recessed lights, ordinary or LED?

janesylviaOctober 18, 2012

I am planning to have recessed lights installed in the kitchen, family room and living room. I don't know if I should choose ordinary or LEDãÂÂlights. For LED lights, are they easy to be controlled by dimmer switches?

Any input or sharing of experience is greatly appreciated.

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Probably LEDs. I used the Ecosmart ECO-575L sold at Home Despot which is a rebranded Cree CR6 - it gives off right nice-colored light, uses only about 9 watts each, lasts just about forever (and warranted 3 years), includes a 6" trim bezel (normally a $10+ extra per recessed light), fits in most 6" cans, and can be dimmed down to 5% with most ordinary dimmers. They cost at most $35 each but are considerably less in some areas due to local incentives from power companies or governments.

My only complaint with them is that there's a bit more glare from the white recessed cones than I'd like. Cree does offer dark reflector cones as an option, but they run an extra $12 each. This probably won't be a problem if you have higher ceilings though, or don't look up at the lights much. Anyway they often have a working demonstator in their stores.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 6:18AM
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What is your definition of "ordinary"? Incandescents are becoming obsolete. CFLs take several minutes to come to full wattage/lumens. For me, it was no contest; we put in LED floods.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 6:23AM
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Yeah, incandescents cannot even be found in most places anymore. LED all the way.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 7:39AM
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Are they interchangeable? Electrician put in the recessed lights and put in incandescent this week. Can we put LED later if we want?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 7:53AM
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You can, but make sure the bulb size will work. I'm pretty sure the stuff you buy at Home Depot on the lightbulb aisle would work.

Halogan and Xenon are other options, but they put off too much heat. They weren't even on my radar scree, because of that.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 9:19AM
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The Ecosmart LED's that Lee and I and many others have take an ED can - which, I learned, means Edison, or the regular socket used for an incandescent bulb. So yes, you should be able to use LED's. But you'll want to make sure that your dimmer is compatible. Cree has a list on their website of compatible dimmer switches. There's more info on these over on the Lighting Forum. That's where I learned about them.

Did your electrician actually install lights without asking you what kind you wanted?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 9:51AM
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Ginny is right about the dimmers. We put LED's into some of our old cans and had to change the dimmers to LED/fluorescent instead of incandescent.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:36AM
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Thanks, Electrician said we can put in LED. We are doing LED under cab, etc. Sorry for hijacking this thread!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Has anyone had a problem with the CR6 and dimmers? I've used them with 5 types of dimmers, only one of which was CFL/LED, and seen no problem at all.

You do need to follow their guideline (standard dimmers) of calculating dimmer capacity by ~75 watt per CR6 rather than their average ~10watt consumption, so as not to overheat the dimmer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lutron dimmers for CR6

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:51AM
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I have put the HD ecosmart LED's in 4 different rooms this year. Love them. Fluorescents usually don't do well upside down and tend to burn out quickly, at least that is my experience. Plus they tend to take awhile to warm up. Incandescents cannot be used as a main lighting source in kitchens in certain areas of the country. (Only an issue if you are getting a permit.)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:57AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

GF went with LED...we didn't. I like the clear light and visibility that she has better than what I have...though mine is warmer.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 1:42PM
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I have 5 4" cans in my small kitchen, one of which is over the sink. Initially I tried incandescent, fluorescent and halogen and none of them would give me a brightness/wattage higher than 45. That works okay for ambient light, but it wasn't bright enough over the sink.

A super helpful poster on the Lighting forum (davidtay) basically held my hand through the process of swapping out the can my GC put in over the sink with an Ecosmart from HD. I'm terrified of anything to do with wiring, so I needed a lot of moral support. It turned out great, albeit a little pricey at $50, but will pay for itself down the road. The output is 65W and that makes a huge difference over the sink. One of these days I'll swap out the others.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 3:00PM
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