Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An Easy/Good DIY LED Can Light Retrofit

Home Depot is selling a nice and easy to install LED retrofit for can lights.  We decided to try one as we have lots of can lights that would benefit from an efficient retrofit.

It is equivalent to a 65 watt incandescent, and has a 2700K color temperature -- nice and warm.   Output is 575 lumen.  Power consumption 10.5 watts.
Price is $40 -- kind of pricey, but see the payback comments below.  Claimed life is 20 years.

It is said to be dimmable, but apparently not all dimmers are compatible with it.

The 117 reviews on the HD site show a nearly 5 out of 5 stars with very few unhappy people.  Lots of very favorable comments.

The installation was relatively easy.  You take out the old can light bezel and remove the stuff holding the old can socket in place.  You then rotate out the little metal wings on the new fixture and just push it up into the old can housing -- very simple.  They can be removed by rotating the fixture CCW.

The springy metal pieces wedge into the existing can
light housing to hold the new fixture in place.
We also sealed up the openings and cracks in the existing can housing to reduce infiltration.

If you are going from incandescent bulbs to this LED, the saving is 55 watts.  This adds up pretty quickly.  For our usage and power costs, the payback period on saved electricity is only about 3 years. 

The lighting is very nice.

Nice warm lighting.

All the details on the installation and the payback calculations here...

Hundreds more conservation projects...



  1. Gary,

    How about a payback calculation vs. a CFL light? 14.5 Watts or so for a CFL compared to a 65W incandescent will make a big difference...

  2. Hi -- I do mention on the page that shows the details that the payback if you already have CFLs is long.
    For a 14.5 watt CFL, the saving per year for 6 hrs use a day is only about 8.5 KWH, or about 85 cents worth of electricity a year. Another saving though would be the cost of replacing the CFLs several times during the life of the LED.
    I think the main payback for people having CFLs already is the better light quality, instant on, and not having to ever replace the light. There seem to be a lot of people not happy with CFLs (whether justified or not), and this is a nice alternative for them.


    1. I installed 4 of these in my kitchen this winter, when I saw a sale at HD for less than the 40 mentioned above. The fact that they are dimmable was a plus. It works well. The solid unit design of these really cuts down on the stack effect air leakage of the can lights, something that just a cfl replacement bulb wouldn't do.

  3. What's the advantage of installing this instead of a 65 watt equivalent LED similar to the PAR20's you installed in your track lighting?

  4. I'd say the two lamps are for different situations. The lamp is specifically made to replace a can light -- it installs easily in a can, and allows you to seal up and insulate the can easily. It also has a wider pattern, which works better because the lamp is closer to the area being lighted.
    I like both lamps for what they do.

  5. The reduction of air leakage feature is HUGE.

    If you ever get an energy audit on your house, this is one of the top things they recommend. But it's 15 minutes of uncomfortable labor per fixture in the attic to fix the old way.


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