We’ve apparently have been on a lighting kick as it’s two posts in a row about switching out chandeliers. Last time it was the living room that got a switch and this time it’s the dining room. When we bought the house I think the only ceiling fixture we agreed on liking was the UFO themed light in the dining room. it was mod, clean, and matched the cheap hand me down circle glass table we were using at the time for our dining. In fact, these two combined turned the dining rooms unofficial name into the circle room, and we adorned it with circle placemats, a circle rug, circle photo frames, etc.
After a few years with the existing light 2 problems became pretty apparent. (1) it was pretty dim. A single halogen bulb diffracted through a cylinder of glass is not a formula for bright lighting. The room didn’t work well for games at night because it was too dim to read cards/rules/etc. (2) it generated a lot of heat. Those halogen bulbs are hot, and even though it was small, it hung low to the table, and thus you got the heat from it right up in your face.
As a bonus problem that came of our own designs, we switched the dining room table out with a triangle shaped one. The table has a built in circle Lazy Susan , so it still works in the circle room, but it happens to be exactly the same size as the light, but based on some unfortunate geometry of the room, we could never align the two. It may seem silly, but this got really aesthetically unpleasing to me. So 3 strikes and your out I guess?
We were taking a nice afternoon stroll over at IKEA and they had on display their new PS Maskros Product, a giant more than two an a half foot diameter sphere of petals with a lighted core. When you see it, you cant’ stop and look at it, then you get close to it and realize it’s made out of paper, wire, and that’s about it. it’s very surprisingly affordable at < $100.
Installation was pretty easy, the big problem I ran into (that I always run into when replacing lights in this house) is that the plate’s screw holes didn’t line up with the ceiling box’s screw holes. Apparently ceilign boxes changed their diameter at some point between when our house was built and the last couple of years as none of the newer lights fixture match up right. Not a big deal though, just a titanium drill bit away from a making it all fit correctly. Also, since I have the standard 8 foot ceilings I had to fix the length of the wire so that the globe was very close to the ceiling. On this model that can be a little tricky because you actually have to make the wire longer when securing the plastic base cover to the ceiling as it slides up and is held in place by locking it down to the wire. It came out fine in the end though, so no biggie.
One other note, I saw a lot of people complaining about this light because the plastic base cover’s diameter was smaller than the metal plate’s diameter. This seems to be a problem with the smaller version of this light which is simply known as the Maskros (san PS). If you get the bigger one, there should be no problems with the plate or covers side (unless you have a smaller ceiling box like me).
As far as the bulb, you can use any standard one. I went with a 100 Watt equivalent dimmable fluorescent to eliminate the main problems of (1) not enough light & (2) light ran too hot. I had never used a dimmable fluorescent before, and I’m not totally sold on them as they do not seem to gracefully change brightness as I would like as much as I would like, it’s more like they turn off and then back on at different settings. But I can’t argue with the brightness quality, things are very easy to see in that room now, nor can I complain about the heat when sitting under the light. so I will claim problems solved.
Because it’s paper, a lot of people have gotten creative and started to color it with markers and highlighters. Once example is over @ http://www.ikeahackers.net/2011/06/mod-verner-pantonesque-lamp.html that I found to be a really nice color fade. However the boss disagreed and hence we haven’t taken the extra step to color it in, but I still think it came out A-OK. Here’s a picture of it lighting up the room, notice the cool shadows it creates: