This seemingly simple story has been a long time in the making – 2 years, but who’s counting? – and we’ve just now finally nailed our living and dining room lighting. Well, not the fixtures (we’ve been content with those for a while!), but the actual bulbs!
If you’ve been with us since we bought our home in 2013, you might remember that the first thing we did was tear down the ceiling to install a proper support beam. While we were at it, we centered the overhead lights in both the living and dining rooms, and at the suggestion of our contractor, we decided to add 4 recessed lights per room (so 8 in all) and install a dimmer switch for extra ambient lighting. I remember the day that Scott and I went to the store to purchase bulbs and being completely overwhelmed. Thinking we were being very smart, we left the store with 8 CFL floods at a color temperature of 5000K, also labeled as ‘daylight’. We thought, well, we want the colors to feel very natural! Daylight it is.
As soon as they were in, we hated them. They were very, very blue, and so we did what any person would do who doesn’t want to go back to the store, and we never turned them on. Like, ever. We finally unloaded them at a yard sale, went back to the store and picked up 8 more CFLs at a color temperature of 2700K, which was not only much more pleasant, but it had us turning on the lights for the first time since they were installed!
It wasn’t long until we decided, we hate these too! CFL bulbs have a longer warm up time, so once we flipped the switch, the room would get brighter and brighter to the point that we’d say, did you turn up the dimmer? One of us would attempt to turn them down, but if we got too low, they’d switch off completely and/or create an irritating humming noise. Not good. Again, we stopped using the recessed lighting altogether.
Luckily, we have a happy ending! This month, we’re working with the Ace Hardware team to completely transform a room by using nothing but LED light bulbs, and we could not be more happy! The second time we purchased CFL bulbs, LEDs were hovering around a price point that was still too high for our liking, but they’ve since come down to a place that makes them a tough contender against CFLs. Not to mention, they’re really the biggest money saver in the long run; this article really digs deep, and it’s good to know that the best bulbs out there are also the best for our wallets.
We decided on a 6 pack of these Feit LED bulbs that boasted the ability to dim and light up instantly. Yes and yes! As soon as we took them out of the box, we loved that the frosted glass was already much more attractive than our old CFs. Below, the LED is on the left, and the CFL is on the right:
We swapped out every last CFL for the Feit LED bulbs (our dining room, kitchen and nook lights were all also upgraded to this 60 watt equivalent), and we were thrilled to see that with a flick of a switch, they really did turn on right away! They even dimmed down to the lowest setting without a hint of a flicker, and at 2700K, it feels soft but not overly yellow. It’s just a clean, inviting light, much more white than an incandescent bulb with the same color temperature.
The lighting aisle can be tricky – it’s no joke! – but we are 100% satisfied now that we’re on the LED train and we’ve found the color temperature that we find the most pleasing in our home. As we continue to update fixtures around the house (upstairs, you’ve been so neglected!), we’ll be nixing every last incandescent and CFL in our home.
If you’re looking to transition towards LED lighting (hello, money savings), visit your participating neighborhood Ace Hardware this weekend, October 16-18, and take advantage of the Buy 2 Get 1 Free LED light bulb sale! Buy two select FEIT LED bulbs and get one of equal or lesser value free. There’s no limit, so you can mix and match to get the bulbs you need to re-light your entire house!*
We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided us with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. See all the blogger projects on the Ace Pinterest page.
*While supplies last. Store stock only. See store for details.