When I came up with the idea for Green4r | V3rt [now Rewilding], I wanted to learn the business by doing it for myself. I identified a bunch of green projects, put them into a table, and identified the priorities based on how they connected to each other, like so:

Click to look closer at how it’s set up

One of the first projects that I could get off the ground was changing the lighting – and it was a lot of changes. Here is one reason it was so necessary:

Though it may not be obvious, that is a recessed lighting pot, with a junction box attached to it

Recessed lighting, so beloved by designers and normal humans alike, should not be put into a ceiling that goes into the attic or space below the roof. It might look nice, but the fact is, you’re creating a hole 5″ in diameter through which all the heat escapes. As heat rises, you’re pulling air in from below, which means you are paying to heat fresh air that must come in from the outside.

My attic has 11 rows of batts, which I will double, to take my attic insulation from R-20 to R-40 or R-50.

Not only that, but unless you had put in a fireproof box surrounding that lighting pot – not many people have done this (it only marginally reduces the escape of heat from your home) – you are putting yourself at risk of an electrical fire in your attic, because like the picture demonstrates, the insulation bats were layered on top. The dark staining that you see on the Fiberglass Pink is where the batt has acted like an air filter. It gets dirty. Fibreglass is slow to catch fire, but it can if things melt down due to heat or sparks fly out due to damage.

One of my priority projects was to remove the seven recessed lights in my attic ceiling to cut down on those drafts. Three were in the foyer ceiling (pictured below), and four in the bathroom.

The third lighting unit is somewhat obscured by the chandelier
Two removed from the bathroom – with a slot cut for fishing a wire through to a new place for a sconce light

I moved these recessed lights down to my finished basement, which was dreadfully dim, with only one recessed light and a couple of sconces. But first: I finally found some sconces I liked, at ReStore, the store for recycling home renovation materials and decor.

A bad pic, but they are fancy!

Here are some pics of the basement now that I moved five recessed lights down there (there are now six). How dim it was before the change! Although I had two table lamps and two desk lamps that kept things cozy and functional.

The pendulum lamp above my couch is a kitschy red light (so I moved it to the bedroom). My basement is due for a declutter.
The two sconces – they are on a separate switch from the recessed lights
The holes in the ceiling, patched (but not painted yet), and the new sconce, which is connected to the ventilation switch. It more brightly illuminates the shower and the toilet.

Meanwhile, upstairs, I patched over the holes in the ceiling. I also installed a new sconce in the bathroom, and temporarily installed some old track lighting with the fixtures I want to keep, while I wait to get started with the solar tunnel project. That will be happening in December.