DIY Network

Cost-Efficient Lighting

More in Home Improvement


Watch an Overview Video

Tools & Materials

CFL light bulbs
LED light bulbs
Remote-controlled lighting system
Vintage lamp
Replacement socket
Lamp cord
Quick-clamp plug
Needle-nose pliers

Tips for Cost-Efficient Lighting

TIP: With the phase-out of incandescents, Americans are choosing new light bulbs. Here’s how to get the most for your money.

1. Incandescents were used for over a century. They were inexpensive, produced warm, soft light, lasted up to 1000 hours, and lost over 90% of their energy to heat.

2.Thirty years ago, compact fluorescents or CFLs came on the market. They cost more than incandescents, come in odd shapes, last up to 8000 hours, light up slowly, and produce bluish light; because they contain mercury, they must be disposed of carefully.

3. Newest light bulbs are Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs. Light is warm like incandescents, but they use 85% less energy and can last up to 50,000 hours. Prices are comparable to CFLs. They are round like incandescents and fit standard sockets.

4. To rewire a lamp, feed new cord through the base, tying a knot in it so it won’t pull all the way through.

5. Strip ends and attach to new socket.

6. Snap quick-clamp plug on end of cord.

TIP: Plug will penetrate cord and connect with wires inside; no need to strip cord.