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Can vs Canless Recessed Lighting: Which is Better?


​Recessed lighting is heavily used in modern lighting design and is a great option for replacing or upgrading the lighting system in your home or office. Their best feature is that it takes up no space and offers a lot of options. And one of the most basic options is can lights and canless recessed lights. In this article, we explore the differences between the two to help you choose the best option for your style.​​​​

canless recessed light
can recessed light

​Difference between Can and Canless Recessed Lighting​


Can Recessed Light: The fixture of the can light has a can-shaped housing that can be totally installed in your ceiling. Its housing is usually attached to poles for mounting and usually has an electrical box on top. When installing can light, installations tend to be largely standardized between fixtures. This means that all can lights are installed in a very similar manner. So, once you learn how to install them, you can install most can lights.


Canless Recessed Light: Unlike can lights, canless recessed lighting doesn't come with a can or housing to hold the bulb in place. They use LED lights integrated into the system, and because of the ultra-thin housing and compact construction, they can fit into tight spaces. Because of the way they connect to your wiring, they don't require an electrical box, requiring only a few inches of deep ceiling space to install.​​

​​Pros & Cons of Can Recessed Lighting

The replacement of Can light bulbs will be easier for their construction. Because of the housing, users are free to choose decorations that match their decor, and they can also choose lower-cost bulbs such as fluorescent lamps. The Can-shape shell allows Can light to gather light better. However, because the installation of Can Light has certain limitations, it needs to consider the location based on the structure of the house, and if you choose fluorescent bulbs, the brightness and service life may not be as good as Canless Light using LEDs.​




canless recessed light in office


led can lights



Canless Recessed Lighting Pros and Cons​​

A single canless light has no can-shape housing, no need to pry open the ceiling to fix the lighting when installing, just punch a hole in the plasterboard or use an existing can to install. Moreover, because of the compact structure, most of the canless recessed lights on the market use LEDs. Although they are more expensive than fluorescent bulbs, they have a long service life, high brightness, and can maintain a good temperature even after long-term use. What's more, LED lights are more energy-efficient and economical in the long run than fluorescent lights.

But, just because canless recessed lighting is compact, it may not be easy for you to replace. Recessed lighting systems with canisters allow you to change bulbs while the whole system stays in place, but with canless recessed light, you'll need to replace units, which is not an easy task.​​

​What Light Bulbs can be Used in Recessed Lighting?


Whether it is recessed light or canless recessed light, LED will undoubtedly be the best choice. When choosing an LED light, consider the following options:


3000K LED Light: If you need to install warm lights in your kitchen, bathroom, office area, or other places, 3000K bulbs would be recommended. It is neither too strong to stimulate eyesight nor too weak to affect eyesight. If you plan to buy a batch of LEDs to install in your recessed lighting system, 3000K LED lights are a good choice.


Dimmable LED Light: Dimmable lighting options allow you to easily adjust the intensity of light in your home for the most comfortable lighting experience. Dimming the lights can also reduce your energy bills.


​​​​TruWave™ Light: TruWave Technology™ introduces natural lighting solutions with a superior, balanced spectrum that we can implement anywhere to improve our comfort and overall well-being day and night. Available in two shapes and sizes, BR30 and PAR38, SYLVANIA TruWave™ CCT optional lamps come in five different color temperature settings: 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, 4000K, or 5000K, allowing you to choose the best option to transform your space. One light bulb solution to transform all spaces for your projects!​


FAQ:Things About Can Lights and Canless Recessed lights​


How to Install Canless Recessed Lighting?


After turning off the power to confirm the installation location, wear safety glasses and use a hole saw to drill a hole in the ceiling (make sure the hole is the right size for your light fixture) then use a voltage tester on the wiring to verify that the wire you are using is not live. Feed the wire through the new hole and strip a few inches from the wire, taking care to snip the wire's jacket without damaging the wire. Connect your home's electrical wires to the junction box that comes with each fixture, taking the breakaway plug and inserting the connector to protect and secure the wires going into the box. Then use the color-coded quick connectors to make connections: white to white, black to black, and connect the bare ground wire to green. Close the junction box after the previous step and connect it through the hole in the ceiling to the attic space. Finally connect the junction box to the light fixture using small threaded connectors, with spring wings to snap the light into the ceiling.​


Are Canless Recessed Light a Fire Hazard?


Lighting of any kind, if installed improperly or not to the IC rating, can overheat and cause a fire. Before installing lights, have a professional check your wiring to make sure it's suitable for canless recessed lighting. And if you have a non-IC rated device, make sure it doesn't come into contact with any insulators.


What Is the Common Size for Can Recessed Lights?


The most common sizes found in modern homes and offices are 4 inches to 7 inches. Recessed lighting is not as bright as standard lighting, so when determining the size you need, you need to consider the area you want to light, the height of your ceiling, and so on. For more detailed advice please contact experts for the best recessed lighting solutions.​​

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