Mid-Century Modern design is a trend that is sweeping the design world by storm. While researching lighting options for Millie’s Remodel, I curated a list of possible light fixtures. Here are some of my favorite mid-century modern lighting options.


Mid-Century Modern Lighting Options for Millie’s Remodel

Mid-Century Modern design style is filled with sleek lines, golds, wood tones, and shapes reminiscent of galactic constellations. While looking for lighting options for the Millie’s Remodel house, I spent a fair amount of time curating lighting to fit with the modern style. Luckily I found a fair amount of light options and a few ceiling fans that would look perfect in any mid-century modern house.

Disclosure: Kichler Lighting is a Millie’s Remodel gold sponsor. I was provided with complimentary fixtures for the house. 

Mid-Century Chandeliers

Chandeliers are often the focal point in a room and for good reason. Typically they are larger in size, elegance, and number of light bulbs than other fixtures in the home. Why not steal the show with one of these mid-century modern style chandeliers?

Aura 7 Light Chrome Chandelier | Pim 6 Light Oval Chandelier | Cirus Wood Pendant Style Chandelier | Eris 8 Light Nickel Chandelier | Branches 7 Light Chandelier | Linara 6 Light Black Shade Chandelier | Armstrong 8 Light Chandelier | Trentino 9 Light Chandelier | Alden 6 Light Chandelier | Maclain Brass Shade Light

 

Mid-Century Modern Pendant Lights

Pendant lights might be my favorite light fixtures after chandeliers. With their smaller size, pendants can fit perfectly over a sink, paired in a set of two on either side of a mirror, or in groupings over an island or bar. These are some great options for Mid-Century Modern pendant lights.

Mid-Century Modern Pendant Lights

Kordan Matte Black Hourglass Pendant | Elias 14″ Black Penant Light | Alscar 4 Light Foyer Pendant | Taubert 3 Light Foyer Pendant | Rocklyn Hexahedron Pendant | Antonia 1 Light Chrome LED Pendant | 1 Light Undulating Line Bronze Pendant | Maclain Brass Pendant Light | Sorno Mini Gold Pendant Light

 

Mid-Century Modern Ceiling Lights

When you have low ceilings, flush mount and semi-flush mount light fixtures are a necessity. Meet a whole crop of beautiful mid-century modern inspired ceiling lights.

Mid-Century Modern Flush and Semi-Flush Mount Ceiling Lights

Trentino 4 Light Brass Lights | Alscar 4 Light Semi-Flush Light | Taubert 4 Light Square Light | Alton Flush Mount Light | Sylvia Brass Rail Light | Sorno 3 Light Semi-Flush Mount | Beckenham 2 Light Chrome Cube Light | Armstrong 3 Light Brass Flush Mount Light

Mid-Century Modern Wall-Mounted Lights & Sconces

Bathrooms are the primary location for wall-mounted lights, but look close for other opportunities to use wall-mounted lights. Sconces are right at home on either side of a window, doorway, or to add lighting on a staircase. Regardless of where you want to install them, here are some great options for mid-century modern wall-mount lights.

Mid Century Modern Wall Mounted Sconce Lights

Alden Brass 1 Light Sconce | Indeco Linear Bar | Jasper 3 Light Bath Light | Linara Black Wall Sconce | Armstrong Brass 2 Light Sconce | Kordan 2 Light Wall Sconce | Charter Black Sculpture Wall Sconce | Pim 1 Light Gold Wall Sconce | Beryl 3 Light Vanity Light

 

Mid-Century Modern Ceiling Fans

Those of us that live in warmer climates know sometimes you need a ceiling fan paired with your light. There’s nothing like a hot and humid evening to encourage some airflow over your skin to cool off. Below are several sources for ceiling fans that pair nicely with mid-century modern furniture and fixures.

mid-century ceiling fan options

Bisc LED Fan Polished Nickel & Black Fan |Lucian 52″ LED Old Bronze Fan | Ridley II 52″ Brass & Wood Fan | Flyy LED 60″ Fan Olde Bronze | Jace 60″ Walnut Fan | ArkWright Customizable Fan Motor | Incus 56″ Bronze & Brass Fan | Zenith 60″ Polished Nickel & Black Fan

 

Are you embracing the mid-century modern design trend? I’d love to hear which are your favorites.

Disclosure: Kichler Lighting is a Millie’s Remodel gold sponsor. I was provided with complimentary fixtures for the house. 

3 Ways to Shorten Light Fixtures for Low Ceilings

Hey all, do you have eight foot ceilings or lower? Have you lamented the fact that the light fixtures you love will be too tall for your height-challenged ceilings? Well put that light fixture back in your cart because I’m here today to show you how to make light fixtures work for your low ceilings with 3 Ways to Shorten Light Fixtures for Low Ceilings.

I may only be 5’6″ tall, but my brother-in-law is 6’4″ and my own brothers are both well above six feet tall. Recently my brother-in-law was visiting and he hit his head on our foyer light. He told me it’s an annual occurrence. I was mortified he never told me he hits his head every time he visits! Immediately I got to work shortening the light fixture.

I measured the light and then raised it an inch taller than his height.

Ways to Shorten Light Fixtures

At the same time, I had been contemplating changing our mudroom light fixtures. I was growing tired of them and wanted something that would cast more light in the room. I found the perfect pendant lights, but knew I’d have to alter them to make them shorter for our low ceilings.

To shorten light fixtures, you’ll need a few supplies.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Optional:

Solution 1: Contact the Manufacturer

To shorten a light fixture, you can contact the manufacturer and ask if they can provide you with a shorter down rod or parts to assist you with reducing the height of the fixture. For the Kichler Pendant light I purchased, the customer service rep was able to locate a shorter down rod,  a threaded loop, and a chain which allowed me options for shortening the fixture.

down rod lengths

Solution 2: Use Chain instead of a Down Rod

Your second option for shortening a light fixture is to use a chain and remove links until you achieve the desired height.

If your light fixture doesn’t come with a chain, you can purchase some in a variety of finishes at your home improvement store.

Did you know removing links can be done easily by using two screwdrivers or pliers and a screwdriver to push in opposite directions against the inside of a link to open it up.

To close the links, use the pliers to squeeze the link ends back together. After your chain is the appropriate length, feed the wires through the links and the threaded loop in your light fixture.

Solution 3: Make Your Own Connector

Occasionally a light fixture may still be too tall (or your ceilings too low) and you may need to remove the chain or down rod all together and make your own connector.

First measure the finished height you want your fixture to be. Remove the chain and/or down rod. Feed the excess wire through the threaded loop. Attach the light fixture directly to the threaded loop with a quick link, or you can use heavy gauge wire to create your own link. (Watch the video below to see how.)

Hopefully one of those 3 Ways to Shorten Light Fixtures for Low Ceilings will work for you. Let me know if you found this tutorial helpful!

If you want more details on how to install a pendant light, I have several tutorials in my Electrical category.

Or you might find one of these tutorials helpful:

3 Ways to Shorten Light Fixtures

How to Install a Wired Pendant Light

 

Convert a Recessed Light to Accept a Hardwire Fixture | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Install a Hard-Wired Pendant in a Recessed Can Light

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

Saving Etta: Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

About that Saving Etta laundry room, did you get a peek last week? If you missed it, I showed you how I installed the cement tile floor. We can all agree, the star of the laundry room is the floor. But, there’s another star in this room that’s hard to show in pictures. It’s this little guy:

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

That, my friends, is a Decora motion sensor in-wall switch from Leviton (one of the proud Saving Etta sponsors.) And it works automagically! When you walk in the room, the light comes on. Then it shuts off after a predetermined amount of time (choose between 30 seconds, 5 minutes, 15 minute, or 30 minutes for the time-out period.)

Before I tell you more about this fabulous no hands light switch, I need to give you the full details about the laundry room and discuss something I would definitely do differently next time.

Saving Etta: Laundry Room Update

After the cement floor tiles were installed, I had to cover them up with Builder Board from Surface Shields to protect them. The small area covered was protected, but I should have covered the entire floor because my mechanical subcontractors were the messiest bunch of guys I’ve ever met. Every time they came into the house I had to follow them around cleaning up mud and dirt. Plus, I lost track of the number of fingerprints they left on the walls. Seriously, it was like following children who had just played all afternoon in the mud.

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

To make matters worse, they didn’t share my eye for aesthetically pleasing mechanics.

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

Avert your eyes from the giant hole in the ceiling and look at the water heater vent pipe. Did you count all the sections?

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

One, two, three, four sections. What the fizz?! When I called my mechanical contractor, I told him this looked like a preschooler installed it. In all fairness, it would have passed the inspections, but I hated how it looked. Instead of letting them monkey around more, I took matters into my own hands and ran to Ferguson to purchase one vent pipe. It looks much better, right?

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

I’m sure you are wondering about the giant hole in the ceiling — it’s for make up air. This is required when you have a gas appliance in an enclosed room. The codes want to make sure that gas can’t build up in the room. I had already installed a built-in vent over the door, but the inspector wanted more. We added make up air in the floor. (You can see it in the picture below. It’s the hole in the floor on the left. And it eventually got a floor vent cover.)

Installed Avington Cement Tiles from TheBuilderDepot.com

But, the inspector still wanted more make up air. My mechanical contractor suggested cutting holes in the wall into the kitchen, but I said “No way!” Ultimately, the best (and least unattractive) solution was a ceiling vent which eventually got a round diffuser placed over it.

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

It felt like the issues around the gas water heater were never ending. One of the inspections noted where there wasn’t enough clearance between the vent pipe and the framing. It was easily fixed, but between this and all the makeup air required for the gas water heater, I have vowed to go tankless next time. In the next flip, I’ll listen to my plumber’s suggestion to install a tankless water heater. It will cost more, but will look a lot better and not have as many issues during installation. A tankless water heater will still need to be vented, but it can be vented out the wall instead of the roof.

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

Live and learn, right? Regardless, the laundry room is still a show stopper with the cement tiles and room for a side-by-side washer and dryer. (Most of the houses in the downtown area only have room for a stackable washer and dryer.)

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

How to Install a Hands Free Light Switch

Now, onto the one affordable upgrade I will make again and again! The Leviton motion sensor switch is a wonderful addition to a laundry room or other areas in your home where you frequently have your hands full carrying things such as laundry or groceries. Or you might be carrying something so filthy you don’t want to touch the light switch. As soon as the door is opened (or someone walks into this room) the sensor detects your presence and turns the light on. It will also automatically turn the lights off, saving you frustration and money in rooms where lights are frequently left on.

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

The Leviton Decora Motion Sensor is set to turn off after 15 minutes when no motion is detected, but you can set the device to turn the lights off at 30 seconds, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes. The motion sensor can also be tweaked to detect motion in a certain range from the sensor.

You’ll definitely want one in your house, so here’s the video tutorial to learn how to install a Leviton Decora Motion Sensor switch:

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

Before installing the motion sensor, turn off the power at the circuit breaker to your switch. Using a voltage tester, make sure the power is off.

Disclaimer: Always use caution when working with electricity. Follow the instructions provided with your device. Do not attempt to make changes to your home’s electrical system without prior electrical experience and knowledge of your area’s electrical codes. Contact a licensed electrician if you have any questions. Pretty Handy Girl can not be held responsible for personal injury or harm.

  1. Remove the Leviton Decora Motion Sensor from the package and read the instructions.
  2.  Look at your wiring, you should have a ground wire (bare or copper), a neutral wire (white), a line wire (this is the live wire that’s usually black), and a load wire (sometimes it’s also black and sometimes red.) The line wire is the wire that carries the electrical current from the circuit breaker to the switch. The load wire carries the power from the switch to the light fixture.
  3. Strip ⅝” of the insulation off the wires. You don’t need to bend your wires into shepherds hooks, the wires can be inserted straight under the screws on the Leviton Motion Sensor.
  4. Always connect the ground wire first. 
  5. The neutral wires should be connected to each other not the sensor.
  6. Next connect the load wire to the black terminal.
  7. Finally connect the line wire to the red terminal.
  8. Gently fold and tuck the wires into the wall box. Make sure the word TOP is facing up on your sensor.
  9. Drive the screws into the top and bottom of the motion sensor.
  10. Turn the power back on and test your motion sensor. If it works, great!
  11. Follow the instructions to make any adjustments to the length of time the lights stay on and the motion sensing field.  
  12. Attach the cover to the motion sensor.

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

Enjoy hands free control of your lights with the Leviton Decora Motion Sensor

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

You can also install the motion sensor in a room where little kids like to play but aren’t good about turning out those lights. Or in that dark room where you always fumble for the light switch.

What about you, where would you install a motion sensor light switch?

Laundry Room Update and a No Hands Light Switch

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Leviton. I was compensated for my time and efforts to promote the Leviton Residential products. However, all ideas and opinions are my own. I will always let you know when you are reading a sponsored post. You should also note that I’m very particular about the brands I work with.

 If you haven’t done so already, be sure to *subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

*My followers on YouTube get sneak peeks of some of the projects I’m working on, so subscribe today!

Want more automation in your home? You’ll definitely want to check out these tutorials:

How to Install Smart Dimmer Switches

How to Install Smart Dimmer Switches

 

How to Install USB Charging Outlets

How to Install a USB Charging Outlet

Learn how you can make simple electrical upgrades to your home. Today I’ll show you how to install an outlet that charges your USB devices and powers your appliances at the same time.

How to Install USB Charging Outlets

How to Install a USB Charging Outlet

I’m so excited to share this tutorial with you. Anyone who has a tablet, mobile phone, or other USB connected device will love this tutorial! How many times have you combed through your house for the plug to the cord for your device? I think I lost count how many times those little square plugs have eluded me. But, today they can stay hidden forever! I don’t need them now that I discovered How Easy it is to Install a USB Charging Outlet! As one of the Saving Etta sponsors, Leviton sent me several USB charging outlets to install in the house. (Spoiler Alert: I’ll be sharing some photos of the finished Saving Etta project. If you want to wait for the progress posts, go ahead and avert your eyes.) My electrician and I installed the outlets in strategic places where the homeowners would likely want to charge their USB devices.

Each bedroom received at least two outlets on either side of where a bed might be positioned.

usb charging outlet next to bedside table in master bedroom

The kitchen has a few on the counters…

white usb charging outlet on white subway wall open shelving

…and one in the island (in a matching gray color.)

gray usb charging outlet in gray island cabinets

The upstairs bedroom has a few more, especially under the little built-in desk between the closets. This is the perfect spot to sit and work while enjoying the view out the window.

vintage typewriter on desk by window between closets

Are you ready to learn how to install your own Leviton USB Charging Outlet in your home? It’s easy and takes about ten minutes to complete. Grab these few tools and let’s get busy.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

materials for installing outlets

Required Safety Instruction:

Turn off the power to the outlet you are working on. Check the outlet with a voltage tester. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend putting a night light or light in the outlet and turn it on. Then shut off the circuit at your circuit breaker and check to see that the light has gone out.

How to Repair Your Dishwasher - Control Panel Replacement

Ok, now that you have all of your materials and the power is off, you’re ready to go. To see how to install this USB charging outlet watch this step-by-step video tutorial below. It also shows you how to install the outlet it if you are starting with a new construction junction box.

If you need to remove your old outlet, you can follow the directions in this post on replacing an ugly old outlet.

Now that you are finished, aren’t you feeling proud of yourself? Taking on a simple electrical project like swapping out an outlet is super simple. I hope you’re motivated to make more electrical upgrades in your home!

For example, why not learn how to install a smart dimmer switch you can control with your phone or with a voice-activated device like Alexa or Google Home!

How to Install Smart Dimmer Switches

Gotta run now, I’m still finishing up some last punch list items at the Saving Etta house. While I work, it’s been nice having the ability to plug in my phone to charge while listening to my Pandora stations!

iphone charging by bedside usb charging outlet

Visit the Leviton website for more information, installation instructions, and where to buy devices from Leviton’s residential product family.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Leviton. I was compensated for my time and efforts to promote the Leviton Residential products. However, all ideas and opinions are my own. I will always let you know when you are reading a sponsored post. You should also note that I’m very particular about the brands I work with.

Do you have those old discolored recessed can lights in your home that use big hot flood bulbs? If so, it’s time for an upgrade!

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED
How to Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED Lights

Today I want to show you how to update ugly recessed can lights with energy saving LED recessed lights. This process is quick and easy, not to mention the new lights will look better, last longer, and save you money on your energy bill! What more could you want? Change out all your ugly recessed lights in no time by following this simple tutorial.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

Here is what my old lights look like. Not only are they ugly, but they use the large flood light bulbs that use too much energy, radiate heat, and burn out quickly. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of changing these burned out bulbs.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Want to see how quickly you can change out your lights? Here’s a one minute video (that’s how fast you can do it):

The first step to replacing these recessed lights is to remove the light bulb by simply unscrewing it from the socket. Unless you’re extraordinarily tall, you’ll probably need a step ladder for this project.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Next, find two small springs inside the baffle, as shown in photo below. They look like a wire with a loop in the center. Pull up and out on the springs to release the baffle inside your can light.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Remove the trim by simply pulling it off the ceiling.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Grab your new retrofit LED recessed light and screw the adapter into the light bulb socket, exactly as you would screw in a light bulb. It’s that easy!

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Inside the opening, find two metal clips. Squeeze the spring hinges on your LED light and insert them into the clips inside the old recessed can. These will hold the light in place.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Finally, gently push your light up into the ceiling. Believe it or not, you’re done!

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Now you have a beautiful, white, and energy-efficient LED recessed light. Take some time to admire it.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Now you can easily change out all the can lights in the room and voila, your lighting is upgraded! This is such a quick, easy, and inexpensive project. There is no point in putting it off any longer.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to share any questions or thoughts in the comment section below. Thank you for reading!

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Liked this project? I know you’ll love these other lighting upgrades:

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Change Out a Dated Hollywood Strip Light

 

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

How to Convert a Recessed Can Light to Accept a Hard-Wired Light

Learning how to install smart dimmer switches is one of those DIY skills that will improve your home and make life easier for you.

How to Install Smart Dimmer Switches

How to Install Leviton’s Decora Smart Dimmer Switches

I’ve resisted installing a lot of smart technology in my home. Basically I’m normally a no frills girl and am happy to function with low-tech appliances and light switches. But, one evening as my husband and I went through our usual routine of settling into the sofa to watch Netflix, I changed my mind.

Here’s how our Netflix evenings usually start:

Handsome Guy: “Ready to watch?”
Me: “Yes, just a minute, I want to grab a drink.”
Handsome Guy: “Ready now?”
Me: “Yes, go ahead and get the show started.”
I finally sink down into the couch.
Me: “Ugh, I forgot to turn off the light. Would you mind getting it?”
Handsome Guy: “I guess not.”
Handsome guy walks across the room and turns off the lights then returns to start the movie.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times this happens. (Probably 99% of the time we sit down to enjoy a show.) But, when Leviton approached me about sharing the convenience of their Decora Smart products, my wheels began to turn. With the My Leviton app, I would be able to control the lights from my phone! Better yet, I can enable the smart home skills on our Amazon Echo and be able to control the lights with my voice. (The Leviton Decora Smart products also work with Google Assistant, Works with Nest, IFTTT (if this, then that) and of course Alexa.) Also, I liked the ability to set up schedules for the Decora Smart products (imagine a smart plug for your coffee maker so you can start brewing coffee the minute you wake up while your head is still on the pillow! Or set a schedule to turn your lights on and off when you are on vacation.) For those of us who are old school, the light switches always work like regular light switches: push them to turn on/off or to dim/brighten.

After learning all this, I decided it would be a great addition to our living room to end the need to jump up and turn off the lights before movie night.

How Easy Are The Decora Smart Switches to Install?

If you’ve ever wired an outlet or a light switch, you are capable of installing a smart dimmer switch. They are very straight forward and easy to install (if you have the proper wiring.) If you don’t, you might need to contact a licensed electrician to prepare your junction box to accept the dimmer switch. The Decora Smart Dimmer switches must be installed onto ground, neutral, load, and line wires.

Unfortunately for me, my box was not wired correctly. Luckily my favorite electrician is only a phone call away. He was able to talk me through a few changes I needed to make to the wiring.

How to Install the Decora Smart Switches:

Ready to learn how to install your own smart dimmer switches? You too can control your lights from your phone, your voice, and set up an away schedule for your lights. Watch this short video to learn how to install the Decora Smart Switches and enjoy the brief re-enactment of family movie night ;-).

Smart Dimmer Switches Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

materials for electrical work

Required Safety Instruction:
Always turn off the power to the fixture you are working on. It’s helpful to turn your lights on and then locate the circuit breaker to shut off the power to your lights. When your lights go out, you know you found the correct switch. For safety, double check the wires with a voltage tester to make sure the power has been turned off.

turn off circuit breaker test power

Smart Dimmer Switches Instructions:

Remove your Leviton Decora Smart dimmer switch from the packaging.

Leviton decora smart dimmer in packaging

Familiarize yourself with the terminal screws on the sides of the switch.

screw colors and meanings on decora smart dimmer switch

Your junction box should have wires to connect to all four terminals. If you have a three way switch, please follow the installation instructions provided by Leviton.

Wiring Your Dimmer Switch:

Use either a shepherd’s hook or straight wire ends to make your connections. The hook will slide under the terminal screws. A straight end will insert under the metal plate beneath the terminal screw.

If you are having trouble finding the “Line” wire, turn the power back on and use your voltage tester to determine which wire is carrying power. Turn the power off before proceeding.

Testing wires with voltage tester

Follow the wiring order below:

wiring up the decora smart switch

Turn the power on to your switch. Test the switch to see if it turns on your light.

test dimmer switch installed properly

If it doesn’t work, turn off the power and check for loose connections. If it works, turn the power off and secure the switch to the junction box and attach the switch plate cover.

add switch plate covers

Turn the power back on to your light. Download the My Leviton app and follow the instructions to connect to your light switch. (Feel free to remove the stickers from the switches so you can amaze your friends when you can control them “magically.” Or leave the stickers on so your friends can admire how SMART your home is!)

download my leviton app to control lights

Now that I’ve installed these smart dimmers, I’m plotting other spots in my home to use them. They are seriously that cool! I’ll also be adding some more of the Leviton products into the Saving Etta house and I can’t wait to show those to you.

Smart Dimmer Switches

Where could you use a Decora Smart dimmer in your home? Visit the Leviton website for more information, installation instructions, and where to buy devices from Leviton’s Decora Smart product family.

Smart Dimmer Switches

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Leviton. I was compensated for my time and efforts to promote the Leviton Decora Smart products. However, all ideas and opinions are my own. I will always let you know when you are reading a sponsored post. You should also note that I’m very particular about the brands I work with.

Did you like this smart home switch? Yes?! I know you’ll love learning how to install this motion sensor switch next:

Or try installing one of these USB charging outlets and never look for your charging plug again!

How to Install USB Charging Outlets

 

How to Install Video Doorbell CameraHow to Install a Video Doorbell

Do you want to install a video doorbell at your house so you can keep tabs on who’s at the door? You may be one of many who want to see who comes to the door when you aren’t home (or even when you are but don’t feel like venturing down to the door in a bath towel! Has that happened to you, too?) With the rise of package thefts, installing a video doorbell camera seems like a good idea to prevent thefts or at least capture a thief on camera. Before Christmas, I decided to install the NuTone Knock Smart Video Doorbell Camera by our front doors.

double lime green front door with Christmas wreaths

NuTone recently released the NuTone Knock Smart Video Doorbell Camera and asked if I’d like to try it out. At first I was hesitant because I thought it would be difficult to install. But, I discovered the installation of the NuTone Knock was fairly straightforward. (Although I did run into one issue with my existing doorbell’s transformer being too weak. But, I’ll explain more on this later.)

You should know this tutorial is sponsored by NuTone, but I wanted to give the NuTone Knock a good test run for several months before giving my honest opinion. This time also allowed me to tweak the settings to achieve a balance of alerts and monitoring that was comfortable for me. (Getting alerts at 3 am because a moth landed near the camera is not my personal preference.)

Lucky for you, I’ll share a tutorial for installing the NuTone Knock and let you peek at the settings I found best for us.

Are you ready to see how easy it is to install your own video doorbell camera? Let’s get your new doorbell installed!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Optional: 

Instructions:

Begin by identifying the circuit providing power to your doorbell. Test the doorbell to make sure the chime rings, then turn off the circuit. Test your doorbell to verify there is no chime (meaning the power is turned off.)

How to Repair Your Dishwasher - Control Panel Replacement

Unscrew the old doorbell button from the wall.

remove old doorbell

To be safe, you may want to verify that the power is off to the doorbell by using a voltage meter.

test power to doorbell

Loosen the terminal screws from the back of the doorbell button and remove the button.

Remove old doorbell

Following the installation instructions that are provided with your video doorbell camera, bend the two ends of one of the diodes (shipped with the NuTone Knock) using needle-nose pliers.

bend diode ends

Remove the cover from the doorbell chime box.

remove doorbell chime cover

Unscrew the wire terminal screws and install the diode between the transformer and the front terminals (this is the set up for the front door location.) Tighten the terminal screws onto the diode and the doorbell wiring.

Install diode

Thread the doorbell wires through the NuTone Knock mounting plate and secure with one screw.

install NuTone Knock mounting bracket

Level the mounting plate. . .

level mounting bracket

. . . and then secure with the second screw.

Remove the NuTone video doorbell from the box. Strip 1/2 inch of the insulation from the wires.

strip wires

Connect the wiring from the Nutone Knock to the house wiring using the provided weather resistant wire connectors. Squeeze the connectors tight using pliers.

Crimp wires in weatherproof connectors

For additional protection (and to prevent the wiring from coming loose) secure some electrical tape over the connections.

optional: add electrical tape

Gently press the wiring into the house.

tuck wires into house

Slide the NuTone Knock Smart Video Doorbell Camera down to seat it into the mounting bracket.

Set video doorbell into mounting bracket

Turn the circuit breaker on for your doorbell. The red light will display because your video doorbell still needs to be set up.

Setting Up the NuTone Knock Smart Video Doorbell Camera:

Download the NuTone Knock app on your smart phone.

Set up NuTone Smart Video Doorbell Camera

Follow the instructions in the app to connect your video doorbell to wifi.

smart video doorbell camera NuTone app display

When your Knock video doorbell is connected correctly, the light will turn green. Familiarize yourself with the app and the Knock’s settings. Test the doorbell to make sure it sets off both an alert on your phone and the doorbell chimes in your home.

Green Light means NuTone Knock is working

Troubleshooting:

Does your new Knock Smart Video Doorbell Camera work properly? After testing the doorbell, I discovered that my phone was alerted with a doorbell sound, but my home doorbell chimes didn’t ring. This was an issue because if we had a sitter or my sons were home alone, they wouldn’t know the doorbell was rung.

After contacting NuTone customer service, they offered a few things to try, but ultimately we determined I needed a stronger transformer. Simple solution, but how do you find the doorbell transformer (let alone replace it?)

Luckily my electrician has a lot of experience with finding doorbell transformers in our neighborhood. He told me most of the time you can find it mounted to the top of a crawlspace light.

finding doorbell transformer on crawlspace light

And, he was correct! If your doorbell transformer isn’t located on top of a light, try tracing the wiring (usually small low voltage wire) from your doorbell button to the chimes and ultimately to the transformer.

Replacing the Doorbell Transformer:

To change your transformer, you must turn off the power to the doorbell. Remove the old transformer. Replace it with a stronger transformer (this is the one I installed), taking care to wire the new transformer in the same order the old one was wired.

As you can see from the picture below, the new transformer is larger and strong enough to power the doorbell camera, the chimes, and a second NuTone Knock video doorbell (should I choose to install one at our side door.)

changing doorbell transformer

The NuTone Knock Mobile Phone App:

You’ll need to allow time to become familiar with the NuTone app. I also found it takes some time to adjust the settings to eliminate false alerts.

captured doorbell ring photo

When the doorbell button is depressed, you will receive an alert on your smart phone. At that time you can answer the ring to see and talk to the person at your doorstep. Regardless of whether you answer the ring or not, a video will be recorded.

When the app senses motion or heat, you will get an alert and again a video will be recorded.

What if someone comes to your door and knocks instead? The app will let you access the live view anytime you like (regardless if the button is pushed on the doorbell or not.) The live view feature allows you to see at any time.

NuTone Knock video and picture options

For the first month, I reviewed each motion notification. It took a while for me to figure out that the majority of the motion alerts were being set off by my neighbor’s auto headlights (as they pulled into their driveway) and our house lights when they turned off in the morning. The Knock was translating the change in light to a motion detection.

car lights setting off motion detection

I turned the motion detection sensitivity down to see if that would eliminate these false alerts.

set motion and heat settings

I also suspected that the plants around the front door and our flag might be setting off the alert. Therefore, I turned off motion detection in all quadrants but the few that a person would have to enter when stepping up to our front door.

set motion areas

The false alerts continued to happen as my neighbor’s came home at night or when our house lights turned off in the morning. (Although, the camera did catch a cute bunny rabbit hanging out on our front sidewalk one early morning.) Ultimately, I turned off the motion detection and set the heat sensor to medium. So far this seems to be the best setting to eliminate false alerts.

The Knock has the option to subscribe to cloud recording of all motion and ring events. This service costs $3 per month or $30 annual fee.

NuTone Knock cloud recording options

I am thrilled to be able to see activity and visitors who come to our door. It gives me piece of mind and lets me ignore those pesky door-to-door salespeople (especially when I’ve just stepped out of the shower).

If you are looking for the ability to view and record who is at your door, you will like the NuTone Knock. Just be willing to play with the settings for a few weeks until you reach a happy medium.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for NuTone. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own. I was compensated for my time and efforts to create this tutorial. As always, I am very particular about the brands I represent and you will always be notified when you are reading a sponsored post on PrettyHandyGirl.com.

If you like this tutorial, you’ll also like:

How to Install a Motion Sensor Light

How to Install an Exterior Security Light | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Repair a Dishwasher: Control Panel

The holidays are here and your kitchen will surely be getting a work out! Now is NOT the time for your dishwasher to break. Recently we found ourselves with a non-functional dishwasher. The control panel buttons stopped working and nothing I did would start it working again. You may recall that I fixed our grill igniter a few months ago by ordering the parts from Sears Parts Direct. As smoothly as that repair went, I knew exactly where to turn to order parts for our dishwasher. Once again I’ve partnered with Sears Parts Direct to bring you this tutorial for Repairing Your Dishwasher – Replacing the Control Panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher - Control Panel Replacement

Before we start, let’s talk real quick about how much you think it would cost to hire a repairman to come fix your dishwasher. If the average appliance repair person charges $75 per hour, the initial diagnosis visit fee would be $75. When the repair person diagnoses the issue as the control panel, he or she will have to order the part and come back a second time. Automatically you are in for $150 for the two visits. Now, factor in the cost of the part ($125 – $200 depending on any mark up that may be added.) In the end you are looking at repair costs in the range of $300 or more.

At this point many homeowners will make the decision to buy a new dishwasher instead of paying $300. But, what if I told you that you can repair your own dishwasher for only the cost of the part?  You are probably excited to hear that, and are ready to get fixin’.

Diagnosing the Problem:

To diagnose the problem, visit the Sears Parts Direct Repair Center and answer a few questions about your dishwasher problems. You can also view these 5 Easy Dishwasher repairs to see if the symptoms match your problem. You may end up with a few suggested fixes, but hopefully you can narrow down the issue with some logic. For our dishwasher, I knew it was likely a control panel problem since the buttons had been acting up a few weeks before it stopped working all together.

To order the part for your dishwasher, locate the model number. (Hint: It’s usually located inside the door.) If you have any problems locating the model number, Sears Parts Direct has some recommendations. Write down the model number and head over to Sears Parts Direct to order your part.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

After entering the model number, you’ll get a list of parts for your dishwasher. Locate the control panel and order it. The panel will usually arrive in a week. Hopefully you can suffer through hand washing dishes for a few days. (Don’t complain too much, I suffered through it for 4 months when we were without a kitchen.)

How to Replace Your Dishwasher Control Panel:

Preparation: Hooray, you have the part in hand. Now send the spouse away with the kids and tell them you need complete concentration for 2 hours while you repair your dishwasher! (Truth: It’s going to take you less than 10 minutes! So enjoy the rest of your hour and 50 minutes by binge watching Grace & Frankie on Netflix.)

Materials:

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Instructions:

Always start by turning off the circuit breaker for your dishwasher.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Open your dishwasher and locate the torx screws securing the door panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Remove the screws using a torx head screwdriver. Place the screws in a cup or bowl to prevent from losing them. (Yes, I started a timer to show you how long this repair will actually take.)

How to Repair a Dishwasher

For simplicity, you may be able to remove only the control panel and set it on a stool while keeping all the parts wired.

Remove the door latch wiring by lifting it off one side at a time.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Use a flathead screwdriver to gently release the electronic control board.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Lift the control board off the control panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Gently disconnect the control board from the control panel by sliding off the ribbon wiring.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

You might need to wiggle it back and forth a few time to release.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Check for any other parts that need to be removed from the control panel (like the handle) and remove them.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Set the new control panel in place of the old panel on the stool.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Work in the reverse order of the parts removed. Add the handle onto the new control panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Attach the ribbon wiring from the new control panel to the electronic control board.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Press the control board into place in the new control panel.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Reset the door latch wiring in place.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Set the new control panel onto the door.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Drive the torx screws in place to secure the new control panel. And, BADABOOM, you are done! Let’s check that timer please: 8 minutes and 37 seconds!

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Go ahead and turn the power back on for your dishwasher.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Check the buttons to see if it works. YES! We have a working dishwasher again.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Didn’t that take a lot less time than you originally thought? Plus you are richer because you didn’t have to pay a repair person or replace your dishwasher! What are you going to do with that money you saved? Why not go ahead and buy yourself that present you really want.

Now that your dishwasher is working, did you know there is a right way to load your dishwasher? Or that there are items you should NEVER wash in your dishwasher?

If you haven’t already, you really need to check out SearsPartsDirect.com to find that part to fix all your broken appliances and more! Follow Sears Parts Direct on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube to see a variety of repair articles and videos.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

I’m ready for the holiday baking rush now that our dishwasher is working, how about you? I’m also feeling relieved knowing that when my Mom visits for Christmas, she won’t feel guilty about our broken dishwasher and try to wash all our dishes by hand. Moms will always be moms, won’t they?!

Have a Happy Holiday y’all! I’m off to clean the baseboards around our dishwasher. I’m so embarrassed to see dirt and dog hair in that photo above. Ack!

Save your friends $$$ on dishwasher repairs by pinning this image:

How to Repair a Dishwasher

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Sears Parts Direct. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own. I was compensated for my time and efforts to create this tutorial. I am very particular about the brands I represent. Because I value your trust, you will always be notified when you are reading a sponsored post on PrettyHandyGirl.com.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House

Warm Solution for a Cold Room

I’m excited to share this solution with anyone who has a cold room in their home. Sometimes a room may be cold because it lacks a heating duct, is missing insulation, or is on a concrete slab. Whatever the reason, today I’m going to share with you a Warm Solution for that Cold Room in your house.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House bathroom

My friend Beth has a bathroom in her home that no one (including guests) want to use. Unfortunately, I experienced the shock of using this bathroom once before and vowed never again. The half bathroom, added onto their home, has always felt like an ice box in the winter. And as you know, a cold bathroom means a cold toilet seat. Need I say more?

Beth had accepted the fact that she couldn’t do anything about her frigid bathroom without tearing down all the drywall or adding a vent (which would be messy and costly solutions). Then I discovered these wall heaters from Broan. Being that I am a Broan-NuTone influencer, I reached out to Broan to find out if I could get a complimentary heater for Beth’s bathroom. Of course, they felt for Beth’s situation and gladly agreed to send me the Broan 170 Wall Heater.

Notes: A few notes about installing a wall heater. View the available heater options from Broan. The heater you need will depend on several factors. Contact Broan’s customer service department for assistance selecting a heater that is right for you. This tutorial is strictly for informational purposes. You need a licensed electrician to install the heater. You may need to pull a permit when adding a supplemental heater to your home. Check with your local building and permit office to find out what the requirements are.

Finding a Location for the Wall Heater:

Locate a good location for the heater. Ideally you want an interior wall that doesn’t have insulation. Check to make sure the wall studs are far enough apart to allow the heater housing box to fit inside the studs. (Need help locating your studs? Here are 5 Ways to Locate Wall Studs without a Stud Finder.) Make sure that the location for your heater does not have any flammable items nearby. (Curtains or towels located near the heater could pose a fire risk.) Finally, assess the air current direction from your heater. You need the air to flow freely into the room and not be blocked by doors or other items.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House

Preparing the Wall for Installation:

After locating an appropriate space for the heater installation, use the metal housing box to trace the opening size onto the wall. Cut through the drywall with a drywall saw or oscillating tool.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House Drywall

Check to see if the housing will fit in the hole you just cut. Make any adjustments as needed. (Beth’s wall studs provided the exact opening for the wall heater (lucky us!) If your wall studs are further apart, you can use the mounting brackets that come with the heater.)

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House heater install

The location for Beth’s heater just happens to be underneath two switches, but we needed to run new wiring to accommodate the electrical load the heater needed.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House switches

Adding Dedicated Electrical for the Heater:

**The power should be shut off during installation of the wall heater.**

We drilled a hole through the bottom of the wall plate inside the cavity.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House wall heater install

As the electrician went into the crawlspace, I shone my flashlight down through the hole to assist with locating the newly drilled hole.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House inwall heater electrical

The electrician fed wiring up through the hole. . .

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House electrical wiring

. . . and ran the other end of the wiring to the circuit breaker. After fishing the wiring into the space below the circuit breaker, he fished the wiring into the circuit breaker box (not shown below.) Depending on your circuit breaker, you may need to have a split breaker added if you don’t have room for a new breaker.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House wiring circuit breaker

The electrician should handle installing the new breaker and connecting the wiring inside the breaker box.

Installing the Wall Heater:

The electrician inserted the electrical wiring through the bottom knock out hole in the housing box and then set it into the wall.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House housing box

He secured the housing box with mounting screws into the studs (or he could have used mounting brackets if the studs were further apart.)

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House installation instruction

The electrician wired the heater to the house wiring following the installation instructions and wiring diagram that came with the heater.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House electrical install

Then he attached the grille to the heater with the two screws provided.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House cover install

The thermostat knob was pressed onto the thermostat stem.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House install complete

The electrician turned the power back on and I tested the wall heater.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House wall heater test

Oh my! The warm heat blowing out of the heater was an immediate improvement in this cold bathroom.

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House wall heater complete

Beth and her family are so happy with the new heater. She told me, “For ten years, our bathroom was labeled the Cold Bathroom. Today, my son announced the bathroom has a new name: the HOT BATHROOM.”

Warm Solution for Cold Rooms in Your House

Now when Beth and I take our walks with the dogs I have no qualms about running in to her house to make a quick pit stop. LOL.

Do you have a room in your house that is more like an ice box than a climate controlled room? Did you know you can add a supplemental heater? Check out all these Broan heaters that could solve your cold issues.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Broan. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own. I was compensated for my time and efforts to create this tutorial. As always, I am very particular about the brands I represent and you will always be notified when you are reading a sponsored post on PrettyHandyGirl.com.

 

15 Amazing DIY Lighting Ideas - pinnable collage image15 Amazing DIY Lighting Ideas

Lighting can make a dramatic statement in any room and is a crucial element of good design. A great light fixture not only adds style, but it creates a mood and vastly impacts how you feel.

One of the biggest benefits of DIY Lighting is you can choose your own materials to meet your desires:

  • number and wattage of bulbs
  • material (metal, fabric, paper, wire, glass, concrete, wood, tile, etc.)
  • color
  • shape
  • style (farmhouse, modern, traditional, vintage, eclectic, industrial)
  • mounting (pendant, flush mount, semi-flush, wall mount)
  • shades (solid, translucent, semi-transparent, perforated, open)

With DIY Lighting, the style options are endless. There are so many choices and ideas out there at all different price points. The great news is that you don’t need a large budget to have great lighting for your home, you just need a few supplies and some basic handy skills!

Here is a round up of 15 Amazing DIY Lighting Ideas to inspire you to brighten up your home!

DIY Button Pendant Light - Best Lighting DIYs - Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have a button collection? Use it to make this amazing DIY Button Pendant Light . It’s whimsical, sparkly, fun and is sure to be a great conversation piece when you have guests visit.

 

This Circle Diamond Pattern Light was created by updating an old brass light fixture. The tutorial will show you how to change out an old fixture and add some pizzazz to your room or hallway. You’ll have to see the pattern it shines onto the walls — beautiful!

 

Converting Recessed Light to Pendant Light - Best Lighting DIYs - Pretty Handy Girl

Learn how to Convert a Recessed Light to a Pendant and add a little character to your room with a great light fixture! Recessed lights are great, but sometimes you need a fixture to finish off that great room design. This tutorial will help you change out your recess light in 5 minutes or less!

 

New Painted Foyer Light Fixture

Another update, but this time you’ll learn how to make a Pottery Barn Inspired Hanging Light. See how to make a quick cosmetic change to an old fixture. No dated brass fixture will be safe after you read this tutorial.

 

DIY Copper Pendant Light - Best Lighting DIYs - Pretty Handy Girl

Check out these unique Farmhouse Style Copper Metal Pendants. Would you believe they were made by updating some UFO-like lights with storm collars, and spraying high heat spray paint?

 

Vintage Map Lampshade - Best Lighting DIYs - Pretty Handy Girl

For the ultimate traveler, this Vintage Map Lampshade creates a warm glow and would be a wonderful addition for any living room or office. Plus, you can customize it with maps of places you’ve been!

 

Glass Bowl Fixture - Best Lighting DIYs - Pretty Handy Girl

What do you do when the light you really love is sold out? You DIY it, of course! You’ll be amazed at how this knock-off DIY Glass Pendant Light by Ugly Duckling House was made. Hint: you may have one in your kitchen cabinet.

 

Ombre Paint Chip Lamp - Best Lighting DIYs - Pretty Handy Girl

Don’t run to the store now, but you know those free paint chips they give out at the paint store? This Ombre Paint Chip Lampshade is made using those freebie paint chips. Next time you have a bunch of extras after you’ve finished your painting project, consider reusing them to make a great lampshade!

 

Chicken Wire Pendant - Best Lighting DIYs - Pretty Handy Girl

Don’t you love this Chicken Wire Anthropology-Inspired Pendant in all its simplicity? If you love rustic or farmhouse style decor, this pendant is for you.

 

Minnow Trap Light Fixture - Best Lighting DIYs - Pretty Handy Girl

Whether you love to fish or not, these Minnow Trap Light Pendants are a great DIY option. They look great, give a lot of light, and set a casual mood.

 

Capiz Shell Light Fixture - Best Lighting DIYs - Pretty Handy Girl

This DIY Capiz Shell Light Fixture has a beautiful feminine and modern look. Build a quick frame; add some strings of capiz shells; and you have a beautiful new light fixture!

 

Twinkling Pendant Light - Best Lighting DIYs

The light pattern that this DIY Twinkling Pendant Light  shines onto the walls is so pretty and adds some fun and whimsy to any room. Bet you can’t guess what this pendant was in a former life!

 

Mosaic Glass Tile Lamp - Best Lighting DIYs

This Mosaic Tile Lampshade is gorgeous! With just a few supplies, you can add style and bling to your room without spending much money at all.

 

Industrial USB Charging Station - Best Lighting DIYs

Feeling super handy? This Industrial Light and USB Charging Station would be a cool addition to any room, and we all know you can never have too many charging stations these days.

 

Rustic Jar Pendant Light over kitchen sink - best lighting diys

Last but not least, learn to Convert a Recessed Light into a Hardwired Light. This gives you the option to hang pendant lights over a kitchen sink. . .or really anywhere else in your home. So many options!

I hope you enjoyed this round up of the 15 Amazing DIY Lighting Ideas and found some inspiration for your home!

If you like this collection, please share by pinning the image below.

15 Amazing DIY Lighting Ideas - Large pinnable image collage

Friends don’t let friends buy light fixtures if you can DIY them! Share this post with a friend.

Now that you have your ideas for creating that light fixture, do you know how to install a hard-wired light fixture? I’m happy to show you how, it’s very easy!

Fall Decor in a Rustic Farmhouse Kitchen | Pretty Handy Girl