05 September 2010

Out of the Darkness

The electrician put one light in the main attic area. The switch is right at the top of the stairs, but the light is by the HVAC equipment (as required by code), waaay on the other end of the 40-50' long space. This picture was taken from the top of the stairs (there's another 10' or so of storage on the other side of the stairs); the light hadn't been installed yet, but you can see the blue box peeking down above the HVAC unit:

All the light you're seeing in the attic is from the camera flash; even once the light was installed, it wasn't nearly that bright. Plus, the top of the open space in the truss is less than 7' tall, so the light hanging down like this isn't ideal:

(If you're wondering about those black pipes, they're for the geothermal system -- they go down the chimney space on the left side of the picture, then down through the slab and almost 300' underground in the yard to transfer heat to or from the ground to heat or cool the house, depending on the season. The pipes along the floor on the right side tie the water heater in to this system as well.)

We decided to add two lights in the attic. While we were doing that, we also moved the existing light up so we wouldn't hit our heads on it. Since the lights are up in the trusses, you can't see them, but you can see the pool of light above the HVAC and another at the top right of this picture (plus empty boxes, golf clubs, spare paint, and the tools we used for this project):

(As we've been unpacking, we've stashed all kinds of stuff in the attic. While the attic space is semi-conditioned, it's a bit warmer than the living spaces, so we're putting off organizing the attic until this winter, when we'll have a better sense of how much, and what, needs to find a home up there.)

Last, here's the light we added at the top of the stairs, slightly to the right, to illuminate the other end of the attic:

Although the lights are up in the trusses, there really aren't any shadows because there are three lights, and because the white foam insulation reflects so much light back down.

I think our attic gets the award for "most improved."

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