LED Wafer Thin Revolution – New Decorative Trims for LED Wafer Thins
The LED Wafer Thin Revolution is here and Beaux-Arts has sizes in our Victorian Decorative Trims to fit the 3″, 4″, and 6″ LED Wafer Thins. LED Wafer Thin technology is revolutionizing recessed lighting. Say goodbye to incandescent and quartz halogen bulbs for your recessed lights.
I am frequently asked, by individuals who are building a new home or remodeling an old home, what type of recessed lights would I use in their situation. They ask my opinion because, I am one of the founders of Beaux-Arts Classic Products, which was the first company to make decorative trims for recessed lights back in 2003. Plus I have many years of experience dressing up recessed lights to the finished condition of other available lighting fixtures such as lamps, chandeliers, wall sconces and ceiling lights. Although my recommendations have changed over time, they have always been influenced by available options, such as finish choices, trims, bulb types, economy and of course fitting our unique line of decorative recessed lighting trims.
Recent innovations in lighting and especially recessed lights, have revolutionized everything from the type of illumination, installation and of course the cost and economics of recessed versus all other lighting options. As far as illumination, the old Albert Edison type incandescent bulb is dead, and so is the quartz halogen. The ugly spiral looking florescent tube is the lighting equivalent of the Ford Edsel, hailed as the economical light of the future, but utterly rejected by the consumer. The LED, or light emitting diode is the undisputed light of the future. LED’s are a solid state light much like all the other consumer electronics we buy. Like other solid state electronic devices, LED’s can be mass produced, and miniaturized so over time they will become less expensive, smaller, more powerful, more innovative and economical to operate. As far as residential LED lighting is concerned the focus is on recessed lights, meaning they will be even more popular in the future than they are now.
Much of what is driving this LED lighting revolution is economics. LED lights have lowest energy consumption and longest life expectancy of any other light source. Halo, the originator of recessed lighting in the early 1970’s claims that by replacing a single 65 watt incandescent flood lamp in your recessed light with their LED Retrofit, consumers can save $430 in electricity and $77 in replacement lamp costs over the twenty two year expected lifetime of their LED Retrofit Trims. This claim is based on the assumption that a recessed light is operating six hours per day. Over the course of one year a 65 watt incandescent bulb consumes $22.43 of electricity versus the LED at $2.89 annually. So economically speaking, purchasing one Halo LED Retrofit for $24 saves $507 over twenty two years. That means each and every year the consumer saves $23.04 on a $24 investment, that equates to a compounded annual interest rate of almost 15% per year. No other kind of lighting can be considered an investment with a 15% compounded annual return over the twenty two year life time expectancy of the LED Retrofit. So if you own a home with 50 recessed lights you can reduce your electric bill by $977 annually, plus not have to replace bulbs for another twenty two years. Over twenty two years you could save over $25,000.
So now lets get back to the initial question: if building a new home or remodeling an old home, what type of recessed lights would I recommend? The newest innovation in recessed lighting are called “Ultra-Thin Wafer Down Lights”, because they are wafer thin, often just 3/8” of an inch thick, less than a sheet of drywall. In new construction and remodeling these new wafers will save you even more money. It all stems from the fact that LED lights do not produce heat, unlike the old incandescent bulbs. Since there is no heat, there is no fire threat, therefore LED retrofits can be installed without the fire prevention parts, the canisters and baffles.
Ten years ago when building a house, recessed lights needed a canister, a baffle and a light bulb. Now with LED wafer downlights, just cut a 6”, 4”, or 3” hole in the ceiling drywall and wire up to a lighting circuit. The wafer downlight is held in place by two powerful springs.
Consider the savings of using new LED wafers which cost about $25 to $30 each. Wafers don’t need canisters ( save $10 to $25), baffles (save $12 to $25) and the installation is much easier (save $30 to $75). Plus they can be installed just about anywhere in the ceiling like directly under plumbing pipes. Since many LED Wafers are thinner than drywall they can even straddle ceiling beams and floor joists.
As for which manufacture of LED Wafers, there are many to choose from. Personally I look for available options, like trim finishes, wafer sizes, lumens (wattage), and the color of the light (kelvin temperature). Lithonia Lighting is part of Acuity Brands, which has more options of ultra-thin wafer downlights than any other manufacturer according to my research. Lithonia offer three sizes of wafers, 6”, 4” and 3”, and they are available with a white, black, nickel or bronze trim ring around the light.
In addition, they are offered in a Standard LED version ( 1,000 lumens to 1210 lumens) and a low lumens version (780 lumens to 900 lumens). Each version comes in five different light colors, from 2700 kelvin to 5,000 kelvin temperature, which covers the light spectrum from warm golden, to bright white, to hospital intense blue light. All these options provide the consumer and lighting designer with a lot of choices, like bright light for the kitchen and a warmer golden colored light for bedrooms. Plus the size options are important like 6” for wide task lighting space in the kitchen, 4” for bathrooms, closets and hallways, and the tiny 3” for under cabinet lighting or wall wash effects. With Lithonia you get all of these options, plus a Five Year Warranty.
My favorite options are the finish selections they offer, since many of them match so nicely with the finishes we offer on our popular Victorian Decorative Trims.
Lithonia’s four finish options on the outer rim are: White, Black, Nickel and Bronze. They match up nicely with many of our finishes.
Matte Black – Antique Brass, Black, Antique Cherry, Old Wood, Old Wood Gold, Chinese red
Brushed Nickel – Nickel, Pewter
Oil Rubbed Bronze – Rubbed Bronze, Dark Bronze
Matte White – White, Gray Wash, Bone
Victorian 3″ decorative trim for Lithonia Wafer Thin 3″
Victorian 4″ Decorative Trim for Lithonia 4″ Wafer Thin
Victorian 6″ decorative trim with the Lithonia 6″ LED Wafer Thin
I should explain to our readers and clients, that we have no relationship with Lithonia, and that they do not advertise on our blog. We have never met or talked to anyone employed by, or reps for Lithonia. They have never sent us any free Ultra-Thin Wafer Downlights, but if they would like to please send to the address on our website. We have however purchased many Lithonia LED Wafers so that we could design and manufacture our popular Victorian trims to fit there three different sizes. Plus I am personally installing many of their LED wafers in my home. To sum up let’s just say that we are fans, and see Lithonia as a market leader in the new LED Wafer downlight market.
Stuart Kershner / Senior Partner / Beaux-Artes Classic Products / 410-867-0790
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