Weekend Warrior Recessed Lighting Project, Part Two

Weekend Warrior Series: LED Retrofit Lighting, Part Two

During the course of May, our team celebrated National Home Remodeling month by doing some simple lighting projects around the house and sharing them with our readers. We called it our “Weekend Warrior” series because all of the projects can be completed in a weekend (or less!). 


Weekend Warrior Retrofit LED Lighting Project

Project Two – The 1-Hour Project

In my last post I shared how we installed recessed lighting in our bonus room. Once I installed the LED retrofits there, I was hooked on the quality and energy-efficiency of the lighting. I decided to change out our seven 75-watt PAR30 halogen recessed lights in our kitchen with seven LED retrofit modules. The 7 halogen recessed lights used 525 total watts of electricity. By switching to LED retrofit modules I would reduce that wattage use to 87.5 watts! HUGE energy savings! In addition to the LED retrofit modules, I also changed out my dimmer switch to a Lutron Maestro C-L dimmer.

This was one project I was able to very easily do myself. In fact, I finished this one in less than an hour. (more…)

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Weekend Warrior LED Recessed Lighting Project

Weekend Warrior Series: LED Retrofit Lighting, Part One

This is the fourth post in our Weekend Warrior blog post series, part of our quest to bring customers unique products and creative ideas for DIY lighting projects around the house. We previously covered how to install security lighting, a custom pantry lighting solution, and creating a kid’s book nook with a wall mounted reading light.

Weekend Warrior LED Recessed Lighting Project

Since moving into my home in 2009 I have completed a number of lighting projects. In fact, I started a New Home Project blog post series documenting them. I am happy to report that a couple of those posts helped others with their own under cabinet and over cabinet lighting projects.

It has been a couple of years, but recently I embarked on two new projects with one overriding theme — Saving money by adding and/or replacing existing lights with LED. The first project that I’d like to share is adding LED recessed lighting to our bonus room to add more general illumination to this room, and the second one switched out our halogen recessed lights to LED. In both projects I installed 6-inch LED retrofits.

Project One – The Weekend Project

My bonus room’s general illumination came only from the lighting on our ceiling fan. For the size of our bonus room this was woefully inadequate. So, jump forward 6 years and we are finally getting around to painting this room and making it more than a “holding area” for random stuff. We decided it was a good time to increase the light level in this room with four LED recessed lights in the 4 corners of the room.

Bonus room with overhead light
Before we installed recessed lighting in our bonus room, our ceiling fan was the only light in the room.

When our house was built in 2009 I used PAR30 halogen light bulbs in our recessed lighting. At the time LED recessed lighting was still a little pricey and there were not many options. Now times have changed. LED recessed lighting, specifically LED retrofits, have come down in price and there a number of options available. (more…)

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Low Voltage Lighting: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Straight Up Myths

low voltage lighting

Low voltage lighting got its start in American residential settings in the 1950s. Originally developed to facilitate landscape lighting, low voltage lighting soon made its way indoors and is now very common for lighting applications like track lighting, recessed lighting, under cabinet lighting, strip lighting, and more. So, what’s the deal with low voltage lighting? What does low voltage lighting do that regular line voltage can’t? And why do people disagree on matters as seemingly straightforward as to whether or not low voltage light bulbs last longer?


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How To Get More Out Of Your Recessed Cans

It’s hard to brighten a room with minimal overhead lighting, but it’s not impossible.

The easiest way to get more light, and enhance the impact of your recessed cans is to convert them into hanging lights, or pendants.

So how can you make this happen?

First, choose your pendant lights based on where they’ll hang in your space. If you’re going to put them over a counter, kitchen island, or table, you can choose ones that will hang slightly lower. This will provide brighter task lighting without getting in the way. If you plan to install them in hallways or open areas, pick lights that will hang very close to the ceiling so they don’t eat up your headroom.

To install the pendant lights in your recessed cans, you’ll need the following:

  • Recessed light converter kit
  • Small vanity plate to cover the old recessed hole in your ceiling
  • Screwdriver
  • Painter’s tape
  • Ladder
  • Circuit tester

Before you begin, make sure your city doesn’t have any codes requiring a licensed electrician to perform the conversion. (more…)

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Lights For A Holiday-Ready Home

Holiday lights can have a bad reputation, but it’s my goal to help put some sparkle back in your season; to “lighten” your load a bit. Below you’ll find all the lights you need to prep your home for a headache-free holiday, from practical essentials to the best decorative fixtures and everything in between.

1. LED String Lights

Holiday string lights have always been one of the season’s classic hallmarks, and also one of its biggest jokes. With their festive beauty often comes hours upon hours of trial and error, trying to find that single burnt-out light bulb ruining the bunch.

But, you shouldn’t have to worry about burnt-out lights if you use LED Holiday Lights for your home this year. They have a 60,000 hour rated-life, so they’ll stay lit for a long, long time.

On top of the impressive lifetime, LED lights generate much less heat, so you won’t have to worry about holiday fire hazards. Plus, they use about 90% less energy than incandescent string lights, saving you money to use on more important things this season.

They come in a few cozy color temperatures, alluding to winter wonders like ice and candlelight. (more…)

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New Home Project: Remodel Recessed Lights

Welcome to this fifth blog post of my New Home Project series. This series of posts reviews the lighting projects that I have undertaken in my new home since moving in to it in September 2009. To be honest, most of these projects have been completed some time ago. It was my goal to write a post after each project, but time just gets away from you sometimes. I cannot believe that it has been over 2 years since moving into my home.

This project involved adding seven 4-inch recessed cans throughout the first floor of my house.

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How to Choose a Recessed Shower Light

Shower Lighting When I say “bathroom lighting,” what image pops up in your head?

If it’s a beautiful vanity area accented with stylish wall sconces, or an illuminated mirror above the sink, you’re like most people. The vanity is important to light properly. It can be incredibly annoying to have inadequate light for makeup or shaving, so it’s typically what people (including us!) think of first.

This post is about the part of the bathroom that is frequently forgotten in terms of lighting: the shower. For some reason, recessed shower lights get left off the lighting plan often. The result is a shadowy, unwelcoming space – hardly the place you’d want to spend your first few groggy moments of the morning.

Whether you’re adding shower lights to your finished bathroom (an easy project with special remodel recessed housings), or choosing the shower trim you’d like to use in a new bathroom, this post should help you decide which product is right for you.


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5 Reasons Why You Should Retrofit Your Recessed Lighting with LEDs

Take a quick mental inventory of the recessed lighting that’s currently in your home or business.

Is it efficient? Is it helping you save money on your power bill, or on your bottom line? Is the light quality impressive? Are the light bulbs incredibly long-lasting?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, this article is for you. There’s a good reason why “retrofit” is the hottest buzz word in energy efficient right now, and why individuals and businesses across the world are revamping their recessed lighting systems to save millions of dollars by switching to LEDs.

1. You can kiss the hassle (and cost) of replacing light bulbs goodbye.

Average lifetimes range between 35,000 and 50,000 hours for LED recessed lighting retrofits. That means these lights are going to last anywhere from twelve to seventeen years, even if they are left on for eight hours every day. Imagine: If you install an LED recessed light in your newborn’s nursery, you won’t be replacing the light until that baby is leaving for college. (more…)

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New Lighting Technology to Retrofit Recessed Lights

The term “lighting retrofit” may sound daunting, but for contractors and builders familiar with the technology, it’s just another project that makes saving energy possible (and very easy).

In fact, a relatively new product to the lighting marketplace is allowing homeowners to retrofit their own recessed lights with LEDs.

It’s called an LED retrofit module for recessed lighting, and it’s truly revolutionary. Homeowners with existing recessed lights can simply unscrew the light bulbs currently installed in their recessed fixtures, remove their trims, and screw the LED retrofit modules right into the existing sockets.

The LED retrofit modules come complete with a trim and a heat sink to maintain a cool operating temperature.

The opportunity to save energy is not the only benefit. The LEDs deliver incredible light output, high color rendering, full dimmability, and long lifetimes of up to 17 years. The products are even available in a variety of color temperatures – warm white, cool white, or neutral white.

See this new product line on our website!

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Night Lights Help to Reduce the Risk of Falling

LED Rotating Night LightA doctor from a leading panel of experts that are behind a new action plan to prevent falls in older adults recommends night lights to help reduce the risk of falling. Dr. Pamela Macfarlane, a professor in Northern Illinois University’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, suggests investing in night lights to create a low intensity light near the bed or bathroom.

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