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House lights

We finally had a little time before it got too cold to spend a little time working on the house cosmetics. We have 4 light fixtures on the front of the house, two by the front door and two on either side of the garage and they all have been badly oxidized and cooked by UV. In passing the light fixtures at Lowes one day I noticed that comparable ones to what we currently have run about $30 a piece, too much in my opinion for something that still works just needs some loving. So, a new little DIY project for me to complete before winter set in with a vengeance.
Took all the fixtures down and brought them into the workshop. Thankfully this project came right after the Christmas tricycle so all the paint supplies were all out still.
Dismantled each of the lights; taking out the glass panes and keeping in such an order that each pane would go back into the same light and the same location on that light. Washed all the glass panes using simple-green.
Used a chisel to scrape off the paint that was bubbled up and then cleaned up the fixture using a drill-mounted wire brush and a wire brush for the more detailed areas.
Painted using Rust-Oleum semi-gloss black paint.
Re-assembled with only one glass casualty, which was stupidity on my part. Was able to glue the pane back together and you can barely tell.
Re-mounted on the house and installed green and red bulbs for some added Christmas spirit.
While remounting the light fixtures I did run into a little issue with the house wiring. After mounting the first light, put the bulb in and then was very surprised that when tightening the bulb it turned on and wouldn’t turn off! After taking the fixture off again I noticed that the neutral wire had pulled out of the wire nut and was touched up against the electrical box, turns out that the lights in the garage are switched using the neutral wire and not the hot. Long story short the circuit was completed by the neutral touching the electrical box and bypassing the switch directly to ground.

When I say this I don’t mean that the “white” wire is used at the positive, black remains the positive in this situation but the current loop is broken by the neutral wire back at the switch. Not a very safe method but apparently houses built in the time frame of our house that was a common method. That might turn into another DIY project when the weather turns warmer again.

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