Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

October 14, 2013

Ikea Vanadin Flush Mount Light Review

Ikea Vanadin
Painting has been taking longer than planned, but the living room/dining room, bedroom, office and hallway walls, ceilings and trim are, finally, all painted a crisp white.  Although there are more rooms to be painted, now the fun can begin and we can start to put some of the rooms back together.  First up: lighting!!  Remember I spotted the pretty and ridiculously inexpensive Vanadin light fixtures at Ikea?  I went ahead and bought one for nearly every room, to replace the assortment of boob fixtures that were there. 

After my Dad installed the first one, with many, many expletives, I heard him bellow from the other room: "don't f%&*ing buy any f#$%ing more of these cheap f%*&ing light fixtures".  I could do nothing but stare at the stack of eight other Vanadin light fixtures I had transported the 1600kms from Ottawa.

What makes them enrage my Dad so much?  Well, they install weirdly (with a zip tie, I kid you not), and they refuse to lie flush against the ceiling.  Normally light fixtures are affixed to the electrical box with two points of contact for security and stability.  This fixture attaches with a zip tie in the middle and is then screwed directly into the drywall, for a less secure and less snug fit.  The icing on the cake: the screws required were not included in our package, which is really inconvenient when the nearest hardware store is an hour away.

How to install the Ikea Vanadin light
Problems with the Ikea Vanadin

At the end of the day, although the glass looks as amazing as I thought it would, the base is poorly made.  But for the price ($24.99), I'm still not complaining.  Although there are indeed a few gaps along the ceiling, the fixture and the ceiling are both white so I can't really tell unless I look closely.  All I can see is how beautifully the facets catch the light.  They kind of twinkle/sparkle and they look more high end than the price tag suggests.

Ikea Vanadin Light
A sneak peek at another project in the works . . .
Frankly, I would put up with a lot less quality just to avoid waking up to what was there before:

Ornate boob light

Although my Dad and the Vanadins had a rocky start, my Dad says that once you get the hang of the weird installation it's not so bad.  So we're spending Thanksgiving Monday installing some more and painting more rooms (don't I have the best parents?).
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17 comments

  1. I totally agree with you (and your Dad). We've installed a heck of a lot of Ikea lights. They are so strange at first, but then after one you really get the hang of it. Now my husband loves the zip tie/magnet combo that usually accompanies ikea lighting. Looking good!

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  2. They actually don't look bad at all. I'm a big budget person myself so i totally get where you're coming from

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    1. Such a relief to find a well priced light when soooo many needed to be replaced. I'd have gone broke at a lighting shop. My Dad installed three more today!

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  3. Usually when Ikea needs to be attached to something they tell YOU to buy the best screws, so customer service couldnt have helped!! I like the light fixture tho!

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    1. The Ikea lights in the hallway had all the screws required so I figured these would too. Really was a pain in the neck as the nearest hardware store was an hour away, lol. These instructions had no words whatsoever (just drawings of every step), so it would have been nice for them to add: buy some screws. Ah well, they're up now and we know the drill.

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  4. Those are nice fixtures for the price.
    I feel your dad's fixture installation pain- my husband had to wire an overhead light for my daughter's room but made a few (large) extra holes when he was trying to find the centre from the attic. We had to resort to a small ceiling medallion to hide the extra holes (our house isn't the sort you'd normally find ceiling medallions).
    I got the job of removing and re-installing the fixture with medallion. I am no fan of the standard installation method either- it's a near-impossible task to hold the fixture (so that the weight isn't held by the wires), align those 2 bolts through the holes, and screw on the cap nuts while holding your hands over your head all the while- which often requires a few tries to get the bolt adjusted to the right length for the fixture depth.
    I used a few expletives myself. When I was done, Ritch commented that it looked nice, I think my words were "Sure, now it looks like the f***ing Taj Mahal!"
    I hate hanging light fixtures- maybe I have weak arms but I always struggle with the task- maybe I would like the zip tie installation.
    I can't wait to see the befores and after of all the painting. And yes, you have great parents.

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    1. Wow, that sounds like such a headache!! We've never had that problem, but I'm sure it's only time, lol. I'm sure the ceiling medallion looks better to someone who doesn't know why it's there. Could you add them to other rooms?

      I laughed out loud at your description :)

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    2. Yeah, we did add them to the master, too. Similar problem- my hubby cut the holes larger than necessary because the boob lights covered the holes. But when I updated the fixtures, their baseplates were smaller.
      It's all good, really. In the master they're small and simple and kinda work with the glass fixtures and in the other bedroom, only a bit larger and suits the scale of the room (I'm glad we didn't have to cover a larger area- it would have looked silly)
      Sometimes you have to get a bit creative to cover your tracks ; )

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    3. Yup, creativity is essential!! And it sounds like your style is pretty funky, anyway (you've reference Design*Sponge-eque design choices you've made) so I can imagine the medallions looking good even if your home wouldn't have originally had that style. I like a little eclecticism.

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  5. Jenn and Joe put up an IKEA light at their last house and had the same problem getting it flush.

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    1. We just put up three in the hallway and two are perfect, one is wonky and you can see the light shine out the top. Sigh. $24.99 though, can't beat that!

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  6. Weird question - but I found your blog in searching for how to install the Vanadin fixture. I'm glad to know the screws aren't just missing from mine. But I'm still many steps behind you... how did you separate the glass part from the base for installation? (I've tried twisting, pulling, etc. and it won't budge). (Love your style, by the way. I'm glad to have stumbled upon your blog!)

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    1. That's a great question: we were able to remove the glass part by twisting it from the base. It's threaded, with grooves in the base that correspond to the glass - no screws or anything. If you're unable to remove yours by twisting and lifting it off, there's a chance it might be defective. It was a bit tough at first to twist off when it was fresh from the package, though. But definitely twist and then lift off (maybe getting someone else to hold the base while you twist the glass part will help). Sorry I don't have a better answer. Good luck (and thanks for your kind words)!

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  7. Oh my gosh, we have almost that exact same light fixture (your old one) in our living room - it's awful! Ours is a semi-mount. We just haven't got around to changing it, and so far our solution has been to ignore it. I'm not sure if we'll even change it since we are moving next year.

    I haven't visited your blog for a little while but I see you've been busy, so off to check out the changes you've made to your new place.

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    1. It's definitely the most ornate fixture I've seen in a long time. But I can completely understand not wanting to change it if you're moving soon anyway. A year can certainly fly by!

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  8. Banish the boob lights! I just found your site after having a WTF moment trying to install the Vanadin. I thought I was crazy that it wasn't lining up on our ceiling. What a mess. We eventually used two drywall screws in the outer perimeter to stabilize it further. I have to say for the price, it is very pretty though I wouldn't recommend it or buy it again.

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