pull chain ceiling lights

jiggreenOctober 3, 2010

Our home is very old (200 years), the electrical was last updated (partially) in the 1970's. We plan to fully update the electrical in about 6-9 months. In the meantime though, we are "making do". Several of our rooms have light bulbs hanging in the middle of the ceiling, with pull chains and I am having a very difficult time finding non-industrial looking fixtures with pull chains to replace them. I don't need/want anything fancy...just something that doesn't look like it belongs in a utility room. I've google searched but with no luck. Does anyone have any ideas on who would carry pull chain fixtures that would be suitable for a kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom? Also, if it makes any difference, the boxes are mounted directly to the ceilings and not set into the ceilings.


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If you are having new cable pulled to update your wiring, why not have switches installed at the same time?
As an alternative that would reduce the plaster repair, you could investigate remote control switching systems or go with surface mounted wiremold conduit.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:26AM
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check "Renovations" catalog

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 5:04PM
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If light switch runs aren't an option....
you could install any type fixture you want, with a remote receiver added on. Lowes/HD and any hardware store has them for 20-30 dollars and you use a remote to turn them off and on. You can even dim them if you'd like.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 7:58PM
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Thanks for answering :) When we have the electrical work done, we do plan on having switches installed...but our budget doesn't allow for the expense right now....too much else that needs done first (new septic system, roof, plumbing...the list is endless!!) Hopefully within the next 9 months though we will be able to get the electrical work . In the meantime though, I prefer to have actual light fixtures (translation= not ugly!) instead of just light bulbs hanging down....that's why I was looking for new pull chain fixtures. I think I will check out the remote receiver idea....I like the idea of not being limited to just pull chain style fixtures.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 8:38PM
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It is easy to forget that someone had to invent the pull-chain switch, precisely because some people were reluctant to tear up their walls to install wiring, or were unable to afford to do so. There was also the matter of electrical safety, at a time when men had to disconnect electrical devices from the supply using pliers.

One man invented both the pull-chain and the electrical plug and outlet:

Here is a link that might be useful: Harvey Hubbell

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 10:39PM
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So what you have now is just a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling? Honestly, I wouldn't spend the money for new fixtures, but wait until the rewiring can be done. Why buy and install something new, just to toss it in 9 months or so?

What I'd do is take a very good look at the existing fixture. Some of them have the screws for the glass shades that fit over the light bulbs. If the holes are there, but the screws are missing, you can buy new screws. There are a ton of different options for the glass shades.

You might also be able to buy a clip-on lampshade that would soften the light a bit. Or see if the socket for the lightbulb has threading on it--then you could buy a uno fitter lampshade, also called a downbridge lampshade.

My house has mostly pull chain fixtures. Even the non-industrial ones aren't very pretty. I really think you'd be better off saving your money to rewire the lights and buy something that you really like when the switches are installed and you have many more options to chose from.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 3:37PM
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I like the idea of using the remotes too. You can buy your fancy fixtures and install them now instead of later when the prices will be higher. Then when you do have the wiring done, you won't have the additional expense of going back out and buying more fixtures.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 6:45PM
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why not just buy your fancy light fixtures and use one of those light socket adaptors with the two outlets and a pull chain. one of them worked in a light outside the door of an apartment wired in 1900. the fixture was unswitched and i didnt want to pay for an electrician to put one in for the 3 mos we lived there.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 10:19PM
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