Note: this post was originally published on October 19th, 2013. I’ve updated my findings below.
I’ve written a lot about LED lighting in the past, mostly because I find that LED lighting is not all that straightforward. Unlike super simple incandescent bulbs, LEDs are really high maintenance….I mean really high maintenance.
I told my electrician I was using LED lighting for the overhead lights and undermount fixtures (not the puck type, but the strip). The task then became what type of LEDs was I going to use? I thought it was simple, but the deeper I dug, the more confusing it all became.
Originally, I had wanted to use Halo 4″ LED potlights at 2700K because I’d seen how they worked in the Nexterra house. I commented that I was surprised they’d used halogen in an “eco-friendly” house and they told me they were LEDs. The light intensity and colour were an exact match for 50W halogen which was what I was looking for. But for some reason I can’t just settle for the first thing that comes along, I have to research and dig and ask a million and three questions and get myself completely confused before I make a decision.
So I called three different LED lighting vendors and got three completely different answers. Yeesh. The first fellow I spoke with said “Whatever you do, make sure you buy an LED lighting kit. That’s when the bulb and the housing are attached. They are made to work together and will last the longest.”
Then I spoke with another guy who said, “I would never buy an LED kit – what happens if you want to change your lighting? You have to change out the entire kit, not just the bulb.”
Then I spoke to a third guy but he didn’t sell 2700K lights so he couldn’t help me out, although he did try to tell me that 2700K and 3000K colour temperatures are “pretty close.” Believe me, they’re not. I have 3000K LEDs in my living room and they’re a little too ‘daylighty’ for me.
After some hemming and hawing and head-spinning I chose the 4″ Halo 2700K pot lights. They are the “kit” kind, which the first fellow recommended (note that I bought them through my electrician, the fellow I spoke with specializes in exterior LED lighting). One reason I decided on them was because I’d seen them in action and liked them. Another reason was because they were reasonably priced — not the cheapest and not the most expensive. I’m just waiting for them now because they have to be shipped from the US. Let’s hope they are as good as I think they are….
Update: May, 2019
We been in our house for 6 years now, (time flies!) and these potlights have been amazing. When I bought them, I found that the lighting intensity was so bright when they were at maximum power that we rarely needed them on full. We installed 10 pot lights in our kitchen, each with a maximum output of 10 Watts, so 100 Watts in total (the equivalent of 2 halogen bulbs). Five years later we are still using them at 60-80% full power, meaning that we are only drawing 60-80 Watts of power from our lighting. They are on for about 4-8 hours daily, depending on the season and we’ve never had to change one. The colour temperature is perfect at 2700K and as the electrician was installing them he said, “I wish I’d known about these when I was renovating my house, I would have installed them.”