Recessed Lighting Retrofit in Your Home with LEDs

There has been quite a bit of news on the idea of retrofitting with energy-efficient lighting. One of the voices in that conversation has been our friends at Pegasus Lighting.

More specifically, their blog editor and writer Emily Widle, who wrote a lighting style guide series in major rooms of the house on this very blog, has been working hard to inform the buying public about the best options in LED lighting.

Emily weighs in again today in this guest post about recessed lighting in your home. What is recessed lighting, how does it add to the atmosphere and practicality of your space, and how do you make the switch? Read on …


If your home was built in the last 50 years, chances are you have a recessed light fixture or two.  Recessed lighting is one of the most commonly used fixtures in both residential and commercial buildings.  It’s easy to see why: It distributes a layer of general light in a space, it blends in with any décor, and it can be paired with decorative trims to customize the look.

Did you know that recessed lighting is also incredibly easy to retrofit?

How to retrofit for LED recessed lighting

A relatively new product in the lighting marketplace makes it possible.  LED retrofit modules for recessed lights essentially offer the easiest solution for incorporating LED lighting into a home.

If you have existing recessed lighting, it’s as simple as this: Unscrew your light bulbs, remove the trim, and screw the LED retrofit module right into the socket.  The module is compatible with most existing housing. It also comes with a heat sink to maintain a cool operating temperature (another benefit of LED recessed lighting).

The energy savings are indisputable.  An incandescent recessed light that consumes 40 watts of energy can be replaced by a four-inch LED retrofit module that uses as little as 9 watts and outputs the same amount of light.

The lifetime that LEDs offer is just as impressive.  Many LED recessed lights will last as long as 17 years even if they are left on for eight hours a day.  Imagine installing a light bulb and not changing it for 17 years.  By that time, you may be moving to another residence – and taking the LED retrofit modules with you!

Choosing an LED retrofit module

First you’ll need to determine which size is right for you.  Measure your existing recessed light (the diameter in inches, not including the trim) to figure out whether you’ll need to purchase a four, five, or six inch retrofit module.

Whether you’ve heard of the term “color temperature” before or not, it’s an important component of shopping for lighting.  Color temperature is defined as “a measure of the color appearance of a light source.”  Color temperature determines whether a light will deliver a warm white radiance or a cool white glow.

The lower the color temperature, the “warmer” the light, and vice versa.  For warm white light, look for a color temperature of 2700 – 3000K; for neutral white, 3500K; for cool white, 4000K.  Often, a recessed light will be labeled according to its color temperature (i.e. “warm white”); however, it’s always a good idea to double check.

Finally, make sure the LED retrofit module has the trim you desire.  Trims line the edge of the light, are available in a number of colors and styles, and can help distribute light output.  A couple of terms to know: reflector trims maximize light output and baffle trims minimize glare.  Typically, baffle trims are used in residential settings, but there are exceptions to every trend!

Once you’ve installed your retrofit modules for recessed lights, you’ll see the difference that LED lighting can make – and watch the energy savings start rolling in.


Thanks, Emily!

Emily Widle is editor and writer at the Pegasus Lighting blog, where you can get the latest news on what’s happening in the world of lighting technology, as well as an education in how to buy the lighting products that are right for you.




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