Sunday, June 15, 2014

Day 56: Shedding Light on Things

Day: 56
Schedule: Working on a Sunday
Prognosis for Survival: The End Is Near

When I was going through all the lighting options, one thing sort of became clear to me: I'm liking the new LED lightbulbs. They are more expensive than compact fluorescents (and way more expensive than even the new generation of incandescent bulbs), but they turn on very quickly and are immediately at full brightness and color temperature. Some of the fixtures we picked for outside and undercabinet have integrated LED blubs, but most of them are traditional fixtures taking a mix of incandescents and CFLs. For most of them the bulb isn't really exposed, so aesthetically it shouldn't matter how the bulb will look, but for the sconces over the sink, the bulbs are very visible and on display. The manufacturer recommends an A15-shape/size frosted incandescent bulb, and that's what the contractor put in. An A19-shape/size LED replacement would have been too large for the fixture and the heatsink on the bulb would have been too much on display.

Digging around at Lowe's, however, I found these Utilitech 4.8-Watt A15 replacements. The heatsink is fairly small and blends in well. If you look at it closely, you see something looks different, but nothing glaring. And the color profile (3200 Kelvin) and light output (300 lumen) are pretty good. It's a little less bright than the 60 W incandescents that were in there, but it's also a bit less yellow of light (without shading into blue) that blends well with the light from the CFLs in the ceiling fixture. Evelin mentioned something to the contractor about me wanting to switch out the bulbs, but he asked that I not do it until after he'd had his pictures of the final work taken ... but that entire conversation happened after I made the switch so I'm not sure it was even noticed...

I'm not sure when, but I think I'll replace the incandescents in the pendants at some point with dimmable candle-shaped LED bulbs and, if I can find ones the right size, I'd love to swap out the bulbs for the built-in task lights on the microwave with LEDs. In both cases, the biggest reason is the heat the incandescent bulbs generate, but the long-term energy savings and lowered environmental impact would be big pluses, too.

In the second picture, you can see to the left of the sink the shelves, which started going up today.

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