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Have you ever been frustrated by low light in parts of your home? Wondered how to get soft, bright light without lots of heat or using tons of power? I started researching lighting solutions and found out about super bright LEDs and how LED power can help solve the frustrating lighting problems I had. Today I am sharing a DIY Lighting project created around the concept of converting your home to LED bulbs.
Doing all this research, I learned about a new way to light: GE Energy Smart LED bulbs. They have a great shape, like traditional incandescent bulbs, but 1 LED bulb lasts as long as 15 traditional incandescent bulbs. Plus an LED bulb uses 80% less energy than traditional incandescents! Oh, what a relief, especially in the summer here in the desert when my energy costs skyrocket with air conditioner use. Between tabletop lights and ceiling fixtures, we have 56 light bulbs in our house (OMG I had no idea it was that many until I counted them all!) and if I changed them all to LED bulbs, I would be saving $229.59 on electricity costs per year! That's almost $3500 over the life of the bulbs!
How much can you save?
We've been remaking our family room after 6 years in this house. We bought it as repo and have been slowly repairing and updating the things left in disrepair by the previous homeowners. It's been a huge DIY project but it has been rewarding to remake everything in our own way. One of the biggest challenges in this house was a lack of lighting when we moved in – they literally removed almost every single light fixture from the house when they left and there weren't very many to begin with. The family room was especially dark, even after we installed a ceiling fan with a light.
I like to craft small projects while watching TV and the light is so dim that I often have to bring in a table top light on an extension cord, which is a big production, or leave the kitchen lights on, which just sucks lots of energy and they are too far away to make much of a difference. I tried a table lamp and it wasn't enough light. The corner of the family room would be a great place to put a ceiling light but ceiling fixtures are so expensive, difficult to wire, and then, what if we didn't like a wired light fixture there after we installed it?
Argh, what a challenge! I started looking on Pinterest for ideas and kept being drawn to ball-shaped fixtures hung from the ceiling. I needed something bright, beautiful, and practical.
I decided to create a light fixture that was mix of these two ideas:
- GE Energy Smart LED Light Bulbs from Target x3
- Plug-in Hanging Light Fixture
- 16 Gauge Galvanized Wire
- 9 Gauge Multi-purpose Galvanized Utility Wire
- Metallic Spray Paint in Metallic Gold
- MAP gas or Propane Torch (Optional)
- Flux (Optional)
- Solder (Optional)
- Wire Cutters or Bolt Cutters
- Fine Grit Sandpaper
- Metal File
- Wire Brushes
1. With bolt cutters or wire cutters, cut 3 equal lengths of 16 Gauge Galvanized wire per wire ball light you plan to make. For the smallest ball, we cut 3 pieces each of 36″ of wire, the middle ball used wire pieces 50″ long and the largest ball used wire pieces 68″ long.
2. Use a metal file to file the ends of the wire flat.
3. Bend the pieces of wire into circle, hoop shapes.
4. Clean the ends of the wire with fine grit sand paper. Then paint each end with flux.
5. Bend the each wire so the two ends meet. Heat in the MAP gas torch and melt the solder to cover the joint. Allow to cool.
6. If the solder doesn't hold, clean the end of each wire with the sand paper and a wire brush to remove any fire scale. Then repeat the process.
7. Reinforce the soldering by wrapping the joints with the 9 Gauge Galvanized Wire. If you don't have a torch, you can skip soldering and just wrap the hoops like this.
8. Wire the 3 hoops together at the joints with the 9 Gauge Galvanized Wire.
9. Wrap the 9 Gauge Galvanized Wire across each section made by the hoops, at least 5 times. For a fuller ball, wrap more wire across each section.
10. Paint the balls with Metallic Spray Paint in Metallic Gold. Be sure to get the inside of the ball as well as the outside.
11. Hang the plug-in fixtures from the ceiling using the hooks.
12. Thread the wire balls onto each light fixture and secure in place on the fixture.
13. Thread a GE Energy Smart LED light bulb into each light fixture.
14. Plug in the lights and enjoy!
Here's a closeup of one ball:
Ready to change over to LED lighting in your home?
Find these GE Energy Smart LED bulbs in the Home Improvement aisle of your local @Target store or on the endcap at the end of the aisle:
Use these handy coupons to get a deal on GE's Energy Smart LED bulbs at your local Target:
- On the GE website, $1 off
- $2 off LED coupon on Target.com
- LED bulbs will be featured in Target’s circular April 27 – May 3 with a Buy 1, get 1 Free on 60W LED
- Target's Cartwheel App – 30% off Soft White LED this week
- Target's Cartwheel App – April 27 – May 3 get 10% off (and can be combined with circular offer)
Don't forget to also check the Target Cartwheel app for coupons for these GE Energy Smart LED bulbs.
For more evergy tips and lighting ideas, follow @GELighting online here:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/gelighting
Twitter – www.twitter.com/gelighting
Instagram – www.instagram.com/gelighting
Website – www.gelighting.com
Share this great DIY lighting project on twitter with a Tweet: Get #LEDSavings with @GeLighting LED bulbs at @Target – click here for #coupon and #DIY Lighting ideas: http://ctt.ec/Bh7cv+ #cbias
Thanks so much for stopping by today! What lighting challenges do you have that LED bulbs from @GELighting could solve?