Saturday, November 12, 2011

Let There Be (Some) Light

Nearly one year ago, in preparation for putting the roof on our house, Scott and I had to make decisions about exterior and interior light fixtures. It seemed like an odd time in the building schedule to be choosing finishing details, but there was a good reason.

You see, in traditional construction, plumbing and wiring run through the stud walls. Not so with our straw bale house. We wanted no penetrations of any kind through our exterior bale walls. This meant that our electrician needed to run the wiring from the inside floor where they arrived by underground conduit up a post and above the ceiling before we could add roof or walls. (See more in post entitled Roof, Rain and a Looming Deadline.) Hence the unusual timing.

I had no idea choosing lights would be such a time-consuming task. The location of each light was plainly marked on the plans.How difficult could it possibly be? I began collecting piles of timber frame design books. Pouring over every photograph I searched for light fixtures that would illuminate our beautiful tongue-and-groove ceiling and, at the same time, shed plenty of light on activities below. Track lighting appeared to be the principal choice, but it looked too industrial for our tastes. Eventually I put the timber frame books aside and just started turning the pages of Susan Susanka’s Not So Big House books. Every time I saw an appealing fixture, I put a post-it note on it. Soon Scott and I narrowed out options then headed to Thomson Premier Lighting and Appliance Center here in Logan. There, Jeff Thomson helped us find exactly what we wanted.

When Scott was in Torrey in October, he and Trent (our electrician) installed lights and fans in the main living area. This will make it much easier to work inside when we head south again next week.

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