Retrofitting off-sized recessed lighting with LEDs-Help?

lindy74July 8, 2012

We are renovating our just-purchased apartment and weâÂÂd like to replace the existing incandescent recessed lighting with LEDs. We donâÂÂt know the brand/model of the current cans but they are an off size diameter, 4.75 inch.

First we tried a Commercial Electric 5 inch LED retrofit kit, but the clips on the side of the retrofit made it just slightly too big to fit the existing can.

Then we tried the HD Ecosmart (CREE) 4, because the specs on the Home Depot website said the fully assembled width on the trim was 5 inches, but that one turned out to be slightly too small.

Does anyone have any ideas for how we could accomplish the change without spending a ton of money on replacing all the housings? Or is replacing the housings with LED housings really the way to go for some particular reason? There are a lot of these throughout the whole place, and weâÂÂre concerned that replacing housings is going to be cost-prohibitive. Any advice at all would be appreciated--we are total newbies at this!

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David

The cheapest route is to replace just the lamp. For example, if you currently use BR40 lamps,
http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical-Light-Bulbs-LED-Light-Bulbs/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbm79/R-202670532/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051

Philips also has a Led BR40.

The housing does not have to be replaced.

The only significant difference between a standard incandescent can and a led equivalent will typically be the connector.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 11:59PM
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lindy74

Thanks for the suggestion. But I see I left out some pertinent information. The old lights have the eyeball trim and we wanted to replace that with the plain trim. That is why the retrofit kits seemed like the ideal solution, sort of a two for one. An electrician told us we couldn't just go from the eyeball trim to plain trim without changing out the housings too, because of the way the socket was inside the can. So I do not think just changing the bulbs is feasible.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 6:13AM
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David

That's interesting if your existing lights use standard A19 incandescent bulbs.

The next option would be to use 6" retrofit cans and the ECO-575 (CR 6).

The holes will be enlarged.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:06AM
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lindy74

That's interesting if your existing lights use standard A19 incandescent bulbs.
The next option would be to use 6" retrofit cans and the ECO-575 (CR 6).
The holes will be enlarged.

@@@@@@@@

David, again, thank you so much for your help. We are really novices when it comes to lighting and your help is invaluable.

I just wanted to make sure that I understood what you are recommending. Are you saying that if we wanted to get new trim with our non-standard size housings, that our best option would be to replace the current cans by enlarging the ceiling holes that are presently in the ceiling for our current units, install new 6" retrofit cans with a standard Edison base, and then buy (Cree) ECO-575 retrofit LED kits for each new can?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 1:57PM
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David

Options
1. Re-use the existing cans. The eyeball trim is typically a separate replaceable piece. From your earlier descriptions, it appears that the light fixtures use A19 type bulbs with the screw in base (Edison). It might be possible to get trim pieces + bulb. That way, you save on the labor required to remove and re-install cans.

2. Replace the can. If you have access to the upper side, removing the can should be relatively easy (though not necessarily pleasant). Otherwise, a large portion of the can should be removable from below. In this case, enlarging the hole is less work than attempting to shrink the hole.
Assuming that you are not subject to energy efficiency laws such as Title 24, standard edison base retrofit cans are usable.
You may want to use the ECO-575.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 4:16PM
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