The 10 Best LED Recessed Lights

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This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in December of 2018. Whether you're adding recessed lights to a newly constructed home or replacing a set of old, inefficient ones, you may wish to go the LED route. In addition to producing warm or cool illumination they can last up to 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and will lead to lower electricity bills. Remember that any project involving live wires should be left to a licensed electrician. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Philips Hue 802900

2. Sunco Lighting Air Tight IC

3. Halo Integrated Trim

Editor's Notes

August 26, 2020:

The slim profile of recessed light fixtures makes them convenient for use in rooms with low ceilings, and when you add an efficient, long-lasting LED light source, you just might find that you never have to change the bulb. Another selling point of LEDs is they tend to run cooler than their traditional incandescent counterparts, making them a safer alternative. In today’s update, we added in the Philips Hue 802900, which is from one of the most respected names in high-tech lighting. You can program it from among two warm and two cool shades of white, which makes it easy to set the right mood whether you’re studying, working, relaxing, or entertaining. (It’s also available in the Philips Hue 802926, which provides millions of color options.) You can download the free companion smartphone app to control it and up to nine additional bulbs from anywhere, and it’s also compatible with a smart home hub that's sold separately from the manufacturer and provides even more programming options.

We also added in the Halo Integrated Trim, which is from another respected name in lighting. It allows you to select from among five color temperatures by the flick of a switch on its housing. This makes it a versatile choice for lighting any spot in your home, and its wet rating also makes it suitable for use in showers and outdoor applications. It offers an impressive life expectancy of up to 70,000 hours. These two newly added models replace the Otronics Kit, which is unavailable at this time, and the Sunco Lighting Dimmable, which is made with somewhat of an unreliable spring design, according to various reviews.

For safety’s sake, if the canister is going to come into direct contact with attic insulation, be sure to go with a model of light that’s designated as insulation contact, or “IC”. Also, many models today come with thermal sensors that shut off the fixture automatically in the event the heat rises to a dangerous temperature. No matter which one you choose, remember that any project involving live wires should be left to a licensed electrician.

January 08, 2019:

While LED lights are pricier than alternatives and professional installation can cost a pretty penny, over time these will pay for themselves thanks to their longevity. When choosing the best ones for you, be sure to select ones that are known to snap securely into your ceiling and stay put. There are several quality brands and a variety of models and bulb colors, and most can be used for either new construction or retrofitting. Our top 3 choices are known for their safety and solid build, and they’re simple enough to install by a professional or knowledgeable DIYer.

Special Honors

Gotham Lighting EVO4SH Downlight Shower This 4-inch downlight’s non-conductive trim makes it suitable for a wide range of applications, and its IP66 rating protects from vapor and from high-pressure water spray. Its thermal design ensures temperatures remain safe, and it’s made with reflective materials that help produce a smooth, pleasant light. This efficient LED choice can reduce energy usage by as much as 81% over what you might be using now.

4. Torchstar Ultra-Thin

5. Globe Electric 90540

6. Jullison Low Profile

7. Lithonia Lighting WF6

8. Tomshine Waterproof 16-pack

9. SGL 6-Inch

10. Hyperikon Downlight

Karen Bennett
Last updated by Karen Bennett

Karen Bennett lives in Chicago with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found practicing yoga or cheering on her kids at soccer games. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s in English, and her writing has been published in various local newspapers, as well as “The Cheat Sheet,” “Illinois Legal Times,” and “USA Today.” She has also written search engine news page headlines and worked as a product manager for a digital marketing company. Her expertise is in literature, nonfiction, textbooks, home products, kids' games and toys, hardware, teaching accessories, and art materials.

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