Preventing Overheating of Recessed Lighting
Will using an LED retrofit kit alleviate a recurring shut-off problem? Our expert weighs in.
 
We have 6-inch recessed can lights and they overheat and shut off. They are the kind that can contact insulation. If we use a retrofit LED kit, will they still overheat? The ones we are looking at are the CER6741WH, available through The Home Depot.

I have that overheating problem, too, and I find that a well-placed ice cube always does the trick. The recessed fixtures that you have presently include what is called a thermal cut out. This is a sensor inside the housing that turns a fixture off if they get too hot. It could be that the wattage lamp you are using is too much for the housing.

I do think that using an LED retrofit kit is a good idea. I went through the specifications for the fixture you are considering and I couldn't find what is the color temperature of the light. 2700K would mean that it is the color of standard incandescent light, 3000K would mean that it is the color of halogen and 5000K would mean it is the color of daylight.

If they have one on display, I would go over there and hold your hand under the light to see if the color of the light is comfortable to you. The higher Kelvin ratings tend to be cooler in color and could make your home look a bit clinical. If they don't have one on display, then I would recommend that you purchase one to test it out. Also see that it works with the dimmer that you have. All LEDs do not work with all dimmers. Lutron makes dimmers that are specifically made to dim LEDs.

Randall Whitehead lighting designer
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website www.randallwhitehead.com for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

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