Jim & Donna’s Excellent LED Adventure (Part I)

Recently we had to decide what kind of lighting to put in the master suite hallway – it’s a long, skinny area and I didn’t want any bulky fixtures taking up room, so I decided I would like recessed lighting with white trim. Jim was interested in LED lighting since it uses less energy than incandescent, is cool to the touch, and lasts forever – well, a gazillion hours anyway. So off we went on a shopping quest for recessed LED lighting.

Jim’s early research showed that a new all-LED fixture was astronomically expensive – about $200 per fixture – with 2 lights, that’s $400 for hallway lighting – I don’t think so! We decided to go talk with our friends at Home Depot…turns out you can use a retrofit approach and lower your costs.

We ended up buying 2 Halo Air-tite 6-in. recessed housings for $15.97/each (Picture source: Home Depot Online):

And we also bought 2 All-Pro LED Retrofit Modules and Trim for $59.97/each (Picture source: Home Depot Online):

The price ended up at $75.94+tax/fixture, which I liked way better than our original estimate of $200/fixture.

The way these components work is that the Air-Tite housing has a standard Edison base socket. The All-Pro LED kits have an adapter that screws into the housing socket, and then the lighting module plugs into that adapter.

Now, I will say that these particular lights were overkill – they are rated for wet locations and are also dimmable, neither of which we needed. However, they were the only LED lights in the store compatible with the only 6-in. housings that Home Depot had, and we really wanted to get the project done that day. With a little more time and shopping around, we might have been able to save a few more bucks.

Back at the hacienda, Jim went to work…this first thing he had to do was get rid of this atrocious, dangly light fixture in the hallway:

This fixture was controlled by a 3-way switch – one switch in the master and one at the other end of the hallway. Now to me, this should be called a “2-way” switch, because there are 2 ways to turn the light on and off, but no, it’s a “3-way” switch…what more could I expect in a world where a 2 by 4 is really a 1-1/2 by 3-1/2? Go figure.

Anyway, back to the topic – Jim needed to remove the one gaudy, dangly light, and replace it with 2 recessed LED lights. Being the engineer that he is, he came up with this little diagram to help him out:

I’m married to Thomas Edison.

Jim removed the old light fixture:

Next he marked the location of the new cans on the ceiling and cut out the holes – he cheated a little and used his drill bit to make the cut – the rough edge was covered up by the light trim:

Hey, I can see my attic!

After the holes were cut, Jim inserted the cans into the openings.

Now, at this point, he may have gone into the attic to hook the cans up to the power supply, or he may have waited to do that until after he installed the LED modules…I’m not sure because I was in another part of the house, doing something extremely important, I’m sure, like checking out the inside of my eyelids 😮

After the cans were installed, he screwed in the LED Edison base adapters and attached the LED modules to the adapters, and then popped them into the housing:

Voilà!! We now have LED hall lighting. What a difference from having the single, dim, dangly fixture at one end of the hallway.

We were so impressed by the way they looked that we decided to put one in each of our closets, instead of the 2-bulb incandescent fixtures we had just bought to go in there. The next day I headed out to return the incandescents and pick up 2 more LED fixtures instead. However, on my way to Home Depot, I noticed something very peculiar about our receipt…(to be continued)


About donnahuebsch

I'm a wife, a mom to an unschooling teenager, an animal lover, an artsy craftsy kind of person, & a DIYer. We're embarking on our BIGGEST do-it-yourself project yet - renovating an entire house!
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6 Responses to Jim & Donna’s Excellent LED Adventure (Part I)

  1. eof737 says:

    Looking good Donna! Good to know you got a huge price saving with the choice you made. 😉

  2. Oooh la la! That looks fantastic! We’re thinking about doing something like this in our kitchen, but the price tags were so discouraging. Great finds!

  3. Carly says:

    Thomas Edison indeed! We had to give up and call in an electrician for a similar lighting situation when my hubby somehow managed to re-wire it so that the hallway light switch started controlling the TV in the adjacent living room. We needed your diagram!

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