Can Lights vs. Recessed Lights: What’s the Difference?

Kitchen with pendant lights and recessed lights combined.

Lighting can play a significant role in the look and feel of a space. So whether you’re in the midst of a full-scale renovation or simply want to change things up, it’s important to consider how installing new lighting fixtures will impact your home.

While searching for new lighting options, you might have heard the words “can” and “recessed” lights thrown around. So, what can you expect from can lights vs. recessed lights? What sets these fixtures apart from each other?

Let’s discuss if there’s a difference between recessed and can lights, as well as how to find the best lighting fixtures for your needs.

What to Consider When Choosing Lighting for Your Home

There are many lighting options on the market, which can leave homeowners feeling overwhelmed in their search for the perfect lighting fixtures. So before we go over the differences between can lights vs. recessed lights, you should learn more about how to choose the right type of lighting for your home.

The Difference Between Recessed and Can Lights

Recessed lights, can lights, pot lights, ceiling lights — all these terms are enough to make a person’s head spin. Nonetheless, it’s important to know what distinguishes these fixtures from one another. So, what is the difference between recessed and can lights?

Believe it or not, can lights are actually a type of recessed lighting. Essentially, can lights get their name from the can-shaped housing that is used to hold the light bulbs. You can expect these lights to be almost flush with the ceiling, which gives them a seamless, tidy appearance.

There are really no differences between can lights vs. recessed lights. However, it’s important to mention that you can choose from two types of recessed lighting: can and canless.

Which Type of Recessed Lighting Is Right for You?

Now that you know the difference between recessed and can lights — or lack thereof — it’s time to go over what sets can and canless lights apart from one another. When it comes down to it, the main thing that distinguishes these types of lighting fixtures is that canless lights (also called “wafer lights”) don’t have can-shaped housing for storing light bulbs. Instead, these wafter lights have built-in LED lights that connect directly to your electrical wires.

The main downside to wafer lights is that the entire fixture must be replaced when the LED lights burn out. However, many lighting installers will highlight the fact that LED wafer lights can last 50,000 hours before needing to be replaced.

It’s also worth mentioning that can lights have the ability to use traditional light bulbs and LEDs. So all-in-all, can lights can be just as energy efficient as their wafer light counterparts, should they also be paired with LED lights. There are also more trim options for can lights than canless fixtures.

When push comes to shove, can and canless lights both have many benefits. These types of lights work best in rooms with low ceilings, but they can infuse any space with bright, even lighting.

Install LED Recessed Lighting With RR Electric!

Upgrading your home’s lighting fixtures takes a lot of thought and careful planning. Unfortunately, browsing all the different types of lights can be confusing if you aren’t familiar with how they work and what sets them apart. Hopefully, you now understand that there really isn’t a difference between can lights vs. recessed lights. This information should make your lighting installation a little bit easier!

If you’re ready to install recessed lighting in your home, turn to the experts at RR Electric. Our professional electricians in Simi Valley, CA, offer LED recessed lighting to make your home as bright, sleek, and energy efficient as possible.

We’re happy to help you make a customized plan to fit the needs of your home. Contact our recessed lighting installers today to schedule your appointment in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, or the surrounding areas!