Archive for Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fix-It Chick: Upgrade to LED lighting

October 31, 2013


An LED retrofit kit like this one is fairly cheap, quick and painless.

An LED retrofit kit like this one is fairly cheap, quick and painless.

With the current phase-out of incandescent bulbs scheduled for completion by 2014, many standard light bulbs, flood bulbs and fluorescent tubes are no longer being manufactured. The disappearance of these produces from the shelves of stores everywhere has made it more and more difficult to find suitable light bulb options for many older fixtures.

Recessed can lights are especially problematic as older fixtures often depend on the actual light bulb to fill the can opening and provide the finished look. Several lighting manufacturers have solved the problem by producing LED retrofit kits that eliminate the need for replacement light bulbs altogether. These kits install easily into existing can lights, providing an excellent light source that is pleasantly efficient and aesthetically pleasing.

Depending on the manufacturer and style, LED retrofit kits should last for at least 25 years under normal usage. The initial investment of around $50 to purchase one of these kits can be recouped within several years through energy and light bulb savings. And unlike many options on the market today, LED recessed lighting retrofit kits are dimmable, making them the perfect option for most lighting situations!

Step 1: Purchase a LED retrofit kit that matches the existing fixture or choose a new look from the wide variety of retrofit kits available.

Step 2: Turn off the power to the existing fixture using the circuit breaker or fuse found in the home’s electrical panel.

Step 3: Remove the light bulb from the fixture and detach the existing fixture’s trim ring assembly to expose the recessed light can.

Step 4: Detach and remove the socket plate or socket mounting bracket by loosening the wing nuts on the inside of the can.

Step 5: Thread the retrofit socket adapter into the can light socket.

Step 6: If the retrofit kit has a grounding wire, attach it to the can using an existing screw.

Step 7: Plug the socket adapter wire end into the plug end located on the back of the retrofit kit.

Step 8: Squeeze the retrofit torsion spring arms together and insert the LED assembly into the lighting can. Tuck all existing wires up into the can carefully before completing the installation. Positioned correctly, the retrofit kit should easily snap into place, covering the existing opening completely.

Step 9: Turn the power supply back on and test the light fixture to make sure everything is functioning properly.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at


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