4'' vs. 6'' can lights in kitchen

kitchenkrazeAugust 3, 2011

The electrician recommend today that we use the 6 inch instead of the 4 inch cans we were planning. We have vaulted ceilings 8 to 12 ft. He comes to install tomorrow. The 6 inch seem large. Thoughts? The only other lighting will be under cab.

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David

If you decide to switch to led lighting, 6" led modules are way cheaper than 4". 4" cans themselves are also somewhat pricy compared with 6" cans.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 12:03AM
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lee676

6". Much more choice and variety of bulbs available, and brighter ones (which you'll need with a high ceiling).

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 12:46AM
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David

A 4" recessed can has a smaller aperture than a 6". This results in more light trapped within.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 1:02AM
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lee676

How about the Commercial Electric 4" modules from Home Depot, in brushed nickel ($40) or white ($35)? 8.3w, dimmable to 10%. Didn't look too bad when I saw them; they were quite bright. Lumens and color temp are on box (I think latter was 3000K).

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 6:26PM
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ofourcobra

If the cans are on the slope then you are stuck with the 6total inch because as far as I know they only make sloped housing in that size. If you want smaller LIGHTOLIER makes a regressed eyeball where the light actually adjusts inside the housing instead of stick out like typical eyeballs

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 9:58AM
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tl45

"If you decide to switch to led lighting, 6" led modules are way cheaper than 4". 4" cans themselves are also somewhat pricy compared with 6" cans."

"6". Much more choice and variety of bulbs available, and brighter ones (which you'll need with a high ceiling)."

no criticism because that was excellent advice a few years ago and is a bit true still, but the fact is that the price and choice advantage of 6" retrofit vs 4" is narrowing and likely will be nil shortly. I would say especially if you think you may do a LED replacement not to worry about 4 vs 6.

"A 4" recessed can has a smaller aperture than a 6". This results in more light trapped within."

for incandescent, cfr and most par applications, yes , for led retrofit, no.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 11:29AM
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David

While I agree that led retrofit lamps do not suffer significantly from light being trapped within the lamp like standard bulb types in a can (the fixture is never 100% efficient), I would hesitate to use a 4" LED recessed lamp as the light output is less than a 6".
In addition, the advertised claim of "light output equivalent to 40 watt bulb" is reminiscent of extravagant claims that have been made (and still being made) for CFL and a number of LED products.

If engineered correctly, there is little reason why 4" LED recessed lights cannot surpass the 6" LED recessed lights.
To me, good 4" recessed lamps today continue to command a premium over 6" recessed lamps which themselves command a premium over other LED and other bulbs (- CFL, etc), which make them less practical ($$ wise).

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 10:23PM
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colorlady

We put in 4" cans in our kitchen at the recommendation of our electrician and when they are all on at full throttle, it's still not very bright. Small can limits amount of wattage.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 4:20PM
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triphase

The new Nora 5 inch can is a winner. it's a little pricey, but uses Cree parts, but is a very nice 5 inch light with different trim options. Nora also has a 4 inch LED with vaulted trim, but it's real pricy, but will work with your ceiling. It's really a nice light. Typically the better companies are underrating their LED's, not like the CFL's where they overate them. Stay as far away from commercial electric anything. Their lights are junk.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 11:00PM
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