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LED Recessed Lighting: How is it different from Incandescent?

With rising energy costs and a general wish to consume less energy, many homeowners are deciding to install LED recessed lighting. LED recessed fixtures have reached a point in the marketplace where the cost-performance  ratio makes them a viable replacement for older incandescents.

Why choose LED for recessed lighting?  What are some of the differences from traditional incandescent that make LED worth considering?

LED, when performing correctly, uses roughly 25% of the energy of incandescent sources.  This not only leads to energy savings, but fewer watts equates to less heat in the lit spaces.  LED will produce a quarter of the heat of incandescent, and even that small amount of heat is filtered up through the top of the recessed fixture, rather than projected downward like a flood lamp in an incandescent fixture.

Today’s LEDs are reliable and rated operating life can exceed fifteen years.  Imagine not having to get up on a ladder and change a light bulb until your toddlers go off to college!  If you tire of bulb-changing, the investment of LED recessed lighting may appeal to you.

In the not-so-distant past, people have been turned away by the harsh, blue light of LED.  It is now common to find affordable, bright, color-true LEDs in a variety of recessed trim styles and sizes.

Homeowners with existing recessed fixtures may be unable/unwilling to tear open their ceilings to install an entirely new LED system.  Thankfully, many manufacturers supply ‘retrofit’ canisters that replace older incandescent trims, and utilize the existing recessed housings.  Replacing a trim takes only minutes, and there are styles available for less than $100.  If you factor the energy and bulb cost over 15 years for the old light, the money doesn’t seem so daunting.

Even if you are reluctant to change an old fixture, you can still pick up a reliable LED flood bulb for around $30 that will give you the same brightness as incandescent, yet last up to 50 times as long.

Whether new construction, retrofit trim or replacement bulb, you will find many choices of recessed lighting that will bring you energy savings, lower heat and extremely long life- all with a light quality that will please even the most discerning eye.


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