I have recessed lighting in my kitchen (I imagine the cans are the
cheapest quality as they came with the builder) and am working on
finishing out my basement with recessed lights.
I'm looking at energy efficiency/brightness tradeoffs. I'm really
interested in the LED bulbs, but it seems as though the heat transfer
requires the fixtures to be 'open air' fixtures - does that eliminate
recessed lighting as an option if I want to go with LED bulbs?
Also, in terms of replacing the incandescent bulbs in the kitchen - can
I just drop in a CF or a halogen bulb, or do they have to be rated for
Thanks in advance, and I apologize for my ignorance~
You can, as you say, just drop in a CF or halogen. However you may want
to make sure the CG fits will in the fixture, some may not or may loose some
of their useful light output.
Halogens are incandescent lamps. They tend to last longer and produce a
little whiter light than the typical non-halogen incandescent lamp, but they
are about the same when it comes to efficiency.
I would suggest looking for Cf's first. Get good ones, especially for a
kitchen because they are likely to have more natural color output. They are
also more likely to be a little more efficient.
Personally I don't think that LED's are ready for prime time when it
comes to general room lighting yet. Give them a few more years and let's
see what happens.
I put in some Sylvania compact flourescents in my kitchen recessed fixtures.
One failed after a year which I thought was ridiculous. Next time I will
buy a different brand. Outside I've been using CF floods from another make
from Home Depot or Lowes and they last forever so far.
LED lighting technology hasn't really hit prime-time just yet. If you want
efficiency, CF bulbs are going to be your best bet.
The main issue with recessed lighting is heat. CF bulbs produce less heat than
incandescents, so there shouldn't be any problem just replacing the existing
CF ones. There are quite a few varieties of CF bulbs now - you can get them as
standard spirals, get ones that look quite similar to a standard bulb (except a
bigger), or get ones that are sized just like a floodlight. What you choose
on the type of fixture you've got.
CF bulbs, I've found, vary widely in quality. Buy single bulbs of a few types
to get an
idea of what will work for you - some bulbs have a long lag before they reach
brightness, some flicker on startup, and some have a color temperature that
work well in a kitchen (foods will look odd because the colors will be off).
As to halogen, they're still incandescent, and won't save you much in terms of
Buy "Cans" built for CF!
Most of the problems with home CFs are actually with the tiny
electronic balast in the screw-in base.
Fixtures whether cans or anything else that are built for the bin-base
CF lamps have larger, better and more reliable balasts built into the
fixtures. All recessed fixtures makes have cans that are designed for
CFs and make the best use of their diferences.
P.S. Also consider putting some light that shines up onto the ceiling
or really covers one wall. Recessed only can make a dark room look
smaller and darker than it really is.
After reading Rick's comment if occurred to me that the base of a CF would
get much warmer when the bulb is upside down which would shorten the life of
the components inside it. Maybe some CF bulbs are made to tolerate a warmer
base, probably not the cheapest ones.
I second Rick's advice of going with fluorescent cans if you
want fluorescent. Be advised that they are not cheap.
A Lightolier flourescent IC can w/ electronic ballast and associated
trim is well over $100. The corresponding can for incandescent
(with trim) is about $45.
I find that a 26w FL can gives about the same light output as
75W incandescent or around 60W halogen. A halogen bulb is
about $9 and they claim it has a 2500hr life. The FL bulb is
about $25 and they claim 10,000hr life. My experience has been
that they don't last nearly that long. FL will generate 1/3 the heat,
if that is an issue.
You will save about $0.01 (one cent) per hour using FL rather
than incandescent. You can figure out the payback. If you
run the light 500 hrs per year, it'll take you 15 years to recover
the added cost of the bulb and the can.
Because of these reasons, when I just redid my kitchen, I went
halogen all the way. I like the look better, it is dimmable, and the
payback for FL is not there unless you burn the lamp *a lot*.
Just my opinion.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.