FLUORESCENT

A fluorescent fixture.

Type "fluorescent lights" in a search engine and you'll find a large selection of fixtures, including many that meet Energy Star standards of efficiency. The range of size and style in fluorescent fixtures has never been so diverse, making them a good choice for any room in the house, a far cry from early fluorescents that were basically utility lights for the kitchen, bathroom and basement laundry.

To replace an existing ceiling fixture with a new 36-inch, two-tube fluorescent one, an electrician will charge $241, which includes the labor and cost of the fixture. If you have electrical skills and tools, you can make the swap for $95, the cost of the fixture, and save 61 percent. You'll need the basics: electrical tape, a screwdriver, a pair of wire snippers and a ladder. It helps to have someone on hand to hold the old fixture you're removing and the new one you're installing while you work on the ladder. Installing the new fixture is the reverse of removing the old one, so pay attention to the wires as you disconnect them. Use your phone to take a few shots so you don't forget. Remember to turn off the power to the circuit serving the light at the main service panel before you begin -- sage advice for doing any electrical work around the house.

Before you schedule the job, plan ahead and decide if you want to paint the ceiling as part of the job. If you are painting, remove the old fixture, paint the ceiling and let it dry before installing the new fixture.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com.

Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$241 -- $95 -- 0.9 -- 1.3 -- $146 -- 61 Percent

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