Our plans for our new house including tackling projects both large and small.

Whether we're talking about a whole home HVAC rethink, an individual room overhaul, or the replacement of a single light fixture, we try to make sure we give each the thought and attention it deserves.

A few weeks ago Wendy mentioned the barn inspired new front lights we planned to install to welcome guests to our home.

I have to say, I was pretty excited by this change, as the previous brass lantern fixtures were incorrectly sized, badly weathered, and just not the right style for our house.

After removing the old lights, we had quite a surprise. It seems a family of birds had made themselves at home behind the old lights.

After cleaning out the nest I put a little spray foam insulation around the perimeter of the whole thing to make it even more weather tight (and critter proof).

Putting the light in place was cake but I made a small improvement. I installed a little Insteon Micro Dimmer Module . We've decided to go ahead and slowly turn this house into an automated home, and what better place to start than the front lights. With this little micro dimmer module I can hide it in the junction box with the light's wiring, and have the light controlled by a switch, our phone, or even a timer. We can even have our lights automatically turn on when the sun sets and off when it rises.

Okay, back to the lights. The lights themselves are a simple oil rubbed bronze barn light.

The size is right for the house and it casts a really pretty and soothing light on the front porch. We used two 40w Edison style bulbs for light, which has that look that just seems right for this 1908 house.

We'll see if we stick with these bulbs long term. I know they're not energy efficient and may need to be replaced often, but we just love the way they look!

The new lights, along with the new front door color, nails the look and feeling we are going for. It's our hope that this new set up is the calming and welcoming entrance to what will eventually be our relaxed and comfortable living room.

I have to say, I like the look of these barn lights so much that I'm looking for other places where we could possibly use them around the house.

What do you think? Not too shabby, or do you prefer the old gold fixtures? In the coming weeks I'll talk a bit more about the home automation choices we're making in this house and how you can do the same in your house. Pretty much any house can incorporate some items, you just need a plan and a purpose.

Comments 11


Nancy S
4/30/2015 at 9:23 PM

You can now get LED Edison bulbs from EarthLED.com
They have dimmable ones too!
Not cheap though, but when you consider how long they'll last.....


I had NO idea! Thanks for the link and info, I think I'll be ordering from them very soon, especially for our chandelier.

These look great here I have to agree for the style and age of the house, those lights do look appropriate.

I've been thinking of not necessarily automating my eventual new to me home, but am looking at timer switches for dusk to dawn for the outside lights so when I come home in the winter and it's dark, they'll at least be on. I'll have a couple of lamps inside on timers too so when I enter the house, it'll not be so dark.

That said, a lot of LED and CFL manufacturers do not recommend timers, and I think I know why, if they fail, they may take the house down with them if they do not have proper fusing to shut them down incase of failure or some such.

Still that is what I'd like to do, so to mitigate any potential issues of that realm, I may look into adding quick acting inline fuses to each fixture should ons of these electronic light bulbs (CFL or LED) fails.


The stuff we're doing is less a traditional timer, and more of a controller/responder setup. In this case, the controller is aware of the sunset/sunrise schedule and triggers events based on this. The cool thing is that the responder is also aware of the state of the light. If it attempts to power and no light is there to power (or it has a problem) it cuts power. It's a pretty good setup.

5/1/2015 at 9:52 AM

I love barn lights! The more the merrier! They are so simple and so beautiful.


I absolutely love the enamel ones, but those tend to be too large and often too pricey. I want to put them on all of the walls. Alt smile

5/1/2015 at 11:20 AM

The lights look great. We use sensors for the lights on the two porches of our weekend house, and have them set for dusk to well past midnight. We're pretty much the only house in the neighborhood that keeps the outside lights on at night and I always thought the neighbors were trying to save energy. Turns out the lights draw the spiders. But if it's a choice between a well-lit (and secure and welcoming) house or having to take a broom to the porches to sweep away the webs, I'm happy to do the sweeping.


I feel exactly the same.

5/3/2015 at 6:57 AM

I'm going to check out that dimmer module, and I'm looking forward to your posts about automating the house. This is something I've been wanting to do with my home for a while now.

On a separate note, the trim in one of the pictures is blue and then the next, it's white. I may have missed your post, but did you guys paint the house?

5/5/2015 at 1:47 PM

Very nice! Our porch lights were welded into the brick exterior of the house (or so it seemed--I was afraid to try to remove them) and I liked the style, so I taped off the glass, protected the brick, and sprayed them with Rustoleum oil-rubbed bronze paint. Now they look amazing. Not bad for $7!

5/6/2015 at 1:30 PM

Looking GOOD!

I'm a huge fan of the oil rubbed bronze colors. Since I have a Craftsman, most of the hardware in the house is original patina ORB anyhow.

I have three or four vintage 'barn lights' in my basement - the black and white enamel ones. I should see about refurbishing them (and do a re-wire, they are in the 'knob and turn' part of the house, after all) and use them somewhere more visible.

Of course, that means I need to figure out what to replace them with in the basement that can tuck up into the joists safely. Walt (my late husband) used to clobber himself on them regularly since they hang down so far. (This short girl missed them by a half foot at least LOL.)

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