Easy Home Improvement: Energy Efficient Lighting Switch
In the past decade or so there has been an evolution of the light bulb, going from the standard incandescent light to a variety of new lighting elements that save you money and energy. If you have ever stood next to or under a regular light bulb for long enough you know how inefficient they really are, and the heat they put off.
The government has a great incentive for us as consumers to switch out our old light bulbs and fixtures for more efficient ones. If you visit energy.gov/savings, you can determine what rebates you are eligible for in your area, and you can also contact your power company to find out more information.
Since more than a couple of our recessed light bulbs and fixtures were burnt out or discolored, we decided to take the plunge and just replace our old recessed lighting in the kitchen with new, energy efficient fixtures. The rebate that these lighting fixtures saved us per light was $20! The cost for the actual fixture was less than $5.00 more than our rebate. Not bad at all!
The information that we needed to know about our rebate was attached to a small fixture next to our lights in the hardware store when we purchased them. If you don’t see the forms in your store, just ask an employee, they’ll know where to find them.
To remove an existing can light fixture follow these simple steps:
- Turn power off
- Remove light bulb
- Firmly pull down your recessed canister fixture from the ceiling
- Pinch springs on both sides of canister to fully release the can (see picture example below). Most recessed lighting is spring loaded, so be careful when pulling your old fixture down.
- Firmly push out the light bulb socket from the canister
Not all recessed lighting will be set up this way, so be careful when you start to pull the canister away from the ceiling. You don’t want to rip or pull away any wires that need to stay attached.
All that should remain is the light bulb socket. Once you’ve determined the correct size of energy efficient fixture you’ll need for your recessed lighting space, here are the simple steps for installation:
- Screw fixture into socket, just like you would with a regular light bulb.
- Firmly slide entire fixture back into the empty recessed space in your ceiling, until you feel the springs/brackets pop into place, indicating that the fixture is secure.
And that’s it! I wasn’t kidding, it’s such a simple project, and it almost takes more time to go shopping for the new lights than it does to change them out!
Not only is the finished look saving you energy and money, but it looks a lot nicer as well. The heat from the incandescent bulbs can, over time, yellow your fixture due to the extreme heat that they put off. With a lifespan of over 30 years, these new fixtures will look great because of minimal heat damage and will age much better against lighter, white ceilings.
Alternative lighting has definitely come a long way, not only are there options for fixtures, but now there are so many different hues of light as well, from bright white, to soft white and every color in between. It really is an easy way to do your part in being a little bit more green, and the best thing is that you don’t have to spend a whole lot of extra money or time doing it.