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Product Review: Progress Lighting LED Recessed Cans

I’m a bit obsessive about efficient lighting, so when I saw these LED recessed lights I knew I had to put some into a home to try them out. In the photo above we used two of them to accent the brick wall in the living room of our 3305 Oakmont Blvd House. Here’s the rundown:
Pro’s – 50,000+ hour bulb life (no more bulb changes), Good Energy Efficiency – 15 Watts with about 45 watts of incandescent equivalent output , no mercury (like a compact fluorescent bulb), dimmable with most dimmers
Con’s – Expensive ($150ish per) compared to a standard can with a CFL bulb at around $60 per, not as much output at 15 watts as a CFL bulb (more suited to accent lighting)
This is what EFI.org (where I bought them) says: “LEDs provide high quality, strong directional light – best for accent lighting, or lighting surfaces directly under the fixture. LEDs are generally at least twice as efficient than conventional incandescent bulbs, though as much as half as efficient as compact fluorescents. They are suitable for use in locations where bright, ambient light is not required and/or lamp maintenance is difficult.” That’s a pretty good summary!
In my estimation these are super cool, but not quite ready for prime time. I really like the standard cheap recessed cans with a screw in compact flourscent bulb. The standard cans are inexpensive and I’m certain that bulb technology is going to improve. I think that in about 5-10 years we’ll be buying LED screw-in bulbs for under $10 each that will be the pinnacle of effecient, dimmable, good quality light. In the meantime, I’d give these a try for some areas of your house but not as a standard can replacement. -Matt Risinger