Monday, June 18, 2012

Recessed Office Lighting Upgrade

There's been a serious problem looming above my head for a long time now.

Literally.


See those 3 pitiful little bulbs? They haven't been providing nearly enough light for my work space—not only that but the color temperature is all wrong.

We installed that light fixture way back when we first bought the house, before I started working from home and needed sufficient lighting.

Lately I've been finding myself having to run up next to the window or even go outside in order to color match my work. Enough was enough, so I kindly asked my husband if he would be willing to go back up into the attic (his most favorite thing, especially during the summer...) and install some recessed lighting. Luckily he obliged.

We headed to Lowe's to pick out our new setup.

While in the recessed lighting aisle, I spotted this handy color chart which explained the different color temperatures, and what works best for different situations.

I immediately knew what color I needed...


It was like they wrote this description just for me. 5000K it was.

We located the only 5000k bulbs we could find...



$25 a piece.... pricey, but I guess artificial daylight doesn't come cheap.

We also had to buy the light housings, LED compatible dimmer switch, Romex wire, and a 4" arbor and drill bit adapter to cut the holes. Total for 4 lights: $255. Sigh. At least it's a write-off?

Back at home, we unloaded everything and got to work.



First up was marking our ceiling holes using a tape measure and laser. Then it was hole cuttin' time:




Ta-da!

Here's all four holes:



Next, it was time for the wiring. We did as much of it as we could on the ground, so there would be minimal attic time.



We just followed the instructions that came with the lightsand connected one piece of Romex (with one black and one white wire) to each housing.

Here's a close up of the light:


After the Romex was connected, we pushed each one up into the hole and secured it in place using the metal clips on the side. Then we popped a bulb in each one.



After everything was in place, Brad went up into the attic and finished off the wiring. I have no idea what exactly he did up there, so if anyone has questions about this process, feel free to leave a comment and I'll make him answer.

After the attic time, he came back down and proceeded to install the dimmer switch.



And then there was (day)light...



Here's a before and after of how the room looks under each type of light:

Old:


New:


Much better, right? No more orange cast on my colors!

One thing I learned is that the higher/cooler color temperature you go, the lower luminance output you'll get. Ideally, I would have liked the lights brighter, but the LED output at this color temperature just isn't as high as your typical fluorescent light. I may swap them out with a lower color temp or add two more lights in the future if I decide I want things even brighter in there, but for now they are working out just fine.

As for the old light fixture, I'll most likely swap it out for a simple, low profile fan in the near future.
Oh, and if anyone is wondering what happened to this rug....


Well, I took this shot right after it arrived in the mail. Unfortunately though, there was a stained/soiled area that I noticed and couldn't remove, so I went to exchange it, and found out that they were out of stock. Ugh. This was last year, and I haven't had a chance to check back up on it (or maybe I've just been too lazy/unmotivated...) Either way, I'm not sure I want it anymore because of how easily soiled it gets, and also it doesn't grip the floors and that could get annoying. I am okay with living rugless for right now.

We still want to add recessed lighting in the living room (which desperately needs more light) and our bedroom, although we'll stick to a more cozy color temp (probably in the 3000k range). Now that we have a few rooms under our belt (kitchen, sunroom, master bath, and office), we almost have the process down to a science.

So, what do you think? Anyone else considering adding recessed lighting, but don't know where to start/don't have the tools? I think it's definitely worth the cost and effort... it really updates the overall look of the room, plus LED lights are super energy efficient and you'll hardly ever have to change the bulb. If you're still on the fence, go for it!

5 comments:

  1. Urban does still have that rug, I just ordered it and returned it for the same reasons. It is super cute, but too light and very thin! I wish good looking rugs weren't so hard to come by or weren't so expensive!

    ReplyDelete
  2. hi there! i was wondering if you'd share what printer you use! i design wedding invitations and my good ol' faithful printer just died on me so i'm in the market for a new one! i especially love that yours can print on larger paper sizes than the standard 8 1/2 x 11. thanks so much! love your office :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I currently have an Epson R1900 and just ordered an R2000 which is its' replacement. Highly recommended!

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful change! Have a gorgeous day, Kellie xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.
    Out Door Lighting

    ReplyDelete