Saturday, September 27, 2014

Repurposing old light fixtures to use LED lamps

Over the last year or so I have been replacing CFL lamps with LEDs since they are more efficient and last longer and I also feel they provide a nicer quality of light. 

Today I decided to upgrade the torchiere lamp that sits next to my spot on the couch.   I have had this lamp for over 15 years and first purchased it from Real Goods in California as we were beginning to transition from incandescent lamps to compact florescents.   It came with a 30 W circular florescent that is dimmable, and I have always used it at maximum brightness.  It was claimed that this lamp was functionally equivalent in brightness to a 150 W lamp originally, and I have found this to be more or less true.   Here is a shot of the original circular florescent installed in the lamp:
And here is the upgraded lamp with 2 - 12W 1100 Lumen (75W equivalent) warm white (3700K) LED lamps:
The conversion was quite simple, and all I needed to do was purchase a couple of lamp sockets that come with small angle brackets to screw them down.  I had to slightly modify the fixture with some small metal parts to get the lamps to place nicely within the bowl of the lamp, but that was it.  
So now one of the most used lamps in our home has been reduced from 30 W to 24W.   According to my rough calculations this should save around $.15 a month on the electric bill - not much - but these LEDs will last much longer than the circular tube that I had replaced several times.   Many torchiere lamps use halogen lamps rated at 100 to 300Watts - if you have one, it may be worth upgrading to LEDs because they could pay for themselves in a matter of months.  Of course my electric bill is irrelevant in the summer when  our solar panels export excess energy back to the grid, but the principle of conservation is essential to me.