As you guys know from my previous posts over the last few weeks I have been spending the majority of my days in the basement. When the plan had been initially to build a rental suite down here (because the basement conveniently has a separate entrance) I had built a wall separating the main room into two living spaces. Since then the plan has changed considerably and this basement will now be my wood workshop so, one of the first things I did, was take down the wall that chopped the main room into two rooms. With the room wide open I started working on lighting because nothing takes a creepy basement into a real living space like light! I started by running a whole bunch of bulbs around the room (8 all together!) and covering them with mason jars like I showed you in my last tutorial. Then, I grabbed a florescent light I had replaced in my mom’s house and brought home because: it was free. It was missing its steel cover plate as well as a whole florescent light cover but I figured: light is light! So, I put it up right smack dab in the middle of the room where the wall used to be.
My only problem then was just how incredibly ugly it was. I know I know my basement will not be winning any beauty contests anytime soon but no one likes staring directly at florescent bulbs, it needed SOMETHING to take that glare down so I did what I usually do when I need inspiration: I grabbed my tape measure and headed to the barn. I immediately was drawn to the giant old storm windows that I have stashed in the back, fingers crossed that one of them might have all of its panes still in tact. No go, not a single window was left unbroken and there were three where the glass was totally missing. I grabbed one of the windows that was missing all of its panes and was long enough to cover the light and took it back to the house with me.
The wall I took down gave me several 2x6s and after taking a bunch of measurements and looking everything over it was pretty clear a 2×6 frame would be sturdy enough to support the window and deep enough to keep the bulbs well away from it. With no glass in the window I knew I needed something else so I reached for the sheer fabric I had leftover from building our closet doors and got to stapling.
I built the 2×6 frame with 2 1/2″ screws and my Dewalt impact driver, cutting it and making it exactly the width and height of the window. I then painted the inside of the frame white and stained the outside with dark walnut stain by minwax (the same color we used on our wood floors upstairs). As you guys probably already know this basement is my frugality challenge, I am determined to not go to the store and buy something if it is in any way possible to use what we already have. All in this project cost me about eight screws but, technically, I already had them too so all in: this project was entirely made with what I already had on hand. With the 2×6 frame complete my dad held it around the florescent light for me while I screwed it up to the studs and then I screwed the hinges to the frame and swung the window “closed” covering the light entirely and securing it with a hook.
My dad and I both stepped back and his comment was, “That looks way better then I thought it would.” I entirely agreed with his sentiment, in fact, I kinda love it 🙂 Oh my gosh you guys won’t believe the amount of light it puts off! Also, is there anything harder to photograph then a light that is turned on!? I don’t think so! lol With no natural light down here in the basement this was definitely a picture taking challenge and, as always because I can’t seem to learn this lesson, I did not take “during” photos while I was building the whole thing, sorry about that 🙁 The basement is nearly complete now with just a couple more cabinets to hang, can’t wait to show you the result! My first project is going to be building myself a big tall work table on castors to sit right beneath this florescent light!