I knew I didn't want to keep this thing. . .
Here's another shot after I removed the glass. . .
I know how to put new lights in all by myself like a grown-up, but this ceiling posed a problem. It's a dropped ceiling, made of fairly thin soundboard, and the genius who put these lights in just kind of plunked the electrical boxes in where there's no real support. I could literally just push on the box and the whole ceiling lifts up an inch. It's so awesome. I would get rid of the whole dropped ceiling thing, but it's hiding the furnace and that project sounds way too dusty and expensive.
So I called in the big guns.
Ahem, my dad.
My dad can fix anything that's broken with a piece of tin foil and an old piece of. . .I don't know, chewing gum or something. And it will never ever break again. It's a Guatemalan thing.
Anyway, he came up with an idea to give the box a little more something to grip onto. The box we used, by the way, is the kind that has little feet and screws and literally holds itself up by the ceiling. We just needed to give it a little more ceiling depth for a better grip.
So my dad went to the shop and cut some wood that would fit up into the ceiling, with a hole exactly the right size for the box. . . as you can see, the wood is done in halves so he could actually fit them up there. . .
I decided to hang the IKEA Knappa pendant lamp I had. It's normally $30, but I got it for $12 in the as-is section. There was nothing wrong with it, it had just been used in a display.
Here it is hung, before I've patched and repainted the ceiling. . .
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that the pendant light comes as a plug-in type from IKEA. I needed it to be hardwired, so I picked up a pendant kit on sale at the Home Depot and installed it with that instead of the cord and plug it came with originally. Works like a charm.
Oh, and I finally patched and painted the ceiling so you can't see the screws or the grody old paint.