For my sponsored ACE Hardware project this month my challenge was to give a whole room a lighting makeover.
Actually the opposite. Hear me out…this turned out to be an “ah-hah” moment in my design education. After switching out just a few light bulbs I was shocked how the feel of the room changed. A light bulb went off in my head (and room).
When we were in the construction phase of this house I knew the importance of lighting so I equipted this room with a ton of lighting sources. Our living room / dining room / kitchen has:
ll recessed can lights,
2 pendants over the island,
1 wall sconce over the sink,
1 chandelier over the dining table,
5 under cabinet lights,
2 lamps in the living room,
1 ceiling sconce in the entry.
Add that up and we have 23 lighting sources in an approx. 700 square foot space. Lighting over-kill? Despite all those sources of light we really only use the islands pendants, under cabinet lights and one lamp in the living room.
Check out how switching from an incandescent bulb to a Natural Light LED bulb changed the color and light in the living room:
See the difference? Even the paint on the walls looks different.
Light bulbs come in different brightness-es, hues and even how they are made. But which? Incandescent, LED, CFL, Halogen…ACE has them all but with so many options out there how do you know what to pick?
First, your lighting socket should tell you the type and max amount of watts to use. From there I was lost.
Governments around the world are passing measures to phase out incandescent lights for more energy efficient bulbs. On the surface this seems backwards. The cost of an incandescent bulb can be under $1.00 whereas an LED can be around $7.00 (these are averages). However, energy efficient bulbs can last up to 25 times longer. Here’s a good resource to help you choose.
For the wall, swing arm lamp above our sink I replaced the old incandescent with this Natural Light LED bulb.
I much prefer that natural light the LED gives off vs. the peachy light the incandescent shines. It brightens the space and almost looks like an extra dose of sunlight is coming through the window.
Over our island we’ve always had incandescent bulbs in the pendants. I switched the bulb on the right to a LED Soft White Light.
I broke the cardinal blogging rule to never post night photos but I wanted you to see the difference in the light the two different bulbs give off.
You can’t tell a huge difference looking at the light itself but look at the difference in light shining on the ceiling above each fixture. The LED not only gives off more soft white light but it supposedly uses 84% less energy and will last 25,000 hours or 22.8 years. HOLY COW!
Here is my takeaway from this lighting makeover…good lighting isn’t just based on the amount of lighting sources in room but much more on the light bulb selection. Also, choosing energy efficient lighting will save you lots of moola as well as be good for the planet. Bam.