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How to Choose LED Recessed Pot Light Retrofit Kits

understanding home lighting

If you’ve decided to retrofit your recessed pot lighting with LEDs but you are not sure which product is right for you, this step-by-step guide can help you decide which LED retrofit modules to choose.

What size do you need?

If you’re replacing existing recessed pot lights, you would need to buy an LED retrofit module with the same dimensions. If you are not sure, just measure the diameter of your existing recessed pot lights without including the trim. Your LED retrofit module should be either four, five, or six inches in diameter.

Where are they located? 

If you are installing recessed pot lights in a bathroom or any other area where moisture might build up, ensure to select an LED retrofit module that is “wet location approved.”

What kind of trim do you like better? 

There is a lot of variety – whether you are seeking an adjustable trim, standard white trim, or one especially designed to make the most of light output, you’ll have your pick.

Here are a few terms to know: a baffle trim will minimize glare from the pot lights. Baffle trims are well-liked in residential applications. A reflector trim reflects the light in order to make the most of light output. Reflector trims are more used in commercial buildings.

What about lumens, watts, & color temperature? 

Each LED retrofit modules must be labeled with light output (lumens), energy consumption (watts), and color temperature, calculated in Kelvin’s.

Usually consumers are not familiar with using lumens as a point of reference because in the past, the amount of light output directly corresponded with how many watts the light bulb used. Everybody knew that a 100W incandescent light bulb was brighter than a 60W. as a result everyone just shopped by wattage.

On the other hand that logic does not work for energy efficient lights. An LED light might use only 11 watts of power however might produce 600 lumens of light – which is the same output of a 40-60 watt incandescent.

If you are more familiarized with watts than lumens, this chart can help you to understand what type of light output you should  look for to emulate a 40, 60, or 100W incandescent light bulb:

     Incandescent Wattage        Lumen Output   
40W 360 lumens
60W 615 lumens
75W 960 lumens
100W 1100 lumens
150W 2850 lumens

Color temperature calculated in Kelvins (K) measures the relative warmth or coolness of the light. The higher the color temperature, the cooler or white the light. A color temperature of 4000K emits a “cool bright white” light; while a color temperature of 2700K emit a warm yellow glow.

color temperature of light