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

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32
votes
8answers
14k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
30k 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
24k 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
974 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
856 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
5answers
9k 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
3k 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
4answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
7k 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
2k 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
1answer
5k 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
713 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
23k 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 10 40W GU10 bulbs. So, this is using 400W when they're at max output. (They're all on dimmer switches) I'm interesting 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
1answer
24k 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
15k 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?
7
votes
2answers
431 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
4answers
15k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
17k 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
5answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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
8k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
26k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
9k 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?
6
votes
2answers
3k 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
2k 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
404 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
478 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
2answers
2k 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
1answer
450 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
9answers
17k 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
326 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
5k 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 90F (32.2C) and 90% humidity. It flickers and only reaches 80% brightness after that. It will occasionally flicker ...
6
votes
1answer
10k 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
2answers
580 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
458 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
1answer
520 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
619 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
4k views

Why are bulbs burning out quickly in newly installed light fixtures?

I installed five incandescent, recessed light fixtures in the cathedral ceiling of my living room. The fixtures are wired in parallel series (A connects to B connects to C ...). All the wiring is done ...
6
votes
2answers
958 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

How to make lights turn on one at a time?

So we've all seen this scene dozens of times in movies: a character flips a switch and lights turn on, one at time, down a long tunnel, or throughout a giant garage, or something like that. I'd like ...
5
votes
9answers
14k views

How should I add lighting to a low ceiling basement?

I have a basement ceiling that's around 6'6" high and currently the lights are standard bulb outlets that are attached to the beams so they sit down at eye level in the room. This means when you're ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What about a light switch in the closet?

Okay you guys I have next question. And like all good questions this one begins with a story. I was reading the post about a nick in a wire and read a couple of you mention that light switch in a ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Can the socket in my recessed light be replaced without replacing the entire framing kit?

I have recessed lighting in my living room. One of the bulbs went out. I tried replacing it with a fresh one, but no luck. There is electricity flowing to the socket, but the socket appears to have ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

My living room needs more ambient light and I'm reluctant to drill holes in my ceiling. What are my options?

Problem: My living room needs more ambient light. Constraint: My living room does not have an overhead light fixture and I'm reluctant to drill holes in my ceiling. Questions: What are my ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
718 views

What's the best way to plug circular drywall holes left by electrician?

I'm having recessed lights installed and want to know the best method to plug the holes left by the electrician. I was thinking of something like paint stirring sticks and construction adhesive to ...
5
votes
3answers
25k 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!