Planning, installing and using either indoor or outdoor artificial lights.

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35
votes
8answers
25k views

When I turn down the dimmer switch on my lights, do I actually use less electricity?

My wife and I have several lights on dimmer switches throughout our home. We generally prefer the ambient lighting provided by dimmed lights. I am curious, though, if we are saving any electricity by ...
17
votes
3answers
54k views

How should I rewire a miswired 3-way switch?

I have a 3 way switch that was wired incorrectly when the switches were replaced with a different color switch. Is there a methodical way for me to identify which wires represent which piece of the ...
14
votes
1answer
42k views

What do I need to install LED strip lighting?

I've been looking to install LED strips, either RGB or white for lighting and ambiance. It wouldn't be the main lighting of the room, so no necessity for high power LEDs. The perimeter of the room is ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I safely use a switch rated for “1A at 125V” with 240V, assuming I stay below 125W?

I recently purchased a foot switch for a standing lamp. The switch is rated for 1A at 125V. I would like to use this switch with a low energy lamp (typically 10W or below) but with a 240V supply. Is ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a good rule of thumb for how many lights you need in a room?

I want to use ceiling recessed wall washers in a 13 ft by 24 ft room. Any advice on light spacing so I don't create dark spots? How far from the wall vs how far apart from each other should they be?
12
votes
4answers
6k views

Are standard light bulb bases being phased out?

Recently we've been shopping for light fixtures, and have noticed a dramatic increase in non-standard bulbs. CFLs in particular seem to be drifting away from the common threaded base, in favor of ...
12
votes
5answers
12k views

Why do my new dimmable CFL bulbs hum?

I just spent $100 upgrading our dining room lighting from regular incandescent bulbs with a dimmer switch to a CFL friendly dimmer switch with specifically marked dimming capable CFL bulbs. At full ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the pros and cons of LED lighting for home use?

I'm interested in installing LED lights in my home, and I'm having a dilemma between buying LED bulbs and rolling my own solution. I have some questions on how to DIY: How efficient is it? Single ...
10
votes
5answers
14k views

How should I hang Christmas lights where I don't have any gutters?

I finally got around to hanging Christmas lights this year. I bought gutter clips so I wouldn't have to permanently install anything, but I just realized that I don't have gutters along a pitched ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

How to replace a standard 2-gang light switch with an electric dimmer switch

I'm looking for a some assistance in fitting a new electric dimmer light switch. I'm in the UK if that makes a difference. I am trying to replace my existing two-gang light switch with a LightWaveRF ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Can I safely run 595 watts of lights with a 600 watt dimmer switch?

I have 7 85-watt lights (a total of 595 watts) that I want to control using a 600-watt dimmer switch. Is that too close to be safe? What if I remove one of the lights?
9
votes
4answers
63k views

How do I remove a flush mounted ceiling light fixture dome?

My bedroom has a very nice looking flush mounted ceiling light with a glass dome. However, all the bulbs have gone out and I cannot get the glass out to replace them. I'm 5'4" and standing on the ...
9
votes
9answers
25k views

Can I use an LED bulb in a 3-Way fixture?

Is it possible to use an LED bulb in a 3-way light fixture? Will all three work?
9
votes
1answer
7k views

What is the difference between dimmable and non-dimmable CFL bulbs?

I have a dimmable ceiling light fixture in the Dining room. I put in CFL bulbs a few months ago. It all seems to work fine, no problem. I went to a hardware store yesterday and saw that there were CFL ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I change the bulb in this light fixture?

I would like to change the light bulb in the room because the bulb died on me. Trouble is, it is fixed to the ceiling and I cannot take the bulb out. I am attaching two pictures here. On one of the ...
8
votes
3answers
32k views

What's the difference between dimmable and non-dimmable LED lamps?

I have a large room in my house with 3 light fittings, with a total of ten 40W GU10 bulbs. So, this is using 400W when they're at max output (they're all on dimmer switches). I'm interested in ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I stop bulbs from buzzing when dimmed?

I've got some hanging lights with "Fat Albert" bulbs that are plugged into a dimmer switch. When they're dimmed to certain levels, the bulbs make a soft buzzing sound. The buzz is amplified and ...
8
votes
3answers
282 views

Why is a neutral wire needed for most 'smart' light switches?

Why do most smart light switches need a neutral wire?
8
votes
7answers
32k views

What exactly is a PAR type LED lamp, how does it differ from R/BR type LED & CFL lamps?

I am in the process of replacing my incandescent bulbs with more efficient alternatives. My home is about 14 years old, I've owned it for a little over three years. It seems most of the bulbs that it ...
8
votes
4answers
49k views

Do I really need a special bulb in the oven?

My oven light burnt out recently. After dismantling it I found a 40W 130V "appliance" bulb with a standard Edison connector. The bulb is slightly smaller than a normal incandescent bulb. Looking for ...
8
votes
6answers
7k views

Why is my new garage door going through lights so fast?

A little while ago our 14 year old garage door opener broke and we had the choice of retrofitting it with modern safety gear (required by code before they could even try to fix it) and then a ...
8
votes
2answers
45k views

How can I override a motion detector light?

I am going to be installing one or two motion detector lights to cover my backyard. I would like the ability to "override" the motion detector. What I mean by this is that I would like to be able to ...
7
votes
2answers
611 views

How do I upgrade a conventional switch to a dimmer?

I have a single pole light switch (I guess that means 1 switch controls the light?). The top switch turns the light on, the bottom switch turns the fan on. I bought a dimmer, that has a black screw, ...
7
votes
3answers
33k views

Why do my LED lights stay on, even when the switch is off?

I have two LED lamps in my corridor, and when I switch them off, they keep emitting light (not very strong, but it's annoying at night). What can it be? How can I fix it?
7
votes
4answers
43k views

What is the difference between R20 and PAR20 lightbulbs?

Are they compatible? What do R and PAR prefixes represent in general? Important decision, need to buy several replacement lightbulbs!
7
votes
1answer
27k views

Light switch setup using only hot wire. Is it normal?

I was changing the light switches around the house when I came upon this setup. The two switches to the right are all wired using the hot wire (black) from the two electrical wire on the back panel. ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How to find LED Christmas lights that look more like traditional incandescent bulbs?

We just bought some LED Christmas lights that are labeled 'warm white', but when we hook them up they look ugly in the light they emit and seem very blue in their color to me. The specific kind I got ...
7
votes
2answers
12k views

Can I install recessed lighting in vaulted ceiling with 6" rafters?

I would like to install recessed lighting in my vaulted ceiling. One contractor I spoke with suggested not doing that because the rafters are shallow (only 6 inches), which does not leave much room ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Are track lighting systems standardized/universal?

Our business has track for track lighting, but the previous tenants took the fixtures with them when they moved out. I want to buy and install some pendant and spotlight track lights, but I'm not ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there energy saving lamps which work with touch/electronic dimmers, timers, etc.?

Dimmable energy saving bulbs are usually labeled as "Use only with standard dimmers. Not to be used with touch dimmers, electronic dimmers, timers, ..." After reading ...
6
votes
6answers
12k views

Are CFL bulbs safe for enclosed fixtures?

I just got 3 dozen CFL bulbs for free, and was planning on replacing all the non-downward exposed fixture lights in my home with these bulbs. In the past I haven't even considered switching to CFL ...
6
votes
4answers
9k views

Can I use a 23 W CFL in a fixture that's rated for a 60 W incandescent?

I have a lamp that is rated at 60 Watts for an incandescent bulb with a disclaimer to use a 13 Watt bulb instead when using a CFL replacement. Do I really need to respect that disclaimer? Would not a ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Why are my downlights constantly blowing?

I have a strip of 3 downlights in my living room, and I am constantly changing globes. Usually two of the globes blow in the first day or two of use, but the third globe will last much longer (at ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I install this flush-mount ceiling light?

I bought a new flush-mount ceiling light and am having a tough time figuring out how to get it installed. The instructions that came with it are completely useless. Here are all of the pieces that ...
6
votes
2answers
620 views

Does lamp maximum wattage matter for CF bulbs? [duplicate]

Say I have a table lamp that states (via a slightly scary sticker) that it takes a 60W max bulb. Of course, that was based around incandescent wattages. Is there any risk with putting in a CF bulb ...
6
votes
1answer
641 views

What do I need to replace 4 light switches on the same circuit?

So we have a single light in our living room that can be turned on/off from four different switches at various entrances to the living room. We're currently replacing all the switches in our house as ...
6
votes
3answers
16k views

What does that mean if my LED light bulb starts blinking when I turned it on?

I have an LED light bulb: Philips 60W incandescent equivalent I've owned it for about a year and have been very happy with it. This morning when I turned it on, it started blinking. Not flickering, ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does using a dimmer with this ceiling fan and lights cause energy saving bulbs to flicker?

At a hotel I manage we purchased 34 ceiling fans with two integrated light sockets that operate on a dimmer all controlled by a remote control. Obviously using a dimmer with fluorescent bulbs won't ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the pros and cons of LED vs CFL vs incandescent bulbs for outdoor lighting?

I'm planning to install some light on my balcony and was just wondering what would be the best choice of lamp. I live in a relatively cold climate, and the current temperature at night is around ...
6
votes
5answers
9k views

Can a mix of receptacles and light fixtures be installed on a single circuit?

A while ago we had some renovations done in our house. After the electrician was done, we realized we now had one light switch in our kitchen that was no longer connected to anything. It is in a ...
6
votes
1answer
861 views

Why is my light switch leaking electricity?

I have a home built in 1950 and a laundry room added sometime in the unknown future. There is a light switch that seems to be emitting electricity according to my Fluke voltage tester. I noticed it ...
6
votes
3answers
15k views

Why do light bulbs all over the house burn out disconcertingly fast?

I've found a couple answers to this question. This generally revolve around the scenario where it's bulbs in a general area such as a fan. My issue is that light bulbs all over the house burn out ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

Why does my fluorescent light fixture take minutes to turn on in high heat and humidity?

Our kitchen fixture won't come on for 3 to 5 minutes when the temperature goes over 90°F (32.2°C) and 90% humidity. It flickers and only reaches 80% brightness after that. It will occasionally ...
6
votes
1answer
16k views

Do I need an outlet box to install an outdoor light fixture?

We're getting a sliding door and deck installed this week and the town inspector said I need to have an outside light by the door. I'm ready to tackle this part myself. Most of the howto stuff I ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

Can I safely power a three-prong electrical device from a light socket?

I have a covered lampholder (light socket) outside my house that I want to use to temporarily power a plug-in string of indoor/outdoor lights. Using CFLs, the total wattage of the string of lights ...
6
votes
9answers
20k views

How do I put a fluorescent light on a motion sensor?

I have a couple closets in my basement that I have outfitted with a fluorescent light attached to a motion sensor (this one). The idea was that when you open the closet door, the light comes on ...
6
votes
3answers
437 views

What kind of lightbulb(?) is in this chandelier?

I've come across images from a chandelier by Mathieu Lehanneur for Chateau Borely. Even after looking at it quite for a while and going through everything I've ever seen, I couldn't really imagine ...
6
votes
2answers
664 views

Fluorescent lights that turn on very slowly

So I've got an older house, built in the late 1950's. All the lights in the bathroom fixtures and the garage are fluorescent. Sometimes, but not always, they take several minutes to actually turn on ...
6
votes
3answers
532 views

What type of light bulb connector is this?

Hi there I have just bought this hanging lamp whose bulb connector type I cannot identify, I got it in Italy and the only thing I am sure is that the light bulb must be some kind of tube shape for it ...
6
votes
2answers
752 views

What recessed lighting technology is recommended for LED?

I'm remodeling my first floor and we will install recessed lighting in the existing ceiling. Right now is a tense time to make lighting choices as there are so many new technologies out there. My goal ...