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LED Recessed Lighting Retrofit Kits

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LED Recessed Lighting Retrofit Kits

Shop for commercial LED Recessed Retrofit Kits - can replace existing can lights and saves up to 75% over the halogen and incandescent lights it replaces. High Power solutions available to retrofit existing HID Cans.

LED retrofit kits for recessed lighting replace incandescent, HID or fluorescent BR, PAR and PL lamps in existing housing cans for recessed ceiling lights. Our recessed lighting retrofit kits are designed to replace the existing bulb and ballast with an LED solution for 4 inch, 6 inch, 8 inch and even 10 inch recessed can housings.

Recessed light retrofit kits are typically used for hotels, offices, airports, schools and retail locations. We have models that can replace up to 400W HID. Shop for commercial LED Recessed Retrofit Kits - can replace existing can lights and saves up to 75% over the halogen and incandescent lights it replaces. High Power solutions available to retrofit existing HID Cans.

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LED Recessed Can Retrofit Kits (LED Downlights)

Nations all over the world are implementing measures to reduce carbon emissions. Because of this, buildings are under increased pressure to utilize electrical power efficiently. A U.S Environmental Protection Agency report highlights the worrying trend that from 1990 to 2013, the emission of greenhouse gas from electricity use rose by 28%.

Data from a U.S Energy Information Agency survey on commercial buildings’ energy usage shows that there were over 5 million commercial buildings in the U.S in 2003. That number rose to 5.6 million by 2012, while the total square footage also increased by 21%, from 70 billion to 87 billion. It has become essential for the administration to push for the existing -- rather than the new -- commercial buildings to embrace energy efficiency.

For companies and businesses looking to switch to LED technology without shelling out a lot of money, LED retrofit-kits make it possible. Retrofitting means that older, less efficient light bulbs and ballasts are removed and replaced with newer, energy-efficient light bulbs and drivers. With retrofit-kits, you do not have to change the whole lighting system. The good news is that light control features can be integrated to help cut down energy usage further.

What Are LED Recessed Retrofit Kits?

LED Recessed Ceiling Lights

Downlights are light sources that are recessed into ceilings. They generate light downwards in narrow beams. When these lights are turned on, they create the appearance that light is shining down from the ceiling. LED commercial recessed retrofit-kits are comprised of bulbs (the light sources), and the drivers which convert the AC power to low-voltage DC power and protect the bulbs from line-voltage fluctuations.

When Is a Building Ready for a LED Recessed Retrofit?

If It Is At Least A Decade Old

The very first sign that a commercial building is ready for LED downlights is its age. At least half of the commercial buildings in the U.S were constructed before the 80s. Based on data from the U.S Energy Information Administration, the median age of most commercial buildings in the U.S in 2012 was 32 years. These older buildings rely on traditional wasteful lighting technologies.

The federal government has been phasing out these traditional systems of lighting, which makes them harder to find and more expensive to purchase. For instance, fluorescent T12 lamps were banned in the U.S in 2012, with the ban forbidding their importation as well as their manufacture. The lamps still live on in old commercial buildings, but they cost a lot of money to replace and maintain. In such instances, retrofits become an efficient and cost-effective option.

Energy-efficient LED upgrade kits allow electricians to take out older light elements without a complete fixture overhaul. The ceiling plane does not need to be disturbed and therefore the ductwork or network cabling will stay as it was. All that is required is opening the fixtures, removal of the HID or fluorescent bulbs, and installing the new LED bulbs.

If the Energy Bill Is Too High

Every commercial building using traditional HID or fluorescent bulbs has unnaturally high energy bills at the end of each billing cycle. This negatively affects the bottom line, as cash that could be better utilized elsewhere is spent on the high energy bills. LED downlight retrofits can ensure that the energy bill is reduced by over 75% and free up cash for other uses.

If High-Quality Light Control Features Are Desired

LED light fixtures pair well with a wide variety of light control features. They have wide dimming ranges, so they work excellently with dimming controls. Light control features help cut down energy usage by only allowing light to be used when it is required. In underutilized spaces, the lighting levels are lowered or increased as desired.

The Provision of Financial Rebates

Local utilities and governments provide incentives and rebates to commercial buildings that install energy-efficient light systems. But as the world moves towards eco-friendly lighting, rebates and incentives may be done away with or their values may decrease. So, it pays to take advantage of them while there is still time. Rebates and incentives can make your retrofit project more affordable.

If the Lighting Maintenance Time and Cost Are Very High

LED downlight retrofits have up to 100,000 useful hours, way more than for any other light fixture on the market. And unlike short-lived traditional bulbs, LEDs lose their light gradually and do not burn off at once, prompting continued bulb replacements. LEDs will give you ample time to plan and prepare for their replacement so that you can replace them at your most convenient time.

Prioritize When Purchasing LED Recessed Light Retrofit Kit

Energy Consumption

Compared to HID lamps, LED lights utilize 75% less electricity. They also have a longer lifespan. If your commercial building has its lights on for 24 hours of the day, you will only need to replace the LED lamps every six to ten years. The primary issues to consider when making a move to LED downlight retrofits are:

  • The number of hours the light fixtures are on each day
  • How many days the lights are on each week
  • The ratio of old vs. new lamp fixtures
  • The wattage consumed by the light fixtures
  • Your area’s kWh rate
  • The amount of money spent on lighting maintenance every year
  • The estimated costs of the new light installations

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Energy savings can be further enhanced by the use of light controls because they increase the energy saving capability of LED lights. These features can also extend the life of the LED drivers. When you install LED lights, you might also get higher rebates than you expected for reduced energy consumption. For example, DLC premium listed lights get higher rebates than DLC standard listed lights

Maintenance Challenges

Compared to conventional lamps, LEDs are robust, compact, and extremely energy-efficient. They also offer more value because of their long lifespans. For any building looking to reduce labor and maintenance costs, LED lights are the way out. They do not contain a multitude of replaceable parts like older lamp types do.

The minimalist, modern look LED downlights lend to a building will enhance its appeal. The installation of LED recessed retrofits is quite easy, and at the end of their lives, their disposal will be easy, too, because they have no toxic substances in them.

Improved Aesthetics

Because LED light fixtures come in a myriad of styles, they can provide beautiful, uniform light and enhance the look and feel of a space while offering increased energy efficiency. LED lights are very versatile and can be designed to conform to a project as desired.

They can be used to improve the aesthetics of a building, especially buildings frequented by customers. Older unappealing lighting fixtures, on the other hand, can make a stunning building look cheap. LED lights use space very economically, and if they are placed and spaced well, they fill a space with bright, high-quality light.

Reduction of the Building's Environmental Impact

Not only are LEDs eco-friendly, but their retrofit-kits decrease the wastage that is brought about by light fixture replacements. New lights equals more waste in landfills -- as older lights are disposed of to make room for new ones. LEDs last longer, reducing replacements. They produce less heat and reduce a building's cooling costs. Retrofits are usually placed in existing light fixtures, so if a company’s priority is to reduce its impact on the environment, then LED retrofit-kits are the best way to do it.

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Complying With Energy Codes

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), lighting in the commercial sector utilized over 141 billion kWh of electricity in 2018. This is about 10% of all electricity used in the industrial sector. There are regulations on lighting, and it is your responsibility to ensure that your building's lighting fixtures comply. Every lighting fixture should meet federal regulations as well as local and state bylaws.

In California, for instance, the California Building Standards Code limits the wattage of fixtures in a facility. The law is aimed at striking a balance between curbing energy usage and enhancing lighting quality. The bill also encourages light control for effective operations and installations are now required to utilize occupancy, dimming controls, and daylight sensors. With the escalating energy problem, it is probable that eventually, every state will pass a lighting law such as California's, so it pays to act early and install energy-efficient LED recessed light retrofits.

Replacing old light fixtures with similar technology can also be problematic as far as these bylaws are concerned. If you are planning to replace your existing halogen or incandescent downlights, you might face compliance problems. However, LED recessed retrofit-kits can simplify the process because their installation technique is not invasive.

Trends in Lighting

The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey showed that at least 17% of all the power used in commercial buildings in the U.S. in 2012 was for lighting. Lighting is one of the biggest users of electricity, second only to a category defined as ‘other' which includes air compressors and motors. It goes without saying that lighting presents an excellent ground to exercise energy efficiency.

The introduction of efficient LED lighting technology and the changes in light efficiency standards heralded a new era in lighting. There have been significant reductions in energy usage in commercial buildings since 2003.

Incandescent and halogen bulbs are no longer the preferred lights in these buildings, that honor goes to LEDs. The light they produce renders colors better than that of the two bulbs. LED lights quickly became the go-to light fixtures for recessed lighting applications because they offer high-quality light that illuminates spaces brilliantly and are also more energy efficient and durable. 

A Comparison of lifetimes and efficacies of LED, incandescent, and halogen light fixtures

Light Type

Efficacy: Lumens Per Watt

Rated Life: Hours of Use


10 to 18

750 to 2500


14 to 20

2,000 to 3,500


20 to 100

Over 50,000

The use of incandescent lighting has been on the decrease since 2003 when new LED technology began to take over the market. While lighting still consumes a huge proportion of energy in commercial buildings, there has been a marked decrease in energy usage as more buildings adopt efficient LED lighting technology.

For instance, in 2012, lighting in commercial buildings used up only 10% of the site energy while back in 2003, lighting used up a massive 21% of the site energy. Site energy is the electricity used at the power generation cycle’s final destination; the amount of electricity that shows up on an electric bill.

To enhance lighting efficiency, utility companies and governmental entities have enacted programs and legislation. The 2005 Energy Policy Act and the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act are examples of bills that target light usage in commercial buildings. The EPA act created a temporal tax credit to incentivize building owners to invest in new and energy-efficient light technology.

The law also put very stringent standards on the performance of some types of traditional commercial lights. The EISA policy required 25% increased energy efficiency on all manufactured bulbs from 2012. Incandescent bulbs fell short of this standard. In 2020, EISA is set to enact more stringent standards, which neither halogen nor incandescent bulbs will meet. It is expected that more and more commercial buildings will ultimately turn to LED bulbs.

The low energy consumption demands from the government have resulted in a significant decrease in the usage of energy-intensive incandescent bulbs. Back in 2003, incandescent bulbs lit over 11% of commercial buildings’ total floor space. By 2012, the lamps only lit a paltry 6% of all the floor space.

Halogen bulbs are a type of incandescent bulb. They have halogen gas to increase their life expectancy and light output. These bulbs are becoming obsolete because, as per reports, only 4% of all commercial buildings’ floor spaces were lit by halogen bulbs in 2012. LED technology, on the other hand, has seen increased usage since 2012.

Types of Recessed LED Light Retrofit Kits

The primary purpose of LED recessed light retrofit-kits is to illuminate the area or objects below them. These lights give light designers a very unique tool to create light zones and highlight areas of interest in a commercial building. They also assist the users in navigating the space. Because they are usually installed in the ceiling of a building, they provide shadow-free, even soft lighting.

Incandescent Recessed lights

The incandescent bulb was invented over 120 years ago. It was a great innovation at the time, but today it is rarely used in commercial spaces as energy-efficient LED technology has taken over. Some countries have prohibited the production of the incandescent bulb as well as its distribution.

The English chemist Humphry Davy is known as the first person to invent electric light, but the journey to the modern incandescent bulb was the work of many scientists. The invention is generally credited to Thomas Edison.

The incandescent bulb uses the same mechanism as that of Thomas Edison. It comprises a glass bulb and a tungsten filament. The filament glows, giving off light when electricity is passed through it. The major problem with the technology is the tremendous amount of heat it produces. In fact, the bulb produces over 90% of its energy as heat and the tungsten filament can heat up to 2000° Celsius.

It is only a paltry 10% of the energy drawn that is converted into light, which is a huge inefficiency. In addition, the bulb has a very short lamp life of 1,000 hours. On January 1, 2014, production of the standard 40-watt and 60-watt tungsten filament bulbs was discontinued in the U.S. -- since the bulbs fall short of the federal energy efficiency requirement.

Cons of the Incandescent Bulb

  • Low energy efficiency. This is because they produce at least 90% of their energy as heat. LEDs, on the contrary, use less wattage than incandescent bulbs to generate more light. The high amount of heat produced by these bulbs is cooled by a building's HVAC, increasing the energy utility bill.
  • Each single bulb uses up a lot of energy, which translates to a higher carbon footprint if the lights are widely used in a commercial building.
  • The incandescent bulb has a very short lifespan compared to a LED (50,000-100,000 hours). This makes it a poor choice for hard to reach spaces of a building; the lights will be hard to replace when they burn out.
  • Their glass bulbs and tungsten filaments are very fragile. The lights are too hot to touch when on. The glass can also cause accidents if broken by accidental physical impact or vibrations.
  • The incandescent bulb has a smaller CCT range compared to a LED light. Most incandescent bulbs have lower color temperatures, which is why their light has an orange, yellowish glow. LED lights have a wider range of CCTs and can be tuned to produce cool or warm light, depending on usage.

Halogen Bulbs Recessed lights

Halogen bulbs have the same design as incandescent bulbs, complete with a glass bulb and tungsten filament. The traditional incandescent bulb has nitrogen, argon, or krypton gas while the halogen bulb has a combination of an inert gas and either bromine or iodine. The gas enables it to attain higher temperatures of oxidation. The lamp is 25% more energy-efficient than its classic equivalent and lasts longer, too (about a year) although it costs more.

Cons of Halogen Bulbs

  • They give off so much heat to the extent it is uncomfortable to work under them or in their proximity. This is their greatest system inefficiency. The heat the bulb emits can also cause burns if touched.
  • As they operate, their gas rises to dangerous levels. This means that they should be shielded to prevent shattering.
  • If you have halogen lamps in your commercial building, you should avoid touching them with oily hands as you will further shorten their lamp lives.
  • They have a relatively short lifespan compared to LED lights since they only last 2,000 hours on average.

LED Recessed Retrofit-kits

A lighting retrofit project can be a bit overwhelming since the costs and measures needed to accomplish it vary. Such a project is beneficial to a commercial building in many ways. It can help push the market value of the property up once it is conducted. Any building that converts to LED lighting future-proofs itself. The Department of Energy is advocating for a 25% decrease in energy usage through the use of LED technology.

It is very easy to swap out your older halogen or incandescent bulbs with LED recessed light retrofit-kits. Retrofitting is a more affordable option (in terms of materials and labor costs) since the LEDs are installed in the older light fixtures available. Most LED-retrofits are plug and play and perfectly work with older recessed light fixtures.

If additional wiring modifications are required, the installation costs will be higher because an electrician will be needed on site. LED recessed light retrofit-kits are energy-efficient and can easily work with different types of older downlight fixtures.

Advantages of LED Recessed Can Retrofit Kits

Tunable Lighting

With LED tunable lighting, a building manager can adjust the lights’ CCTs as per the conditions or time to positively enhance the wellness of the building's occupants. Researchers say that the human physiology has adapted to the sun's system of lighting, whereby light in the evening has lower blue wavelengths. With LED tunable lights, a building can adjust its brightness to mimic sunset and sunrise for the health of the occupants.

The color temperature of light is an essential measure of the quality of light and is very closely associated with workplace comfort. Lower or warmer CCTs have been shown to increase relaxation while higher color temperatures have been shown to increase alertness and concentration.

These days, newer LED lights are designed to have a wide variety of color temperatures and more spectral power distribution. This is a great improvement from earlier LED lights that mostly utilized high CCTs for enhanced light output. Today, LEDs are very sophisticated and their drivers have “come of age”. They are capable of attaining a wide range of cool and warm color temperatures and can be adjusted in a commercial building throughout the day.

Since the connection between the human circadian rhythm and artificial light is understood, most LED manufacturers design their lights to mimic sunlight. The lights are designed to mimic the sun's light journey throughout the day, helping to regulate melatonin and the circadian rhythms of the occupants of the building.

Most LEDs have a higher volume of blue wavelengths in the morning hours to suppress melatonin formation. However, as the afternoon passes and evening approaches, the light is infused with warmer wavelengths by cutting down the blue content. This kind of light manipulation has been found to have positive effects on students in classroom settings and on people in office settings. During the day, they are more alert and focused as the light has blue wavelengths.

Work Well With a Variety of Light Control Features

The LED light has a wide dimmable range and is therefore perfect for flexible lighting. Light control has become a necessity at this point in time because the world is going through a massive energy crisis. Illuminating living and working spaces consumes a large chunk of electricity from the power grid. There’s no doubt about the fact that energy efficiency in lighting can go a long way towards helping alleviate this crisis.

Through the use of light controls, over-lighting can be eliminated, enhancing cost savings. Dimming these solid-state lights lowers their light intensity. However, dimming cannot be described as the best way to increase energy savings. There are other types of light control features; they include:

  • Occupancy sensors: These controls reduce the light levels in a building or any part of it that is unoccupied. The sensors use microwave, ultrasonic, infrared, or other technology to turn the lights either off or on automatically when people enter or leave a room.
  • Schedulers: These features turn off light or dim it at certain hours of the day.
  • Dimmers: These light control features lower the light output as needed. Step-level dimmers can instantly lower the light level from 100% to 50%. They offer a great way to save energy when full light output is not required.
  • Daylight harvesting systems: These save energy by using daylight to counterbalance the quantity of energy required to properly illuminate a space so as to lower energy consumption. The controls switch or dim the light based on the availability of daylight.

LEDs are tiny by nature and very suitable for different uses and applications. Unlike traditional lamps, they can be used in many unique applications and their light can be focused to specific areas without the need for components such as reflectors.

LED recessed light retrofit-kits are used in different applications, from media rooms to museums. They can easily replace older lighting fixtures as they come in different shapes and sizes. They are also devoid of tungsten filaments and fragile bulbs, cumbersome elements that could be a hindrance to design innovation as well as retrofitting.

They Have No UV or IR Emissions

With standard incandescent lamps, the hotter the bulb is, the more ultraviolet radiation it produces. However, these bulbs produce at least 90% of their energy as heat. If the UV and heat energy emitted are excessive, they could create a hazard. LED lights that are manufactured to be used by humans have no UV emissions. They also produce very little heat and help prolong the lifespan of a building's HVAC system; it doesn’t have to work overtime to keep the building cool.

They Boost the Professional Image of a Business

Most businesses love to wow their visitors and clients, because that’s how you create repeat business. If a prospective client visits an office with burnt out incandescent or halogen bulbs, they will have a poor impression of your business. However, if LED recessed downlights are installed, the professionalism of the company will shine through. They produce high-quality light that improves the aesthetic appeal of a space.

How LED Recessed Retrofit-kits Increased a Property’s Value by $426,000

While an LED upgrade project has high upfront costs, it offers commercial buildings a multitude of advantages. The increased energy efficiency and decreased maintenance costs are just two of its benefits. These solid-state lights can also increase the market value of a building.

A large commercial property in Los Angeles retrofitted its older light fixtures with LEDs and the project cost the property owners $60,000. However, because of the increased savings from reduced energy bills, the ROI period was 30 months. The property's market value increased by $426,000 due to the technology availed by the LED lights.

Energy consumption was lowered by 80%, which translates to a $40,000 annual reduction in operating costs.

How Recessed LED Light Retrofits Will Save You Money

Because they have the ability to drastically decrease energy costs, LEDs give a commercial building a competitive advantage as they positively impact the bottom line. Money that would have been spent on lighting is spent on advertising and other campaigns that enhance the growth of the business.

Here’s how LED recessed light retrofit-kits offer a quick return on investment:

  • They reduce light usage considerably (by 50% to 90%) compared to older recessed downlights
  • LEDs have a very powerful and positive impact on your HVAC system. They do not give out excess heat like incandescent bulbs, significantly reducing the HVAC's cooling load
  • LEDs have long lamp lives, and this cuts down maintenance and labor costs for many years
  • There are local and government incentives and rebates offered if you switch to energy-efficient lighting (depending on your area)
  • LEDs offer high lighting performance thanks to their ability to produce focused light.

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