14 Mar Retrofit 4” Recessed Lighting
Recessed lighting has been the standard fixture for hallways, kitchens, and shared living spaces for over a decade. It is no surprise that those fixtures in your home are still draining your energy and hiking up the bill. The easiest solution is to retrofit those halogen or incandescent systems to LED. On top of the energy savings you will also stop the room from heating up due to the old fashioned fixtures.
12 Volt System
If your current system is already 12 volts, the change is as easy as screwing in a light bulb. Since the recessed fixtures are 12 volts, you can swap the halogen MR16 bulb with an MR16 LED light bulb. The best part about this change is you don’t have to settle for warm white lighting. LED MR16 bulbs come in a variety of hues: cool white, warm white, and the RGB spectrum. These bulbs also have beam spread options: 15, 30, 45, and 60 degrees. The variety in beam spread will allow you to tailor your recessed lights to function as spot lights over wall art with a 15 degree spread, or use them as ambient room lighting with a 60 degree spread. This is the easiest retrofit option, but is not as common.
120 Volt System
With a 120 volt 4” recessed lighting system with a medium base socket you have three options:
- The easiest way is to replace your halogen or incandescent bulbs with either an LED BR20 or a Par 20 light bulb. This simple swap will allow your fixtures to function the same way they do today, but with minimal energy costs. The one downside is you aren’t able to utilize an adjustable trim. You’ll only be able to use your recessed fixtures for flood lighting. In order to maximize your current system, the next two options may be more appealing.
- A Retrofit kit is perfect for switching your energy draining system out for cost savings. Luckily this swap is just as simple as screwing in a light bulb, except instead of a bulb the adapter fits into the socket. The kit even comes with the 120v LED MR16 bulb and an adjustable trim. With this conversion you’ll have the option of using a baffle or gimbal trim to adjust the lighting direction. In some areas like the kitchen or hallway, floodlighting may be appropriate, but in common living spaces you may want to adjust your recessed lighting to highlight photographs, art, or decorative features displayed on buffets, accent tables, or walls.
- Now to maintain flood lighting, but to adjust your energy use an LED down light is the last option for retrofitting a halogen or incandescent system. This option clips directly into the current 4” can and is installed like a trim. There is an LED adapter trim module and LED engine that convert the system. The best part, is the bulb is built into the fixture.
Take a weekend and save yourself down the road by converting your current halogen or incandescent systems. The swap is simple and the savings are spectacular.