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Are retrofit LED lamps for can lights a good alternative for new construction?

Terry121 | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

Retrofit LED and conventional can will cost about $85 apiece, dedicated LED cans are around $175. What are the advantages/disadvantages?

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  1. davidmeiland | | #1

    The can retrofit LEDs I have used are screw-base, so I had to verify in advance that the inspector would accept them, as opposed to requiring a can with a pin base. The can costs $8, the LED/trim assembly costs $55.

  2. user-1051743 | | #2

    Conventional cans, unless they're IC rated, limit the ability to insulate over them. So unless you're using the retrofit LED in a ceiling between two floors (vs. at the attic/roofline), getting a dedicated LED can that can be in contact with insulation avoids this issue.

    Also, as David pointed out, some retrofit LEDs have traditional screw-type bases (which will likely continue to become easier to find and with better variety) instead of the pin bases that are sometimes required to meet energy efficiency codes.

    One other consideration: in areas where I've considered LED bulbs in can lights, there's a HUGE difference in bulbs. Of the screw-in bulbs I've used, a few I bought a couple years ago aren't bright and have a very white light. Others I recently bought (which were both Philips brand) vary greatly in their spot/flood lighting type, despite the fact that the packaging makes no mention of their beam spread.

    Make sure you're aware of how the light and its bulb will work in the application you want to use it. Liberal return policies can be your best friend ...

  3. davidmeiland | | #3

    OP stated new construction, so I'm assuming he can install whatever cans he wants and is not trying to re-lamp existing cans or change out the lampholders.

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