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Wafer Lights Vs. Can Lights (Explained)

Wafer Lights Vs. Can Lights (Explained)

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Homeowners often find themselves in a situation where they must select the right lighting fixture for their homes. Recessed lighting could be a great option to pick for your home. The only challenge with this type of lighting fixture is deciding between wafer lights and can lights. What’s the difference between these two anyway? 

Can lights come in a can-shaped casing that you can put on the wall, ceiling, or floor? The purpose of the can-shaped casing is only to protect the bulb against elements. On top of their casing, you’ll find an electric box, plus a rod and hanger for mounting purposes.   On the other hand, wafer lights, also known as can-less lights, come in a thin housing as a single unit with LED lights attached to them. From their thin housing, you can connect wafer lights to your electrical wires directly. 

Each of these lights comes with a set of its own pros and cons. This article will help you understand them separately, making it easier for you to pick the one that is best suited for your home. 

Understanding Wafer Lights Vs. Can Lights

Wafer Lights

When you buy a wafer light, you’ll find an in-built led light with them. Once the LED light stops working, you have to replace the whole lighting fixture. However, compared to bulbs, LED lights are more durable. Also, they don’t just suddenly burn out. Instead, they’ll slowly dim until they become too dim to provide enough light. 

Led lights can stay effective for up to 50,000 hours, which is approximately fifty times longer than a regular bulb. Even though these lights are brighter than bulbs, you have to buy several of them to brighten a single room. 

Since wafer lights use LEDs, they’re energy-efficient. Coming as a single unit means no fixture, hence no holes through which air conditioning and heat can escape, making them more energy-efficient than can lights. 

Adding more to the wafer lights advantages, they’re easy to install, and you only require a few minutes to get them done. However, there’s no standard installation rule for the wafer lights as each comes uniquely designed.

Wafer lights come in a thin casing, which means that they have fewer trim options than their counterpart. Also, looking at their cost, they’re cheaper. The cost of wafer lights installation per fixture ranges between $50 to $160, and for can lights, from $60.

Overall, wafer lights are cheaper, easier to install, energy-efficient, durable, and can be used anywhere in the house, including places where can lights don’t work. But on their downsides, you have to replace the whole fixture if the LED light stops working. Also, it’s complex and costly to change the color of their light because there’s wiring involved.  

Can Lights

The sizes of can lights range between 3 inches to 6 inches. Can lights be best suited for homes with low ceilings since they’ll blend perfectly? And much to their advantage, they have several trim options compared to wafer lights. 

It doesn’t really matter what type of can lights you purchase since the installation process remains the same. There’s a standardized formula for installing can lights. Once you master it, you can install as many of them quickly. 

Installing a can light in a complete building requires a lot of background checks on the wall, ceiling, or floor. You can save yourself the trouble by putting them in a house still under construction before placing the drywall.

For as much as can light is a great option, they also come with some challenges. The biggest challenge homeowners face with this lighting option is that can lights tend to reduce the insulation value of their homes. Also, where you place them depends on two factors, the trusses and joists in the building. 

Since can lights use light bulbs for lighting instead of LEDs used in wafer lights, they are not as bright. However, you can only replace the light bulbs whenever they burn out instead of replacing the whole lighting fixture. Additionally, can lights tend to direct light much better due to their can-shaped casing compared to their counterpart? 

Overall, can lights have more trim options, have the same installation formula, and are easy to unscrew whenever you need to change the bulb. They’re, however, more expensive than wafer lights, can limit insulation level, and there’s also a restriction to where you can install them. 

How Long Does It Take for A Recessed Light to Stop Working: Wafer and Can Lights

Recessed lighting will stop working with time, like any other lighting fixture. It could be due to a bulb burnout if you’re using can lights or due to a socket that has blown out. Other causes include over insulation, trim that is sagging, and age. 

If you’re using LED bulbs in your recessed light, then it can light your home for more than five years before it stops working. That’s equivalent to fifty thousand hours. However, an incandescent bulb can only stay effective for up to one thousand hours. Alternatively, installing a fluorescent bulb will give you ten thousand hours of excellent service before it goes off.

Where to Put Your Recessed Lighting Fixture

In terms of brightness, recessed lighting, whether wafer or can, isn’t so bright compared to traditional lighting. For this reason, electricians use a specific formula to determine where to place them in your home. It all depends on what you want to light. 

The logic behind this particular formula is that the distance between your lights, can or wafer, needs to double the space at the ends. Therefore, the factors affecting recessed lighting placement include layout, number of lights required, and your room’s dimensions. 

You can use recessed lighting to achieve various lights, including ambient, task, and accent lights. For accent light, you’ll need to reduce glare, so the light should be 30degrees from your ceiling. 

Bottom Line

There you have it, the difference between the wafer and can lights, coupled with their advantages and disadvantages. You can also tell where to place your recessed lights based on the formula above. This information will help you pick the right recessed light for your home, either wafer or can lights. 

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