Gotta Have One (or more) of These!

Up until now we were advocating for compact florescent light bulbs (CFL) on all our projects.  While the amount of electricity (watts) used per lumen (brightness) was relatively low, color was always an issue. Enter the LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs.  They have an even better watt per lumen ratio and the color of the light is much better.  Recently many of the utility companies have been subsidizing the cost of these bulbs to bring down their costs. You can now buy these bulbs from the utility company or even easier, at Home Depot. The bulbs can be dimmed using the normal wall switch dimmers you already have. A 65 watt equivalent LED bulb costs $20 at Home Depot and is designed to last 50,000 hours while burning about 10 watts.  A 65 watt equivalent CFL flood bulb will burn 16 watts and cost about $12 and will last about 8000 hours.   A field of 4 incandescent recessed lights in your living room ceiling will burn 260 watts per hours, a filed of 4 65watt equivalent CFLs will burn 64 watts, and 4 LEDs will burn 40 watts. The CREE LED down light kit comes as a one-piece unit that includes the bulb and trim kit. They come in both 4” and 6” sizes to fit your existing ceiling “cans”. You can measure the trim kit on your recessed fixture and if it’s about 6 ¼ to 6 ¾”, you have a 6” can. If you forgot to measure, you probably have 6” cans. I’ve also seen kits by other manufactures sold for 5” cans. They are very easy to install and the entire process including setting up the ladder will take about 5 minutes, a few more minutes if you tell “how to change a light bulb jokes”. While you can mix and match CFLs and LEDs you will quickly see how awful the CFU light is and swap out those bulbs.  You can also buy just the bulb alone to fit almost any fixture or lighting product. Please be sure to recycle your CFLs as they do contain mercury (LEDs don’t!).

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