I was home Monday afternoon for one of those lovely "Hey, we'll be there between Noon and 5pm to fix your DSL" appointments (turned out they had me hooked up to a bad port in their system, they could have fixed that without ever coming to my house) when I get a call from my wife:
"Hey, you're home this afternoon right? The electrician is coming by at 3pm to see about installing that chandelier!"
"That" chandelier was purchased with gambling winnings in Vegas this spring and has been sitting around waiting for installation since then, because I didn't really want to climb up and install an 80-pound chunk of glass and pointy metal bits on a second-story ceiling. "Sure, I'll be here" sez I.
2:50 pm, another call. "Hey, can you put up the scaffolding for the electrician? I kinda told him it would be set up." Twelve feet of scaffolding is a bit more than a 10-minute setup job, thx
I'm barely into it when the electrician arrives, and we unpack the two boxes containing the light fixture. First thing we find is that he's a bit confused by the mounting point. It's not something he's familiar with, not actually surprising since the light is an import.
Ok, I guess next step is to see what we've actually got in the ceiling to mount it to. A standard light box will only support 50 pounds, but our contractor did know we planned to swap the old hallway chandelier for a new one later, so hopefully he used the right mount...
Scaffold up, you can see why I'm not super happy about working 12' in the air lifting heavy things over my head
We're in luck--partially. The box mounts over a crosspiece, not next to it like a normal light box. I don't know if that's a 2x4 or a 2x6; knowing my contractor and how he tended to overbuild I suspect it's a 2x6, but I can't confirm it. Popping into the attic I find that there's no access to that small portion of the roof unless you're a 10-year old gymnast. I could drill through the box next to the wood to peek up past it, but there's not a real need. On a short span like the width of a hallway, a 2x4 is sufficient to support the kind of weight we're talking about here.
The only bummer is the hole already drilled partway into the wood to accommodate the old fixture. There's still at least two inches of wood up there, so it could accommodate a lag hook, but thinking about it any hook that close to the ceiling will be a nightmare to actually wrangle the chandelier on to--there's a limit to how far it can tip sideways.
Electrician goes home for the night to think about mounting options, I head to Home Depot to look for 36 LED candelabra bulbs. The only ones they have in sufficient quantity are either daylight color and/or 40/60 watt equivalent. The 40 watt equivalent are 300 lumen, so we're talking 14,000+ lumens. The glass is colored and opaque, though, so it might be tolerable. I bite the bullet and buy ~$100 worth of bulbs.
On the drive down (it's 40 miles away, but the only hardware store open after 6pm) I have time to think about the mounting issue, and I Junior Engineer a solution:
What we're looking at here is two 5/16" lag eyebolts, inset at a slight angle to reduce the footprint. Capacity, 250 pounds each. Between them is a 1/4" Grade 8 bolt and locknut, shear strength just under 4500 pounds. The doubled-up washers and spacers are only stainless, but they're just to prevent lateral shifting.
This is where I mention that this chandelier suddenly has a lot more sharp pokey bits than I remember, and I'm wrasslin' 50+ pounds of metal over my head solo in an OSHA-unapproved manner while cursing non-stop. Luckily only one minor injury, the only bandages I can find are my son's Star Wars band-aids
When in doubt, send in the Wookie. Chewie would understand my pain.
Next day, electrician is back for the wiring hookup. I could do it, but if several thousand dollars of chandelier blows up, I want someone else to take the wife's ire
Oops, minor snag #2: I mentioned it's an import?
Darn Euros and your non-'Murican wiring codes. We have to look it up: Brown is hot, blue is neutral, ground is still ground.
It's finally up, breaker is flipped, nothing goes up in flames.
It is a little brighter than the old one, but still a tolerable level. With the colored glass it's rather like having the sunset through that west-facing window all the time. Installing a dimmer woud be the next logical step -- they were supposed to put one on originally, but somehow this kind of shit gets overlooked by the contractors
LED dimmers will only handle 300-ish watts of power, but at 4.5 watts/bulb we're still within the limit. It's certainly better than having that thing sucking 1,440 watts of juice every time it's on.