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Light shades for recessed LEDs
December 1, 2011 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Help me find or make a shade of some kind for my recessed kitchen LED lights.

As our home recently passed the 1-year mark, the light bulbs originally installed by the builder have started burning out. When two in the kitchen went in the same week, I decided to upgrade all four of the recessed flood lights there to LEDs, since Costco had a special on them. These are basically the lights I got, except mine have an additional LED (and cost less than half the price).

They work great so far, but of course they do have some differences from the incandescent bulbs. Each "bulb" contains six high-brightness LEDs, and so has six pinpoints of very bright light rather than a uniformly lit surface, and if you glance directly at them they can leave spots in your vision. Also, the light is slightly more focused than the incandescent floods, and less yellow. None of those is a really big deal, but overall the lighting is a bit clinical in the kitchen now, and I'd like to make it a bit softer and warmer. Some loss of light is OK since the LEDs are a bit brighter than the old ones.

So I thought I'd look for a flat or slightly domed frosted glass shade that would mount to the recessed lighting fixture -- possibly held up using wire clips that hook over the "lip" inside the fixture. Ideally with a light yellow or cream tint. I'm having trouble finding anything like that.

The main caveat is that there must be some air circulation; LEDs don't last long in a completely sealed fixture due to overheating. Oo a gap is needed between the shade and the bottom of the "can" to let air in. And of course, it must not look Jerry-rigged;* high WAF** is vital here.

Anyone know if such a thing exists? Or know how I'd go about having something like that made, or making it myself (given that I am not historically very handy)?

* I'm Jerry
** Wife Acceptance Factor
posted by kindall to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
 
Is it too late to return the LED lights? I just installed seven of these Home Depot lights in my bedroom and we love them. It basically has the frosted look you're looking for so when they're on you just get one big light rather than pinpoints.

Maybe you could go buy one and see how it looks compared to the others?

Acceptance from my wife was very high, and that was a concern of both of ours.

I think what you're looking for would indeed look very you-rigged.
posted by bondcliff at 11:33 AM on December 1, 2011


Now that's an interesting option, I had no idea those even existed. How do they attach to the can? I may try it out.

I got the LEDs from Costco, so I can take them back this year, next year, five years from now....
posted by kindall at 11:38 AM on December 1, 2011


The ones I linked are for four inch cans. They make similar ones for five and six inch cans. They basically fit in via friction, making electrical contact via a lead that screws into the socket.

They have a few different kinds, so it wouldn't hurt to try out different ones to see which one you prefer. They should have them on display the HD as well.

The only issue I had (not counting the day and a half I spent installing the cans and electrical work, sweating up in the attic, praying to god I didn't step between the joists and crash through the ceiling and die) was that some of them didn't sit perfectly flush against the ceiling once I pushed them into the cans. This was solved by some clever Jimmying*.

Also, they are dim-able so if you're up for some simple electrical work you can replace the switch with a dimmer designed for LEDs, which they also sell at Home Depot. This can cut down on some of the harshness.

*I'm Jim.
posted by bondcliff at 12:01 PM on December 1, 2011


Actually this looks very much like what I want, aside of course from the lack of air flow and the fact that it's intended for a particular brand of light module. Might see if I can get one and play around with it a bit.
posted by kindall at 3:40 PM on December 1, 2011


Or this, again modulo the air flow...
posted by kindall at 3:45 PM on December 1, 2011


When I switched over to all LED bulbs about a year ago, I ended up returning some of the cheaper LED bulbs I bought since I could not stand how poorly the light looked and was distributed. I ended up buying some slightly more expensive Philips bulbs that are much nicer. I forget which store I found them at, it would have been a Home Depot, Lowe's, or large lighting store. They have a hazy surface that distributes the light evenly and in a nice color. They work very well and I only have an itsy bitsy electric bill in the nicer months.
posted by Nackt at 7:49 PM on December 1, 2011


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