Many people have recessed can lights, sometimes called pot lights, in their home. 

They have been around since the 1950's and are loved for their ability to provide light while staying somewhat inconspicuous.

There are some drawbacks though - they require room in the ceiling, which is not always available, and they are notorious for leaking air, which is not good for energy efficiency.

Luckily, there is now a better alternative to recessed can lights.

A better alternative to recessed can lights

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What many people are now using in their homes instead of recessed can lights is a light fixture called a disc light.

The disc light is a very thin LED light, typically about an inch tall, that is mounted to the surface of the ceiling.

It looks similar to a recessed can light, except it is attached to the face of the ceiling instead of inside the ceiling.


The prices for a quality LED disc light starts at around $25.  The price of recessed can lights is about $10 - $20.

There are several ways a disc light will save you money.

First, the installation of a disc light is easier and less expensive.

Second, the light bulb is included in the fixture, so there is no additional cost there.

Third, you will not be cutting a hole in your ceiling and disturbing the insulation or creating an air leak, so that should help your heating and cooling costs.


Light Color - Warm and Cool Light
Disc lights often come in different color temperatures, such as 2700k, 3000k, and 4000k. 

K stands for kelvin, which is the color temperature.

2700k lights are similar to warm incandescent lights.  3000k lights are a little less warm, and a color which many people prefer.  4000k is comparable to a bright white or cool white incandescent light.  Daylight is around 5000k to 6500k.


Light Output
Disc lights come in different widths or diameters.  The different sizes allow for a different amount of lights inside the fixture, which affects total light output.

Keep in mind that a 15 watt LED fixture is approximately equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent fixture, and a 12 watt LED fixture is approximately equivalent to a 75 watt incandescent fixture.

Since this light is LED, it should last 10-20 years or longer without having to change a light bulb.


Many disc lights come in several colors.  Most designers will agree that if you have a white ceiling, then a white disc light is the way to go.  They should be as invisible as possible.


Other Things to Consider
Make sure to know where the disc driver is located.  Some lights require them to be located in the ceiling, while others have the driver installed in the fixture, which is the preferred way.

Make sure to check if your disc light is dimmable and if it can be used in a wet or dry condition.

A better alternative to recessed can lights

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