How to Save on Recessed Lighting Costs With LED Retrofit Kits


With energy costs on the rise, homeowners and businesses are looking for ways to reduce their lighting expenses. Recessed lighting is a popular choice for many homes and commercial spaces due to its clean, unobtrusive look. However, recessed lighting with traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs can use a significant amount of energy. The good news is that LED technology now provides an efficient and cost-effective option for retrofitting recessed lighting with energy-saving LED retrofit kits.

In this article, I will provide an in-depth overview on how to save on recessed lighting costs by using LED retrofit kits. We'll look at:

Equipped with this information, you'll be prepared to convert your existing recessed cans to energy efficient LED lighting. Let's get started!

Benefits of LED Retrofit Kits

There are several excellent reasons to consider converting your recessed lighting to LEDs:

With these advantages, it's easy to see why retrofitting with LED recessed lighting is a great option. Next let's look at the types of retrofit kits available.

Types of LED Retrofit Kits

There are two main types of LED retrofit kits for recessed cans:

LED Bulb Retrofits

LED Trim Retrofits

So in summary, LED bulb retrofits provide a simple, inexpensive option, while LED trim retrofits offer higher performance with a more involved installation. Now let's compare costs.

Cost Comparisons: LED vs Incandescent/Halogen

One of the biggest benefits of switching to LED recessed lighting is cost savings on energy usage and replacement bulbs. Here is a comparison:

Incandescent Halogen LED Retrofit
Wattage 75W 50W **12W**
Lumens 900 750 **800**
Lifespan 1,000 hrs 2,000 hrs **50,000 hrs**
Bulb Cost $5 $8 **$10**

A few things stand out from this comparison:

Clearly, LED recessed lighting provides tremendous efficiency and long-term cost benefits compared to conventional lighting. But how much can you actually save? Let's look next at estimated cost savings.

Estimating Energy and Cost Savings

The amount of energy and maintenance savings from an LED retrofit depends on a few factors:

As an example, if you convert six 75W incandescent recessed lights used 5 hours per day to 12W LED retrofits, here are potential savings:

In addition, you'll save on replacement bulb costs since LEDs last years longer than traditional bulbs.

Overall, most homes can expect to save $50-100 per year on energy by converting their recessed lighting to LED retrofits. And you'll recoup the upfront bulb costs through energy and maintenance savings in 12-18 months.

Steps for Installing LED Retrofit Kits

Installing LED retrofit kits is a straight-forward process:

LED Bulb Retrofits

  1. Turn off power to recessed lighting at the breaker box. Always turn off power before replacing bulbs for safety.

  2. Remove old incandescent/halogen bulb from socket.

  3. Check new LED bulb shape and base to ensure compatibility. Screw in LED bulb.

  4. Restore power and test new LED bulbs. Enjoy your energy efficient lighting!

LED Trim Retrofits

  1. Turn off power to recessed lights at breaker.

  2. Remove trim bezel and old trim housing. Detach wiring.

  3. Connect new LED trim wires to existing wiring in the recessed can (may require wire nuts).

  4. Mount and secure new LED trim into ceiling can.

  5. Attach trim bezel and restore power. Test operation of new LED trims.

With either retrofit option, the installation process is quick and easy. Just take proper safety precautions.

Safety Considerations

When working on any electrical project, safety should always be the top priority:

Exercising caution will help ensure your retrofit goes smoothly and safely. Contact a professional if needed.

Dimming Capabilities

Many homeowners and businesses appreciate recessed lighting that can be dimmed for ambiance and flexibility. The good news is that LED retrofits offer excellent dimming capabilities:

With quality LED retrofit bulbs or trims paired with the right dimmer switches, you can easily achieve dimmable recessed lighting to suit any activity or mood.


Converting recessed can lighting from incandescent or halogen to energy-efficient and long-lasting LED technology can lead to significant cost savings through:

LED retrofit kits like bulbs and trims make the transition easy. With simple installation, safety awareness, and dimmable options, homeowners and businesses can reduce recessed lighting costs and enjoy quality LED illumination for years to come.