Energy Saver

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LIFE IS CRAZY… I’m sure you’ll agree.  I keep waiting for this blog to just write itself… but that never happens!  After receiving an email from another blogger I adore… who said “hey, woman… post something …. post ANYTHING!”, I figured I should do SOMETHING, and it really didn’t matter that I haven’t been able to accomplish much around the house.  It’s not that I’ve been jumping out of balloons in space and breaking the sound barrier, or getting 10′s on Dancing with the Stars, or even moderating Presidential debates…. (although someone from Washington, D.C. in the Executive Office Of The President visited my blog yesterday! – SERIOUSLY, true story).  It’s just simply because I’m so busy I barely have time to eat or sleep.  Blah blah blah…. I’m not whining… It’s all stuff that I LOVE but it’s definitely taken me away from this special place.   Heck I’ve barely had time to even change a LIGHT BULB!  Oh, wait… that’s the one thing I actually did have time to do…. so I’ll just have to blog about that.

So here’s the deal.  A light bulb went out in my hallway… and so what, right?  Except it got me thinking about all the ways Richie and I intended to “go green” as we worked on this house.  There are 12 pot lights in our hallway that use Par20 halogen bulbs. (SUPER HOT! – as in burn your fingers hot.)  At the time we were wiring the house, LED lights were not readily available but I had read articles about how they were going to change the industry and over time become the norm.  Their long life and low-wattage use were something that really interested me… not to mention that they don’t emit UV light… which is horrible for your art work and furniture.  I made a mental note that as soon as they hit stores I would investigate and try them out.

The first set I bought was about 2 years ago when I decided that I really didn’t want those hot halogens lighting up my artwork.  I have two spots over some art in the den and then 3 in the dining room.  I took the plunge and bought 6 LED bulbs to replace the halogens.

We loved these brushed nickel industrial-looking fixtures and just had to have them.  Now they perfectly light the artwork underneath without the UV, and they are NEVER EVER hot to the touch.  The light is very bright and very white.  I love them!  I also think the LED bulbs are SUPER COOL looking too.  Check out those fancy edges… ooo la la!

So when a light in my hallway went out I knew I needed to start replacing them with LED bulbs.  Isn’t it funny how you buy 12 lights, install them all at the same time and the all get turned on the same amount… but they all go out at different times.  HA HA!  I guess that’s good in this case, as LED Par20 bulbs at $19.95 each can really add up.  HOLY CRAP!  One at time is fine with me.

The picture above shows my brand new LED bulb installed.  Again, it’s perfect because it puts out beautiful white light right on to the artwork… but is never hot and has no UV.  I’m already getting anxious for the others to “go out”.   As I took this picture it made me stop for a moment and think about how far we’ve come with this part of the house and what it was like before.   So naturally I’ll create a little drama here and share some before and afters.

This hallway with its soon to be all LED glow wasn’t always so “bright … or cheerful”.  When we bought the house there were basically no lights in this 55 foot hallway.  It was really dark and somewhat depressing.  So when we had the house rewired I marked (with chalk) a big X where I wanted the electricians to run wire.  I do believe they thought I was slightly insane… but in the end slowly started to figure out my strategy.

Wasn’t it lovely?  I know you’re jealous of my dark hall with green peg board ceiling and carpet glue covered floor.  Pretty!

After building light panels Richie installed each pot light… one at a time.  We had to stagger the lights because all the duct work for the house runs down this channel.  I had to squeeze them in anywhere I could.  And here’s how it looks today.  Honestly, it does me good to look at these because when renovation times are SLOW (like right now) it reminds me that we really did work our asses off.

Another standing at the opposite end.  LIGHTS!  LOVELY LIGHTS!

So it was always my plan to do anything we could do be more energy-efficient with all these lights and from the looks of store shelves they are making great strides with the LED choices as well as the cost. I’m excited to slowly start replacing every light with LED bulbs.   Here’s 3 more in my dining room.

Anytime I leave the house and want to leave some lights on… it’s always the fixtures with LEDs.

So this is just part I of my energy saving measures.  Richie and I did a few more things and I’ll share those in part II.  I have to say that it’s probably not as much as some people do but I do believe we should all do we can where we can.

Since the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act was passed which will phase-out certain wattages and shuns the use of incandescents many people are finding other ways to light their homes.  I guess it’s smart and for all you Ikea lovers (hello, Alex!)  I heard that Ikea plans to sell only LED lighting by 2016.

So, have you tried LED bulbs?  Do you love or hate them? Or do you wish they were more affordable? (I guess that’s a dumb question… of course you do!)

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16 thoughts on “Energy Saver

  1. the home tome

    Bravo! Let there be (the right kind) of light!

    We have a mix of LED and regular – must confess that the configuration is kind of random and the cost is off-putting.

    Love your art lamps (and the art they are illuminating). And that 55 foot hallway: QUITE a transformation indeed. If those cool stripey rugs weren’t there, I would feel compelled do to some serious sock skating down that tunnel (or some roller blading) or even install maybe even one of those slip and slide water things? Now I’m getting carried away…

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Ha Ha! I hadn’t thought about roller blading or water slides… but I’ve definitely done some sock skating and busted my ass a few times! After you fall on concrete once… you quickly add “padding”. (laughing). I do rent it out for fashion shows all the time! (kidding). You’re right about the cost of those suckers. CRAZY! I’m just hoping that they continue to fall over the years. The par20s are now about $5.00 cheaper than a couple years ago. But they last for so long I guess they figure they’ll get their money out of you NOW because you won’t need another bulb for 20 years. I’m hooked, though. I love them.

      Reply
  2. Dana@Mid2Mod

    I’ll have to ask my SIL what brand of LED bulbs he bought. Whatever they were, they weren’t bright enough for the store and made the furniture look washed out and funky. It’s good to know that the ones you bought are bright and white.

    I haven’t had any incandescent bulbs in my house for a long time, having switched to CFLs when they first came out, but I still have a few fixtures that take halogens. I plan to phase them out as soon as possible. Specialty lighting of every type seems ridiculously priced to me, so as long as I’m going to have to pay and arm and a leg for bulbs, I figure I might as well go as green as possible.

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      I think the LEDs have come a long way… even in the last 6 months. I’m now seeing a 60watt equivalent on the shelves when less than a year ago I never could find them. I always try to buy the bright white bulbs in CFL or LED. I think the color is so much nicer than a blue or orange glow. It’s bright, though… so it always takes some getting use to. Sunglasses in the house seems “not so cool”. HA HA! I do look forward to all the improvements and choices that will be available in the years to come. I’m a sucker… they got me… I’m hooked. :-)

      Reply
  3. Alex @ northstory

    I used to have several LED lights in our old condo but I don’t know if we have any in our current house. We have a lot of energy efficient ones but I must admit I am totally blanking.

    What’s the fun story behind the wall of signatures in that pre hallway wall shot? hmmmm? I am going to guess a very good party.

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey Alex! I think the previous owners had a pretty rockin’ social life. Well… I actually KNOW they did. I doubt that I’ll ever be able to pull that off with my “hermit” tendencies.
      They’re actually autograph doors and when visitors came over they signed the doors. Richie and I kept the idea and have started our own. You can see the post I did on it HERE.

      Reply
  4. CT

    A presidential blog lurker? Super cool! That hallway after is GORGEOUS! Once I got hooked into A Goode House, I never went through the back archives so I love seeing the befores and afters. . . maybe I should go check out those archives! Have a great weekend – CT

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks CT! That’s okay… the past posts are a jumbled mess so sometimes I love pulling out the old pictures and remembering. It’s fun to look back when things are quiet and you’re not in the middle of another chaotic project. Makes you grateful! YES, who knows… maybe a white house secretary is in to mid-century modern or something. But it did say Washing D.C. and the server was from the executive offices of the president. I thought that was too great. I’m glad I’m not the only one that surfs the net at work! (laughing).

      Reply
  5. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    You should investigate to see if your electric company will help you with the cost of the LEDs. I use ConEdison, and they came in and replaced all of my light bulbs for free.

    I know that the staggering of the lights in the hallway was done for practical purposes, but I like the aesthetic anyway.

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      You just rocked my world, Jessica! I hadn’t even thought about that… but I do know that our energy company has all kinds of programs… so I should definitely look into that. Wouldn’t that be COOL!
      So amazing that they did they for you for FREE. We have so many lights in this house (because I’m a light freak!) and replacing them all can get expensive. Love that idea. THANK YOU!
      Oh yes, ha ha! I’d love to say that the “staggering” was my design idea, but totally happened out of necessity. All those air ducts were in the way of where I really WANTED them to go… but it ended up okay. Thanks for the visit!

      Reply
  6. Paul D. Worley

    The place still looks amazing and of course,I love the art! I’m eventually taking the plunge as well. I have “traditional” energy savers throughout my home now and I hate the time delay from switch to actual full brightness. It’s annoying. I’ve been told these don’t have that issue. Correct?
    As far as the hallway. The last pic is nice and clean but the first one is ma favorite. The hanging wiring gives it that rustic/chic lived in look. LOL!

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks Paul! I know, I know… I totally ruined the hall by trying to get all fancy with paint and sheetrock. It would have saved me so much time and money to just “go rustic and unfinished”. Women! (laughing) Thanks for the compliments! You are correct.. the LEDs come right on and I’m pretty much hooked on them. I’m just glad I don’t have to buy ALL 12 ALL at once. Whewwww!
      Glad you came to check up on me. It’s always great to hear from you.

      Reply
  7. ScrapAndSalvage

    what a great post!!! lighting is SO important and you found a way to balance energy conservation and beautiful light accents. these are great lighting tips. i’m going to earmark this post to come back to as j and i replace bulbs.

    and i could look at your artwork for hours on end. i simply LOVE that first one. thanks for the reading treat!! xoxox

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey Tamara. Thanks for “Lighting up my Day”! So good to hear from you. One of these days I’ll get back to making things and accomplishing work around this house… but until then I’ll just run around replacing light bulbs and recycling plastic bottles to make myself feel better. HA! Funny that after I wrote this most exciting post… 2 lights on the front porch went out. Geeez! There must have been a meeting of the bulbs… “lets all go out and give her something to do”! They’re so good to me. :-)

      Reply

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