Easy lighting & outlet hacks that save money

April 01, 2020

I've been working on little projects while staying safe at home, and I'll continue to share those with you here on the blog! I'm sharing a slightly different DIY today and it involves one so many shudder at...electrical projects. Hang in there with me!

I picked up a few dimmers a few weeks ago (knowing we may be at home for awhile) to install around the house. I also installed a couple outlets and switches that I must have bought shortly after moving in. I've been busy at the breaker box!

If you know how to change out a light switch or outlet, these will be easy for you. And even if you don't, I encourage you to watch a YouTube video to see how easy it is (or check out the tutorials I share in this post). I promise it's not that hard. Once you get the hang of it each of these take five minutes to change out.

They're all easy fixes that make life a bit easier AND save energy and light bulbs!

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Dimmer switches

I've blabbed on and on about dimmer switches for years for good reason! They are my FAVORITE! Dimmers allow you to soften the light rooms so they aren't so bright at all times:

How to install a dimmer switch

I love them in any room -- we have them in bedrooms, bathrooms (if you get up before the sun they are a must!), the kitchen, dining area and family room. Pretty much all over the house. :)
Dark accent wall dining room

Dark green DIY office built ins

I added one to out master bath and the foyer last week:
Cheap board and batten treatment on wall

They not only adjust the light to your liking, but they add an ambience to a room in the evening that is really lovely. Plus you will save energy and your light bulbs will last much longer.

You can find my simple tutorial for installing a dimmer switch here! (I wrote that post years ago -- I show one way to install them, but check out the instructions inside the package for updated methods.)

Things to consider when purchasing -- make sure your dimmer switch works for LED light bulbs. Also, if your light operates from one switch it is called single pole. If a light works from more than one switch it's called three way. Most dimmers work for all of these now -- that's why they cost more than they used to. (Back in the day they were less than $10 each.)

You can find my favorite dimmer switches that work for LEDs and every switch here and here!

Recessed outlets

I've shared these cool recessed outlets (and how to install them) as well. They are great outlets because they give you a few more inches behind furniture and TVs:

Recessed outlets for behind furniture

I've shared before how much I hate when I can't push furniture all the way against the wall -- these help tremendously! 

Also, if you're having an outlet installed behind a hanging TV, I recommend these instead of a regular outlet. That way you have plenty of space behind:
Gallery wall around TV

Still haven't painted the trim in this room. 😬 It's on my list while we're at home! 

You can find recessed outlets online here and here

USB outlets

These USB outlets are another favorite because they are so useful. You still have two regular outlets, but also two USBs as well:
USB outlet for charging devices

You can plug anything in like a normal outlet, but don't need the bulky chargers to power up your devices. There's plenty of room to have something plugged into every spot. 

We have one in our mud room and it's perfect because we have so many items that need to be charged -- speakers, watches, phones, etc. 

I keep all of the cords right there so we can grab them all:  
Mud room command center with USB outlet

The kitchen island is another perfect spot for one of these!: 
USB outlet on island

I think they'd be great in an office or bedroom as well.

You can find USB outlets online here and here

Motion sensor lights

I hate when lights are left on around the house! Not calling my family out or anything...I'd never do that. ;)

I used one of these in our old house and loved it. I must have bought one for our new home because I found it the other day and installed it in my closet:

Motion sensor outlet turns off light

The motion sensor light is GREAT for areas where our families we tend to leave lights on and forget to turn them off.

They turn on when you walk in and you can set how quickly you want them to turn off when you leave the room. You can also tap the button to turn them on and off.

I think they're especially helpful in closets and pantries. It takes some getting used to -- you'll still reach for the light switch for a good week after putting it in. :) They will save you some money on the electrical bill if you have light switch offenders in your home.

You can find motion sensor light switches online here and here.

If you're planning to install any of these handy switches or outlets, you'll want to pick up a voltage tester as well. It's super simple tool that tells you if there's any power going to what you're working on. I ALWAYS test (in addition to turning off the breaker) -- even though the light is off, there may be power coming from an another room.

I think you'll find any of these helpful around the house! If you're working from home this is a great time to tackle little projects like this. Let me know if you have any questions!

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  1. You have the best hints! Thank you for sharing. I'm buying some recessed outlets today!


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