What Are The Best Bulbs For Recessed Lighting?

Recessed lights are fixtures that sit flush in your ceiling. Also, known as a downlight or can, it offers a sleek and polished look to your room. All the electrical wires are hidden in your ceiling and the bulb light shines from the opening. Recessed lighting features energy-efficient LED lights that last longer than traditional bulbs.

The best bulbs for recessed lighting are the SunLake six-packsLinkind PAR38 Dimmable, Philips Hue Smart kit, and the Energetic Smart LED bulbs. All are energy efficient, fit flush in your ceiling fixture, and are dimmable to cater to every room setting.

Recessed lighting is an excellent choice for interior illumination. Therefore, the type of bulb and its temperature are important elements to consider when buying bulbs for this purpose.

Color Temperature Is Important When Choosing Bulbs For Recessed Lighting

Color temperature is represented in Kelvin. Hence, household bulbs especially LEDs are measured in color temperatures like 2700K (warm incandescent) 3000K (warm white), and 3500K (household fluorescent).

Fixtures higher than 3700K are found in commercial buildings such as hospitals or police stations. These color temperatures are hash for home settings. However, in rooms like the kitchen and office where task lighting is crucial, 4000K is needed.

There are hundreds of bulbs to choose from, including smart bulbs and regular LED bulbs. As a result, I have handpicked my top choices.

SunLake Lighting 6 Pack PAR30 LED-3000K

The Sunlake six-pack is a very durable bulb, it has dimmable features to adjust your color temperature and enough brightness to light up your room.

However, many customers have complained that some light was not working, that’s the only problem with this brand. On the bright side, the company offers a ten-year warranty. It saves up to 95% of energy compared to traditional bulbs like incandescents.

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Linkind PAR38 Dimmable LED Light Bulb

With hundreds of reviews, the Linkind is another top choice for recessed lighting. It is perfect for people who hate changing bulbs (like me)because it can last years before you’ll have to change it.

Like the SunLake, it is dimmable so you can adjust your bulb color temperature to fit your needs. Plus, it features the best shape for recessed lighting and it is easy to screw into your ceiling fixture.

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Philips Hue Smart LED Smart Light Kit

I can’t write a post without mentioning Philips Hue. I love this brand; they have the best smart products on the market. This bulb can connect to Smart Thing, Alexa, and Google Home Kit.

The Philips Hue smart bulb also has dimmable features and you don’t need the hub. I know it is a very expensive option, but it is worth every penny. You can add schedules, timers, and add scenes. This bulb is perfect for people who do have money to spare and want the entire smart home experience.

The package contains a bulb, a smart dimmer, and a two-year warranty for peace of mind. There are some issues with the app but overall is an excellent product.

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Energetic Smart LED Recessed Light Bulbs

Looking to replace your halogen and incandescent bulbs to save energy, then this inexpensive recessed light pack is a perfect choice.

They have up to 50000 hours of lifespan and offer smooth dimming attributes. It fits between 600-800 Lumen range and it is excellent for the living room or bedroom. Some customers have complained of flickering and some bulbs were not dimmable.

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Color temperature can help you decide which is best for each room

Color Temperature
  • 2000K–gives out a dim glow this is excellent for ambient and low lighting.
  • 2000K-3000K-gives a soft white glow with a yellow appearance.
  • 3100K-4500K: portrays a bright white hue and is great for office, kitchen, and vanities.
  • 4600K-6500K–gives a blue-white light, which is like daylight.
  • 6500K and up–They are excellent for commercial lighting, and it offers a bright bluish hue.

With recessed lighting, it is best to buy bulbs that give out 2700K-3000K color temperature.

What About the Bulb Lumens?

The brightness of an LED bulb is measured in lumens while you may see the Watts measurement on your package, it is not important here. Watts is the amount of energy that bulb uses.

For recessed lighting, 600 lumens for a standard height ceiling and 900 lumens for a higher ceiling is your best choice.

The Kitchen, bathroom, and dining room are the most common rooms for installing recessed lighting. This kind of illumination is popular in living room areas as well.

  • Kitchen recessed light choices differ by room size but a good rule of thumb is to: Select 4-inch or 5-inch lights to provide sufficient lighting for food preparation and cleaning.
  • Because bathrooms are damp and humid, recessed lighting is the perfect option for this room. They are located in the ceiling, decreasing corrosion.
  • The recessed lighting fittings in the living room offer general lighting for your space.

Types Of Recessed Bulbs


LEDs are a popular choice. These bulbs are energy efficient, last longer, and produce less heat than incandescent or halogen bulbs. Similarly, they come in many shapes and sizes and feature cans and canless options.

Incandescent Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs are the most common and least expensive bulbs available for recessed lighting. They provide a warm, soft glow that’s perfect for living rooms and bedrooms. However, they’re not energy efficient because they consume more power than other lights.

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen bulbs are the next generation of incandescent bulbs, offering the same brightness as incandescent bulbs while using less energy (50 percent less) and producing less heat than their counterparts do . 

Fluorescent Bulbs

Because they are more efficient, fluorescent bulbs are becoming more popular. These bulbs are also brighter than their incandescent counterparts, making them ideal for large spaces like garages or warehouses.

The Shape Of The Bulb Is Also Important

PAR (Parabolic Aluminized Reflector) recessed bulb

PAR bulbs have parabolic-shaped reflectors that concentrate the light into a narrow beam, creating a spotlight effect. You can use these bulbs in track lighting or recessed lights. These bulbs come in three different color temperatures: 3000K (warm white), 4000K (neutral white), and 5000K (cool white).

MR (Multifaceted Reflector)

These recessed bulbs are the most common type of recessed light bulb, and they come in many shapes and sizes. MR bulbs are available in incandescent, halogen, and CFL/LED versions. The light output is concentrated into a narrow beam, so it’s most often used to illuminate specific areas like stairways or tables.

A (Arbitrary) is regularly shaped omnidirectional bulbs and Twist,Spiral or Tube are used for CFLs.

To Recap

Most recessed lights have a wide beam angle so they can spread out the lights evenly. While wide beams are substantial for recessed lighting, too wide of an angle will cause glare.

Let’s face it, recessed fixtures are a huge part of lighting, they sit flush in your ceiling and provide the best general lighting. The color temperature of 2700-3000K are the bulbs you’ll need for your ceiling fixture.

When looking at lumens 500-800 bulbs are the better choice. The bulb that offers value for your money is the Linkind, they are affordable and have dimmable features.

For an overall smart experience, the Philips Hue is your best bet. I am one of their biggest fans and my home is loaded with them. It is pricey, but again it is worth the money.

I am a wife and mom with two kids. I am also a writer, avid DIYer, and tech enthusiast. My favorite things are writing, shopping online for gadgets, and gizmos I can’t afford (yet). Being at home with my kids is the best part of my day!

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