My New Office: Lighting & Furniture

One of the next steps in the new office project was lighting. The room didn’t have any, so I installed a ceiling light today.

I hadn’t posted about the furniture yet, which came in a couple of weeks ago. I’ve always wanted a brown leather chair in my office but didn’t have space for it. Now I do. White seemed more fitting.

I also have some top down bottom up blinds ordered, but I won’t get those for weeks because it took forever to get some samples. The air conditioning install starts tomorrow morning, so I’ll be able to move in my desk very soon!

Automated Closet Lighting

After building a rack for my workout shoes a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to tackle another thing about the broom closet that has been bugging me for years. It never had a light! I put together a rough video of the entire process.

I’m really happy with how it turned out, especially since I was able to use parts I had in my electronics collection. The whole thing uses a simple circuit, cost less than $10, and doesn’t require WiFi or any fancy connections. The Working of Transistor as a Switch page on Electronics Hub was a big help. I ended up using a PNP transistor in my circuit without resistors because the LEDs were dimming and I wanted maximum brightness.

3-Way Smart Wi-Fi Switch

Last year I installed a bunch of Lutron Caséta switches and remotes with dimming functionality. At the time I forgot to test the ceiling fan in my bedroom. So when I went to use it this summer, I got this nice surprise (turn up the sound)…

Ceiling fans don’t like dimmer switches. I’d done a little searching here and there for a smart 3-way switch alternative, but hadn’t been able to find anything. Then one day while walking through Home Depot I noticed some Leviton Decora Smart switches. I did some research when I got home and ordered a DW15S-1BZ and a DD0SR-DLZ. No dimmers on these. Installation was easy and I can use the ceiling fan again. Check out the difference.

I will mention a few negatives with this Leviton switches. The “remote” is wired in, unlike the Caséta remote which can be placed anywhere. It costs a bit more as well. The last thing probably won’t be a big deal for anyone, but it seems like the system is using a relay because I can hear it click back and forth from across the room when I trigger the switch. The clicking may not be the best for a baby’s room.

Other than those things, the Leviton switches work well so far. Check them out if you’re looking for a 3-way switch.

Shop Lighting

The lights in my basement were pretty bad. If you’ve watched any of the videos I’ve done in the workshop you’ve probably noticed. The area pictured below was lit by 2 light bulbs.

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Time to fix this so I ordered two sets of 4 LED lights off Amazon. At $20/light I didn’t expect much in terms of quality, but the reviews were solid. They are made with really cheap materials, but function fine. I put 3 of the new lights in this area. Incredible difference!

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Each light has a plug instead of wiring and the cord has a switch built-in, which is really nice. I won’t be stuck with my lighting placements if I change my mind and it’s easy to turn individual lights on and off as needed.

The other area of the shop was almost as bad, with some dark corners. It was lit with 3 of the typical tube lights you find in drop ceilings. Here are before pictures…

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I wanted to remove the drop ceiling while I was at it so I’d get back about 8 inches of vertical space. I made a time-lapse of this part of the project. Over 6 hours of video at 80x speed to get it down to 5 minutes.

I used the other 5 LED lights in this larger area. When I showed pictures to my buddy he said, “Looks like you painted but it’s only lights.” He’s right! I’m really happy with the results.

I’ve already ordered another batch of lights for the laundry room and bathroom, though I’ll be keeping the ceiling in those locations.