The crisis: The old ceiling cut is 1.5 inches wider that the pre-drilled holes in the new Pixi® TruFlat® mounting plate.
The inspiration: Fortunately, I had just seen The Martian, in which an astronaut marooned on the red planet survives and inspires the entire world through ingenious re-purposing of abandoned equipment and a lot of duct tape.
So I asked myself: What would space hero and Martian MacGyver Mark Watney do? And then I thought it would be nice if Matt Damon plays me in my biopic, Scribbling in the Dark for 35 Years: A Critic's Heroic Life. I'm working on the screenplay.
The process: I retrieved the old mounting bracket from the recycling bin. A dozen mighty blows with a tack hammer and some vigorous bending removed all the once-necessary but now superfluous flanges. A plain 8.5" metal square, with a 1-inch lip at 90 degrees all around, remained. I inverted the square from its customary position and set it into the ceiling cutout. Perfect fit!
|Obsolete bracket, adapted, inverted, re-purposed.|
The new lamp came with four toggle bolts. I placed the toggle nuts on top of the bracket, ran the bolts through the new mounting plate and the bracket into the nuts and tightened them up. Solid.
The most delicate and dangerous part of the operation was still to come: Holding the heavy fixture while connecting the ground, positive and negative lines. Gathering up all my Mark Watney ingenuity, skill, steely focus and good humor in the face of danger, I recited a couple of knock-knock jokes and made the connections. I slid the lamp over the mounting spurs and we have DOCKING!
|Light. Cue the triumphant music.|
I flipped the breaker to re-supply desperately needed power to the bathroom circuit. I flipped the local power switch and... LIGHT!
I totally could have done this on Mars.
|Matt Damon as Mark Watney, doing duct-tape home repair on Mars. By the way, do see "The Martian." Great movie.|