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One of the questions Michelle and I get asked a lot is, “What light fixture should I get?” Right now, the biggest trend is adding recessed lighting, but when you’re doing a remodel, they’re not super easy to install. Not all ceilings have a lot of access and there isn’t always a lot of room for the large can housing for most recessed lights.

Wafer lights are a great way to add recessed lights into a finished space or to make your light fixture budget stretch further when you’re building a new home or addition. Here are a few things we’d like our customers to know when it comes to wafer lights.

Size Matters

One of the biggest trends in lighting upgrades this year is recessed lighting. The standard used to be what we call can lights because the lamp literally goes inside of a can that’s mounted in the ceiling. However, cans can take up a lot of space and, as such, they sometimes take away from the insulation value of the roof, depending on the style of roof and the type of insulation. That’s something a lot of home owners don’t consider when they install can lights. Our winters are cold and we need as much insulation across the entire surface of our ceiling as possible.

Below is a picture of what we call a remodel can that’s used in finished ceilings. IC rate cans are made to be buried in insulation, but when they’re installed, additional insulation is still needed to be packed around it.

The wafer light, is much smaller and does not require that insulation be removed or relocated. As you can see in the below picture, canless recessed light fixtures, or wafer lights, have a significantly reduced footprint. You can add as many wafer lights as your circuit allows and still maintain the same insulation rating for your roof.


Another major advantage to the wafer light is cost. The can light can run anywhere from $100 – 240 a piece, whereas the wafer lights run anywhere from $15 – $140.

Going more expensive really isn’t that important in a can or wafer light. There’s a point where the investment in price doesn’t provide you with a return of better quality. We recommend staying in the mid-level range on both can lights and wafer lights because that’s where the best return on investment lies. The mid-level light fixtures we recommend are high quality, perform well, last long, and the companies have a great reputation with a great warrantee.

Our Preferred Option

The Lithonia Wafer LED Recessed Lights come in a variety of options.

  • 4” and 6” diameter openings
  • Downlights and directional beam for vaulted ceilings
  • Multiple trim colors: white, black, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze
  • Adjustable LED lamps ranging from 2700K/730Lumensj to 5000K/1123Lumens (see color chart for more information)
  • Lythonia warrantee


Adding recessed lighting to your home is a great investment and a fantastic way to give your home an updated look. And it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to make it happen. We’ve got more information discussing some of the best locations for recessed lighting and how many you need. Stay tuned.

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