LED retrofit kits for can lights

med22July 25, 2011


I am looking to retrofit my incandescent can lights. I have read several older posts and see CREE and Home Depot Ecosmart mentioned. The Home Depot ones are a lot cheaper ($33 versus $53 for CREE), but is the quality "cheaper" as well? Also, if I went with CREE...what is difference between CR6 and LR6?


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The warranty period is shorter for the Ecosmart. The Ecosmart CR6 seems to be more commonly available with the E26 base.

The CR6 dims down to 5% whereas the LR6 to 20%
CR6 output - 575 lumens
LR6 -650
CR6 deeper recess than the LR6 most likely because of the light "spillage" in the standard LR6.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 10:26AM
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As davidtay mentioned, the EcoSmart has a 3 year warranty vs. a 5 year warranty on the Cree branded CR6. The pricing difference you see must be due to where you live and the HD offering an instant rebate, as the regular price they display is $49.97. If you like the longer warranty you might check to see who the rebate is through and it will probably apply to the CR6 as well. That would give you the best of both worlds with a longer warranty and a cheaper price.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 2:19PM
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Thanks David and Sean...another question...my cans are 5" can I use the Cree? I went to some local electric stores and they were only selling HALO to fit into 5". Halo does not get good feedback here due to single led chip...if I cannot use CREE are there any other brands you would suggest?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 4:10AM
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Yes. I used halo cans. The other alt is the rt6 sylvania which to some are easier to fit than Cree as they use torsion springs.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:45AM
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David- sorry to be so slow, but does your "yes" mean I can use Cree CR6 in 5" cans? or yes to HALO? Also I was at Costco today and they were selling LED bulbs, I think the brand was conserve-energy. The bulbs look like they just screw in existing cans...no trim or hooks etc. Box said they used CREE led technology...can I use them in lieu of retrofitting my incandescent cans?

Thanks for educating me on this stuff!


    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 6:39PM
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Yes for HALO.
Is the can in question a H7x series for example H750ICAT?


If you're looking to install A lamps (of any type, LED included) into recessed cans, the net result will be inferior to a LR6/ CR6/ RT6.
- Less light output, more pronounced light cone.

I used to put 15W and 20+W CFLs in my recessed cans as the 13W lights were never bright enough. The cheaper CFLs (Lights of America, Sylvania) had poor color and would burn out within months.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 1:18AM
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Hi Maureen, sorry for the late response. If you do have a 5" can than I'm afraid none of the Cree CR6 or LR6 products will work, and Cree doesn't make a 5" retrofit product. You could go with the Halo RL7 downlight which sits somewhere between the LR6 and CR6 series from Cree and is designed to fit 5 or 6 inch cans. It puts out more light than the CR6 and has a 3000K color temperature, which is not quite as warm as the 2700K, but I personally like that color temperature more than the 2700K and use it around my house in a couple locations. Most people who have bought the RL7 from us our happy with them so it may be worth a try.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 1:40PM
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Or you can use the new Ecosmart BR30 LED floodlamp bulbs that HD sells, SKU 409440 (made by Lighting Science Group) that are 2700K, 14w, 800 lumens, $30. These are just light bulbs, not modules with their own integral trim, designed to fit into existing 5" recessed lamp fixtures. I think they're only 80 CRI (color rendering index) vs. 90 for the Cree, but it's on par with most of the other LED options.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 5:11PM
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Any suggestions on bright LED bulbs for an R20? I'm looking for something to light a photo gallery wall in my living room from a row of Halo/AllPro PAR20 cans with eyeball trims. I'd love to go LED to save on heat and energy over halogens, if I can. I haven't seen much over 300 lumens...

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 5:54PM
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Have you looked at the Cree le6? There aren't too many great led par lights at the moment.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 12:00AM
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I've used basic A19 (standard incandescent shape) LED bulbs in this application, the kind where only the top half of the bulb lights up and the rest is a heat sink. I've used the cheap Utilitech 430-lumen bulbs from Lowes (only 7.5 watts, 3000K), the less diffused 8w Ecosmart (made by Lighting Science) bulb from Home Depot, or the Philips 40w equivalent bulb also sold there, all are less than $20 and the Lowes bulb is sometimes on sale for $10 (great deal!). The Philips has the highest CRI, but isn't as bright.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 6:55PM
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