Born Too Late to Know

Let me start by saying that I rely on Home Depot. Online orders can be shipped direct to the location where they will be used. My in-store visits are for spur-of-the-moment needs…parts I overlooked buying and parts I didn’t know I needed to complete a project in the works, or I need to return what I bought that was not the right part.

I brought home 4 light fixtures, rather snazzy fixtures in fact, to replace the ceiling fixtures in 4 apartment closets. The 4-light LED flush ceiling mount dimmable spotlights in a sexy square fixture would last years. The downside, as explained the Home Depot salesman, is that when the LED lights expired, the entire fixture needed replacing.

Where’s the pull cord, my handyman asked. Geez, I’d overlooked that.

Back to Home Depot, first the returns desk then the lighting lanes. A kid wrapped in an orange apron asked if he could help. Please point me to the pull cord lighting, I asked. He walked me to the display of ceiling fan attachments. When I said nope, these are not ceiling lights, the smile on his baby face went flat and he confessed that he’d never seen a light that turned on with a pull cord except for a ceiling fan.

When a light fixture has a pull chain, a wall switch isn’t needed to control it. This means the wiring is simplified but it also means that you can't turn off the wall switch when replacing the fixture. Turn off the breaker. Once the power is off, however, the job is identical to replacing a fixture controlled by a wall switch. Attempting any type of electric wiring to a live circuit will cause serious injury.

If I didn’t bust a move and get back to the project site with four pull cord fixtures, my handyman was going to hit the highway. On the other hand, going online definitely would increase the chances of finding a sweet looking pull chain fixture. I didn’t have time to wait for delivery.

I tried to put my mind around a Plan B.

Another sales clerk, this one older with greying hair, asked if he could help. He knew his SKUs. He marched right to the shelf with two options: one a round globe (modern in a semi-tolerable way) and the other so unattractive it was downright ugly. The globe would have to do even though I wanted an exposed bulb to make changing the burned out bulbs easier.

The world has changed. People under 30 don’t know life without cell phones, credit cards, health insurance, and wall switches (the most modern being remote controlled.)

Best option: call the electrician, specifically Allstar Electrical. Had I made a call in advance Allstar’s Electrical team would have walked me through the entire selection process. You can even call on Allstar for an annual review of your household electrical needs, called the Residential Safety Blanket. This home safety audit is a preemptive move and guarantees same-day emergency repairs.

Contact Allstar today at (303) 399-7420