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Customer Discussions > Home Improvement forum

LED retrofit for recessed lighting

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Showing 1-25 of 132 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 14, 2012 3:06:27 PM PST
WH LADY says:
Does anyone have an opinion about replacing recessed lights with the new LED retrofit fixtures? Are they as bright as a Par 38 bulb? are they easy to install? Are any "dimmable"?

Posted on Jan 14, 2012 4:16:38 PM PST
dissatisfied says:
CREE CR6 6" LED Edison Base 50000 Life Hours 2700K 10.5 Watts

These lights are easy to install- it is a matter of unscrewing the Par 38 valves from the cans, probably removing a bracket (1 screw), and screwing these in. We replaced 5 recessed halogens with these and it took me less than an hour. They are dimmable with excellent color temperature matching that of incandescents/halogens. They are not as bright as a 75W Par 38 bulb; however, the light is also more diffuse (less like a spotlight). As other reviewers have posted, these are cheaper at HD. Other brands may not dim as well or do as good a job with color temperature.

Posted on Jan 16, 2012 1:22:53 PM PST
Mockingbird says:
I second what Peter said... the Cree CR6 modules (or HD "EcoSmart" recessed LED modules) are really great, the light quality is excellent, they're fully dimmable, and they're very Cree's most cost effective LED for sure. We just put them throughout our entire house and love them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 6:06:56 PM PST
WH LADY says:
I just installed one, today, and it was a "piece of cake"! Thank you! I intend to replace all of my recessed lights with these LED's. However, I have encountered another problem. I have 4" recessed lights inside some of my glass front cabinets, and I can't figure out how to remove the baffles. I can pull the trim ring down a little bit, but I cannot see, or feel, any springs to release the baffle. Could there be some other way of holding it in? I believe the fixtures are Juno fixtures, because that is the brand used in the 6" lights, in the rest of the kitchen. Thanks for any suggestions!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2012 4:15:10 PM PST
how long do the lights remain bright. i have used LED for display cases and after only 3000 hours (about 1/2 year) they begin to dim, and by a year, they are very dim and not really working. 50,000 hours would be ~6 years.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2012 10:35:07 AM PST
A. Parrish says:
WH: I have 4" Halo fixtures & what I discovered w/ the trim is they are actually two pieces. If yours are similar, you reach just inside the recessed portion and expand your hand to the inside surface and twist/pull the interior out. You don't really need to remove the trim ring portion, but if you do all you need to do then is reach up and feel where the metal clips are to release the trim ring.
Hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2012 7:51:51 PM PST
D. Luu says:
@David, wow, I didn't know LEDs can dim, I only thought CFLs did that, while incandescents burn out. Thought LEDs would burn out too or something like that.

LED dim/bright factor is a factor of supplied voltage technically, so I don't see why they should dim, unless LED lights are designed differently than traditional LEDs in electronics.

Good to know this behavior from your observations. What brand/model LED lighting did you use, as a reference to the rest of us.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2012 4:18:08 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 26, 2012 4:18:58 AM PST
I have been selling TCP's new 17w LED PAR38 replacement and they are excellent. They give as much light as a 90w halogen flood, come in a variety of color temperatures; from warm (2700K) like a regular incandescent, halogen white (3000K) cool white (4100K) and daylight (5000K). They also are available in a flood (45º beam) and a narrow flood (30º beam). They are also fully dimmable. Rated at 50,000 hours, in the average home they will last over 40 years. Put them in your will and leave them to your kids! Want more info? Email me at ""

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2012 4:24:32 AM PST
On the 4" recessed lights you can use TCP's 14w PAR30 LED floods. No need to remove the baffle, just unscrew the existing bulb and replace it with the LED bulb! These PAR30s are as bright as a 65w incandescent flood. Like the PAR38s, they are available in several color temperatures, regular and narrow flood and last 50,000 hours! For more information email me at ""

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2012 6:26:54 PM PST
J. Garmenn says:
LED lights shouldn't be used in an enclosed space. This causes the control unit to burn up because they do build up quite a bit of heat and not many have a built in fan to move air.

Also, there are big differences in electronics between the $9 LED lights and the $30 LED lights. I'm not an expert yet, but I'm trying out some different models and brands. Overall, I'm happy with what I've gotten, but I haven't found a true incandescent replacement yet.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2012 8:39:58 PM PST
I have some LED A19s and A21s that are pretty darn close to an incandescent. Do you want them to dim or is that not a requirement in your application? Contact me at

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 8:18:07 AM PST
xtaski says:
I have 6 compact fluorescent twiin tubes in my kitchen. I want to change outt o the crees but I will not have a socket to screw into. How do I do a retrofit from the fluorescent down lights?

Posted on Feb 5, 2012 7:37:48 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 5, 2012 8:22:30 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2012 8:21:10 AM PST
rw says:
Drive There,
That's a tough one. Your fluorescents have a ballast that transforms 120 V into a higher voltage required by the tubes. To utilize any screw-based bulb, you would have to rewire them by removing the ballast and attaching a screw socket directly to the 120 Volt line inside--probably not possible without removing the fixture from the ceiling. Some companies do manufacture LED fluorescents made to replace the tubes themselves (Google "EarthLED DirectLED", for example), but they may not be cost effective. Since I have never used them, I cannot comment on the quality/quantity of the light they produce.

Posted on Feb 5, 2012 8:23:10 AM PST
rw says:
To all,
If you want LEDs for 6 inch recessed fixtures, I don't think you are going to beat the Cree CR6 (or perhaps the Home Depot "ecosmart" version made by Cree) at anywhere near the price. The appearance, warranty, light quality, beam spread, and energy efficiency (lumens per watt) blows away the competition. The current units use 9.5 watts, and put out more light than my 130 volt BR-30 bulbs by far. I've tried many LED bulbs, and none compares for recessed lighting. Just try one CR6--you will be buying more. (And no, I do not sell them or work for Cree, I just want to be a little more environmentally friendly.)

Posted on Feb 5, 2012 1:28:26 PM PST
Ray John says:
I have seen this warning on some bulbs.
Please make sure you tell the distributor if you will be using the light in a recessed can, as the light needs to be de-rated to 10 Watts for a 5" or 6" recessed can or to 8 Watts for a 4" recessed can. If you do not use a de-rated light in a recessed can the warranty will not no longer be valid.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2012 5:10:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2012 5:17:56 PM PST
xtaski says:
I was hoping that since Cree bought Ruud there would be more available in terms of conversion.

Posted on Feb 7, 2012 9:11:02 AM PST
Paul H. says:
I sell lightbulbs for a living. Hands down the best led bulb for recessed lights is the new TCP LED14E26BR3027K. This lamp has a look and color that is identical to a 65br30 and puts out about 50% more light than the 65. Can be dimmed with a standard dimmer.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2012 9:16:23 AM PST
Paul H. says:
Par 30 lamps typically will not fit a 4"can. Usually 4" = par20 lamp

Posted on Mar 11, 2012 12:08:20 PM PDT
Anson Mah says:
The Commercial Electric T85/T86 products appear to be functionally similar to the Cree/EcoSmart discussed above. I'm not a fan of the warm 2700K temperature that the Cree's have and would prefer a cooler light. Problem is, from the listings here and at HD, I can't tell what the color temperature is for the T85. Does anyone know? Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2012 5:15:28 PM PDT
rw says:
Cree also makes 3500 K CR6's. Home Depot does not sell them. Try Polar-Ray, Amazon, or other online merchants. (I personally like the 2700K CR6, having seen both in my own home. The 3500K was just too cool for me.)

Posted on Mar 15, 2012 12:35:30 AM PDT
Lee says:
I agree with the recs for the Cree's, I installed the HD version in my 6" cans and think I get brighter light without glare from them. It was simple to do, but I did run into 2 problems. 1st my kitchen cans for some reason are shallower then the rest in my house and I haven't figured out if I can adjust them to make the cree's fit or if I'll have to call in an electrician to replace the housing (I love these lights so much it's worth it to make them fit). 2nd they are not compatible with the digital dimmers, rocker style with the little green leds along the side, the cree's flicker with them but I am so tired of having to replace those dimmers from constant breakage I gladly chose another dimmer. What makes the Cree's so worthwhile to me besides the energy savings is the quality of light, the fact you don't see all those little dots of led lights, and they 'clean up' and modernize the look of the 6" cans.

Posted on Mar 15, 2012 7:40:00 PM PDT
BKH says:
I just installed 37 of the retrofit LED's in the recessed fixtures in my home. I bought the Philips brand at Lowes and Amazon, and the Cooper Lighting brand sold on Amazon. The Cooper Lighting models here on Amazon fit the shallower 6" fixtures, and can be installed in damp locations. Nice light, dimmable and bright, extremely efficient, and they should last almost forever.

Posted on Mar 16, 2012 10:04:49 AM PDT
B99 says:
Looking to replace 7 kitchen recess lights running Philips DuroMax 45W 120V flood bulbs (or similar) with LED lights and reading through the discussion above I have a few questions. Advance appologies for the simple-ton questions. 1. What is 'LED retrofit' refering to, is it just a LED lightbulb that retro fits a regular bulb or is it a fixture (bulb plus something else) that has to be purchased to replace existing? 2. What is 4" or 6" recess light refering to? The outside diameter of the light, or is it the outside diameter of the opening or the shallowest opening within the fixture? My outside recess cans are 5", the widest part of the opening where the light bulb goes is 2.5" and the shallowest point of the opening is 2.25". So which size recess lights do I have? 3. Based on the answer to #2 above, what 'LED Retrofit' should I buy and how do I install them? 4. I'd like a dimmer (doesn't have it today). It seems that I would need dimmable LED lights plus a dimmer installed on the light switch, is that right? In that case, what are the right products to get?
Thank you for your help!

Posted on Jul 14, 2012 5:27:16 PM PDT
Bad Grandpa says:
I replaced almost every bulb in my house with LED's and I will tell you this. They don't always last as long as they are supposed to. My advice is to buy them at your local Lowes or Home Depot and save the receipt along with the part of the package with the product # and a brief description of which fixture they are in. If you don't you may be out of luck when one of your $40 bulbs fail.
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Discussion in:  Home Improvement forum
Participants:  70
Total posts:  132
Initial post:  Jan 14, 2012
Latest post:  13 days ago

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