Add Modern Decor and Curb Appeal with a Classy Swag Light Fixture
Installing a pendant light fixture - an easy DIY project that adds to home equity. When it's too cold to build a deck or install new siding, remodel the home's interior!
How to Install a Pendant Light
What's hot in the home illumination market right now? Pendant lights. These lighting fixtures add grace, elegance and curb appeal to the home. The housing bubble has burst due to bad mortgage decisions (think sub-prime loans coupled with adjustable rate mortgages, or ARM's). Since it's no time to sell, it's a great opportunity to do things to boost home equity - design and build a backyard deck, remodel a bathroom, or learn how to install a pendant light.
These are also referred to as swag lights, and although they have been around for a while, their appeal is timeless. Some say that they are a more modern adaptation of the ornate chandeliers of long ago that only the wealthy could afford.
Tools Needed to Hang a Pendant Light
Digital Multimeter or other testing device such as a Fluke VoltAlert
Light Placement Considerations
It's important to consider the location of the new lamp. Certain areas require a lot of light for reading, entertaining, or preparing and eating meals. Other places in the home utilize lighting for accent or modern decor. In most cases, these areas already have an overhead light fixture. But in other cases, there is no existing source of light.
Note ? Before engaging in any electrical work make sure the circuit breaker has been flipped off and the circuit tests dead with either a digital Multimeter or a Fluke VoltAlert! In the second case, with no light to replace, a little more work is required in preparation. It will be necessary to go in the attic and use Romex to tie into an existing power source. Usually there will be some sort of light fixture; just a simple bare bulb for utility purposes. Then, an electrical box should be secured to a joist, or a cripple between two joists.
Hint ? To get the right location, poke a long nail through the ceiling from downstairs.
Installing the New Pendant Light
If there is a can light where the new swag light will go there is a great option. There is product called the ?instant pendant light? by Worth Home Products. For installation, simply unscrew the can light bulb or floodlight, adjust the length of the hanging wire, screw in the instant fixture, and push up the cover plate.
If this is a replacement light, the first thing to do is flip the breaker off and test it. If the breaker isn't clearly marked on the circuit breaker box, turn the light on and test the circuit breakers until the light goes off.
Next, remove the old fixture. Install any mounting bracket supplied with the new fixture to the electrical box. Match up the wires on the pendant light fixture with the old wires and connect the ground to the electrical box or the bracket, whichever the instruction manual indicates. Use electrical wire nuts to connect the wires. Screw in the bulb (consider a compact fluorescent bulb or a halogen bulb for lower wattage use and energy efficiency), turn on the circuit breaker, and test it out!
Five storytelling tips to make you more effective. The art of storytelling comes in handy not just for entertaining friends, but also for your career.
Effective public speaking is frequently very similar to effective storytelling - and these five tips will improve your efforts in both arenas.
1) To tell an effective story, listen to your audience.
Gauging the likes, dislikes and tolerances of your audience is the single biggest key to effective storytelling. Saying exactly what you did before, in the same manner in which you said it, cheats the audience and yourself. To deliver an experience that your audience will appreciate, listen to what they say and watch what they do. They will give you all the clues you need to deliver the right performance. 2) Work without a clock, but don't take all day.
Storytelling is a rare event. Like fine dining, you can't hurry through it. Pausing to collect your thoughts, or simply to let anticipation build, is a tactic that can have devastating impact on an audience. However, make sure (once again, through your listening) that you use this tool to the right effect. Silence and pauses can also make people think you have finished before you are done, or to make your performance seem artificial. So keep them to a minimum, especially if you aren't confident in your performance.
3) Vary your speed and tone.
Droning on and on is not acceptable, unless you do it for brief comic effect. Make sure that your storytelling doesn't fall into the trap of becoming a rote performance. If other people speak in your story, change your voice to show it. In the more exciting parts, quicken your pace to reflect the action. These changes make it easier for your audience to maintain their attention. 4) Develop a "voice" by studying other storytellers.
Your normal speaking voice is probably not the same instrument you should use while engaged in storytelling. Many people fail to project, or to deliver a distinctive experience, when they start to tell a story. If you are aware of the fact that you are performing, you'll create a voice that you can rely on.
Oral history might be the reason why humans learned to talk in the first place, so it stands to reason that we learn how to do this by listening to other people. Who are your favorite storytellers, and why have they earned your esteem? What practices, tactics, and techniques do they use that work for you? Can you emulate, without slavishly imitating, their better qualities? If you have no role models for storytelling, two exceptional modern storytellers are Spalding Gray ("Swimming to Cambodia") and Laurie Anderson ("The Ugly One With The Jewels"). Videos and CDs of their performances are available through your local library, video store or CD shop, as well as online. Each brings an intensity and intelligence to their work that is very powerful, and whether you like them or not, you can definitely learn something from their approaches.
5) Don't read, never tell the exact same story twice, and always thank your audience.
Listening to someone read is not storytelling: it is a speech, and speeches rarely have the same intimacy and effectiveness. You need to perform this material, and if you read to your audience, you are not performing. If you don't read, you can't tell the same exact story twice. (Hooray!) Each time you tell a story, you should learn more about its effectiveness, and what portions work better than others. A storyteller that tells the same tale repeatedly is not a welcome sight. Lastly, always thank your audience. It is the quality of their listening, not the quality of your performance, that determines whether a good tale is told. Always thank them, and always mean it.
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