it a big mistake to choose these lights?"

I decided to be adventurous for once: At most, let William scold me for my mistake and pay again for boring and practical lights. If I don't try, I'd never know.

The following Monday, the electricians turned up as promised and these were the arrangements:
Geometric light (9 watt) for the kitchen
Triangle light (9 watt) for the service balcony
Square light (12 watt) for the girls' room. Baby made the choice and Coco had no objection.

William's worry that the 12-watt light would be too dim for the girls' room proves to be unfounded. It is just nice, a comfortable reduction from their original 22 megawatt LED ceiling light. It turns out that LED lights are a few times stronger or brighter than their non-LED counterparts with similar wattage eg. a 9-watt LED bulb produces the same brightness as a 60-watt incandescent bulb.

The kitchen and balcony lights are more than sufficient to illuminate the smaller areas. 

I also learnt a new thing: The nearer the lights are to the ceiling, the brighter they are. The theory works well with me as I didn't want the cords to be too long either.

The result: Everybody is pleased with the lights!

I'll worry about the part on cleaning later.

Charges for light installation ($80):
- $35 for fixing the first light and $10 for the two subsequent lights
- $12 for moving and fixing a light from the girls' room to the study
- I topped up $13 for them to patch up three holes that the lights were not able to cover

The Malaysian electricians seemed pleasant and experienced so I got a namecard from the main guy. Will look for them if I need their service again.

All in all, William spent $305 on the lights and installation. Not sure if it was too exorbitant a price he paid but we did not have the luxury of time to get them off Taobao, with the shipping time and all. William would not have trusted anything electrical from Taobao either.

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