Lighting Updates: LED Recessed Lights {Part 1}

lighting updates in an old home have a huge impact

Lighting can make or break a decorating plan, and an organizing plan, too. This week, I treated myself to some fabulous electrical updates, and wanted to show you why I am ridiculously happy.

Here’s how to plan your lighting changes:

Step 1: Make friends with an expert electrician you trust. Brian has been working with me for years, and I’m so lucky to have him on my team!

Step 2: Make a list.

Step 3: Buy fixtures.

Step 4: Get out of the expert electrician’s way.

Step 5: Celebrate!

This is our living room. It doesn’t get much light to begin with, because of only 2 small windows, one of them blocked by a mature holly tree. This is the best light that this room ever gets, at 10 am, with the light streaming through the window on the left. Grrrr.

Living room lighting update

I’m not sure if you can really tell how low and uneven the mid-day light is in here, so here’s another shot. Really, it is this bad. See the shadows? See that bright spot on the sofa? That’s the only place I ever want to sit in this room.

Lighting update needed stat


Now, I know these pictures are bad. Really bad. That’s kind of the point. I can not get this lighting the way it needs to be. There isn’t enough floor space for all of the floor lamps I would need. It’s bugged me ever since we shot my intro video here a few years ago, and we had every floor lamp I own lined up behind the camera.

I asked Brian to install recessed lights. I went with the more modern 4″ fixtures. I chose LED fixtures. These are 500 lumens fixtures, which approximate 50 watt incandescents. Remember, I just showed you how to calculate minimum lighting needs in a room. Even though this LED technology is changing rapidly, these fixtures have a nice crisp light (at 3000 kelvin) and are dimmable, so they meet all of my needs right now, and are expected to last 5-10 years before we even need to consider replacing. I got mine at The Home Depot.

I asked if Brian if minded if I took a few pictures. He said, “Well, if you’ll let me cut gaping holes in your ceiling, I guess it’s OK if you take a couple of pictures.” Love him.

Lighting update with LED recessed lights(I know this picture looks slightly better here, but trust me, it’s because the camera is picking up the light off the ceiling.)

Hubby asked me if I didn’t think the overhead lights are too modern in this old house, and I had to pause for just a moment. After all, who doesn’t love a really shiny centerpiece light? But now that the lights are in, I couldn’t be happier. We are in this room every day and night, and it just gives us one more comfortable spot to curl up with a good book, anytime.

Now, with the added lighting, I can take this picture in the dead of night. I didn’t clean up this picture at all. I can see everything in here! Pretty amazing, if you ask me.

Lighting updates in an old house with LED recessed lights

You can see another room that was transformed by recessed lighting that we recommended and a one-day redesign.

And, you might have guessed from the title, when you have an electrician out, it usually pays to make several updates at once. Be sure to visit the other lighting updates in this series.

Lighting Updates: {Part 1} Living room

Lighting Updates: {Part 2} Foyer

Lighting Updates: {Part 3} Basement

Lighting Updates: {Part 4} Fail

Lighting Updates: {Part 5} Outlets

Have you added recessed lighting to your rooms? Did it make a difference for you?

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