Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Let there be lights!

Party night was very quiet. Madame reports that she had about 12 guests and they were all very quiet because they were working hard, either making or listening to a broadcast about Palestine.
My carefully parking was a waste of time as only one of her friends parked in my car park.
Yesterday at Mr. Bricolage we bought two double ceiling mounted spot lights and some long life spotlights. 30 percent off the sign said, but we seemed to pay full price. When I queried it, the lady on the till said that it was taken off automatically. Either way, the price on the label was what we paid.
While I was out perfecting my French yesterday afternoon, Madame had dropped the solar powered, motion activated outside light in to S, who was studying in the flat.
As it was a bright morning, I got my tools out and switched off the power and flicked off the appropriate fuse.
Much swearing and about an hour later, I have both sets of lights wired up and screwed on to ceiling beams. When the power is switched back on all the lights work. In the living room they go off again almost immediately. I just cannot understand what has gone wrong. Fortunately before I start dismantling the unit, I discover that my assistant has turned off the lights at the wall switch.
Next job is the outside light. This will require the drilling of 5 holes so the drill and extension cable are required, as is the folding step ladder.
The inside lights were fitted using S as my “hand-me-that” assistant. It is a matter of seconds before Madame materialises and starts giving advice over where the unit should be placed.
The main light unit goes up on the door lintel without much problem, although S soon gets bumped off the “hand me the screws” etc position by Madame.
In fact at one point it is not even me on the ladder, but Madame, who wants to make sure the unit is switched to the off position for 24 hours as she has now read the instructions.
There is also a separate small solar energy panel to install. This is to get attached to the main light via a thin wire.
Madame tells me that this must be placed as far to the right of the light as possible. This is okay because that is where I was going to put it anyway.
The positioning of the ladder is trickier as there as the ground is not level, but we get there eventually. The solar panel was balancing on the folded window shutters of the window, above which the unit will be placed.
Of course I forget this and move the shutters causing the unit to plummet earthwards. Fortunately it is still wired up to the installed light unit and it does not crash onto the concrete. Hopefully the wire will not have been damaged…..
I had been going to use staples to hold the wire against the wall, but Madame thinks that if I disconnect it from the main unit I should be able to thread it behind the drainpipe, using its bracket as a support.
I dutifully disconnect and reconnect as instructed. Another millimetre of separation and this would not have worked.
Job done, I announced that it was lunchtime and we tidied up all the equipment.
I would have just left the unit on the on position, but perhaps a grand switching on tomorrow evening will be better.
Madame knows where all the controls are now, so perhaps she will spend many a happy evening hour adjusting the angle of light, sensitivity of the motion sensor and the length of time it stays lit per activation.
I can see her whizzing up and down the ladder, approaching the house at varying speeds, or crawling slowly to see if she can reach her front door before the movement sensor can activate. Happy days!!

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