The Cool House: Good for another 25

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Good for another 25

Another CFL downlight blew in the kitchen last week. They are supposed to last 5 years but we have averaged 18 months, not really good enough considering the price ranges from 5 to 9 bucks a pop. I was so mad I decided we were going to try the Cree LED lights I posted about here, which come as bulb and housing in one piece. They are reputed to last 25 years - far longer than I expect to be living in the US, let alone this house - and take no more than a few minutes to swap with the old cans. We set out to buy one as an experiment - if the unit was as easy to install as the video promised we'd replace them all. By sheer good fortune, we found out Home Depot is having an eco-friendly sale so those $50 lights were only $35 each. If the trial LED fit, I'd go back and buy the other thirteen.

We watched the video, read the enclosed instructions, turned off the power and went for it. The old housing had a plate we had to take out, and The Guy had to undo the wires to take it off but that was the only scary part of the process. He scewed the new housing on to the old socket, pushed the unit up until it clicked in place. Then we turned on the power and stood by. Unlike the other LED lights I bought for the mudroom the Cree Ecosmart are instant on and have a nice bright light. The best thing is that bulb is enclosed behind a diffuser so that lightbulb isn't noticeable. We were sold.

The most difficult part of the LED downlight changeover? Getting our hands on fourteen light bulbs. It took four trips to three different Home Depots in two counties to garner all thirteen.

I delivered the first nine home and by the time I got back with the final four The Guy had walked the dog and installed all the downlights. All. By. Himself. No drama, no emergency call for help. Who is this chap and what has he done with The Guy?

Twenty minutes later we had three piles of trash - plastic, cardboard and original plates and a kitchen with one-style eco-friendly lighting.

Thanks to Cree Lighting and The Guy we can enjoy a maintenance-free lighting system in the kitchen and see what we are doing without getting overheated... like painting the walls and ceiling!


Nadine @ BDG said...

Alright, I'm putting it on my calendar, October 24, 2023, Jane needs new lightbulbs.

modernemama said...

I was hoping for 2035...

Nadine @ BDG said...

ooo- it's 2010 isn't it? Stuck in a previous decade or so.

Ginny Skalski said...

Yay, modernemama! I'm so excited that you gave these lights a try. I remember seeing your tweet a couple weeks ago asking if they are instant on (as you find out, they are). Did you put these lights on a dimmer? They dim down to 5 percent in case you decide to give that a try. Thanks for sharing your experience (and awesome that you scored them for $35!).
Ginny from @Cree

modernemama said...

Yes definitely getting a dimmer switch - that's next weekend's project. (To think I was worried they wouldn't be bright enough). I hope swapping switches will be as easy as installing all the lights!