How Many Hours Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?

By Jeff | Mar. 26, 2013

Apparently it can take upwards of two if you’re trying to retrofit super ugly recessed lighting from the late 70s. I’ve hated our recessed lighting not only because it uses high-wattage fluorescent bulbs (75 W), but also but they look plain ugly.

Old Light

I mean, really, who thought that was a wise design choice. We needed some more CFLs from Home Depot ($1 each) and thought we’d pick up some upgrades for the recessed lighting too.

Old Lights

That’s when things got interesting as I noticed something new. Normally I think of LED lighting as being way too expensive for the cost (they’re still almost 10x as expensive as CFLs and only a few Watts more efficient). But they had these fancy LED retrofit bulbs that not only were super efficient at about 11 W each, but also were supposed to be airtight and looked way better than what we had. And theoretically, they were supposed to be about as easy as screwing in a light bulb.

The first step was to take out the old light bulb out and then dismantle the old light trims.

I detached the springs by twisting them and pulling and eventually they came out. Now, apparently most recessed lights have some kind of wing nut to help lower the light socket, but naturally ours didn’t. So I just screwed in the new light bulb part and connected the wires.

The next step was the tricky part. Most recessed pots have little clips to mount the tension brackets. Ours didn’t appear to have these, which were crucial to getting the light to stay in place. Then I found two little pieces of metal that I could bend outwards and stick the tension springs in.

Pot Tension Tab

Yeah, it really sucked, and if it wasn’t for this YouTube video I wouldn’t have even known to look for those slots. But the end result looks way better than before and they’re better sealed (after some finagling).

New Light

Here’s a close up with the lights dimmed. Next up, the kitchen lights! Between all 7 lights, we could be saving about 450.8 W which adds up to about $10 / mo! We should be able to recoup the costs in about 19 months, but considering that the lights should last at least 16 years, we’re coming out way ahead.

New Lights