Can light Retro fit Solutions... Plz Help!

First time post here so I'm not sure that my pictures will upload, but I will update as soon as possible!

We just bought a new home and are dabbling with home automation. My biggest dilemma right now is a solution for outdated can lights. There are over 60 can lights on the main floor alone and we are struggling to find the best option.

Must do's:

  • Color change warm to cool, and full color change without having to manually switch an analog switch to change colors.

  • Must screw into existing cans. (6'')

  • zigbee/zeewave (although we have awesome internet, we are doing a lot of smart technology in the house and think that 60 individual devices just for can lights alone is excessive.) I don't really care to change each individual light color, but the kitchen may be cool light vs the den being warm light, kids room being colored etc.

We want ability to mount iPads with magnetic chargers, and use them as control panels in several rooms, also using habitat app to control remotely.

The two solutions I think are best are the following:

Philips Hue - see link below. The only downfall I see is they are $50 minimum each, and that doesn't include any smart switches.

  • Sumaote - Very budget friendly, I just don't think they work with Habitat yet.

The lighting is our priority right now, but I would really be open to paying for qualified consultation for the full picture of what we are trying to do. Thank you for your help.

If you want to be able to change the warmth or color of the bulbs, they will each need to be color changing. If you want all the bulbs in a room to always be cool or warm, then you could buy the right warmth bulb and get a dimmer switch to control them.

Philips Hue lights should be connected to one of their hubs to avoid problems with other Zigbee devices. (Other Zigbee devices will attempt to route through the Hue Lights but this won’t work right, and problems will ensue…)

Sengled lights are a great option. They do not repeat so do not cause Zigbee mesh issue.

If you end up getting Sengled lights, be sure to add some Zigbee repeaters throughout your house to enhance the signal going to them, and because there is a limit to how many devices can be connected to one repeater (or hub).

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I used these. Very cost effective and dimmable. You will need to pick your color temperature at the outset.

Ensenior 12 Pack 6 Inch Ultra-Thin LED Recessed Ceiling Light with Junction Box, 4000K Cool White, 12W 110W Eqv, Dimmable Can-Killer Downlight, 1050LM High Brightness - ETL and Energy Star Certified

He has existing cans.... Better these... (they work great)

And these, which work with your existing cans;

BBOUNDER 12 Pack 5/6 Inch LED Recessed Downlight, Baffle Trim, Dimmable, 12.5W=100W, 3000K Warm White, 950 LM, Damp Rated, Simple Retrofit Installation - UL No Flicker

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The worst are the ecolink downlights. I bought 12 of them last year. Every single one of them went bad.

I replaced the existing wall switches with Zooz dimmers.

You will need these to retrofit cans. Saves hours of frustration.

Recessed Light Clips for Downlight | 10 Pairs of Recessed Lighting Clips | Perfect for recessed retrofit Down Light

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Outta curiosity, why do you guys prefer those retrofit can solutions over just a dimmable LED to replace the existing bulb? Maybe I’ve just not seen older can lights, but all the ones in my house and my previous condo were just “unscrew incandescent/cfl, screw in dimmable LED”.

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If you haven't started on hue don't. Look elsewhere for ZigBee 3.0 products like innr better price can join directly to hub.

Don't believe z-wave changing colour have a good reputation.

So options are for colour and temp.

ZigBee 3.0

Other options if you network is good, is lifix, that has a local integration and apparently works very well.

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Because the OP has asked for this as a minimum.

Personally I do a halfway. I have a ZigBee RGBW light in each room in the pendant, then I have down lights one in each corner. If you turn off and on these quickly they flip between 3 modes warm / cool and daylight white. They are also IP rated, fire rated and dimmable. So for me that's a better option for price

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I would be tempted to use these:

I haven’t tried them, but I have been using quite a few of the RGBW version of these for years without any issues.
I would then use Hue for color where it’s really necessary. I don’t know if LIFX, Gledopto, or INNR makes a can light, but if they do that might be a good option.

1 Like has 4 packs of the Philips Hue:

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Can lights are notoriously a huge air leak, and significant energy loss for your home. Using these retrofit solutions can help mitigate that air loss.

I would also say that this is just a personal opinion here, but I find the wafers/pucks are more attractive than a bulb.


If you want color tunable everywhere, this is going to be very expensive. I would suggest instead taking a hard look at your needs vs wants. You likely will find there are areas of the house that you don’t really ever want to change the color temperature.

Sengled BR30 bulbs can be found at low prices very often. Just be sure you have adequate Zigbee repeaters for them, since as mentioned by @Sebastien, they do not repeat the signal for each other like other bulb types.

Do avoid Sylvania would be my recommendation. They’re not long for this world and I find them very flakey. They also sometimes buzz even when off and try to repeat, but do a terrible job of it, really screwing up the Zigbee mesh in my experience. My old OSRAM gardenspots are the only ones that have not been banned from my system. But they are kept separated from my main Zigbee mesh to prevent issues.

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Look what just showed up on my Facebook.

I guess we don't look up at our ceilings enough to care about the aesthetics differences. :rofl: I do see that point though and would probably agree they look better. The air leak isn't an issue for us either but again I can see the point there and can imagine a lot of situations where that would be a big problem. Thanks for the perspective.

I share this opinion for the “bulbs”, but have not had any problems with the rt 5/6 downlighting or light strips. I will qualify this to only pertain to Ledvance manufactured lights that use a newer Zigbee chip versus the Osram manufactured ones. I haven’t had a single device drop off the mesh since I purged all Osram devices a couple years ago.


I have a few Sengled bulbs where I want true color changing, I am a lighting designer by trade, so I take it all somewhat seriously. For the majority of my stuff, I use Philips dimmable lamps with warm glow technology. That is, they work like an incandescent lamp through their own smarts, The lower you dim your wall dimmer, the warmer the lamp gets. All interaction with Hubitat is at the dimmer, the lamps have no communication to the hub. This is good if you just want color tuning in the 3000-2200K range, but is not as great if you want full RGBW or tunable white everywhere.

Thank you all for your suggestions. I have tried several options and I have currently had the best luck with these:

If the picture doesn't load, they are the "lighting side smart led downlights"

They seem to be working ok for the (4) I have installed, but I am really nervous to try and throw 60-80 on as separate devices under wifi.

Using the existing cans is the best way we can see to get these done as replacing them would be really difficult.

This is my first smart home attempt so I have a lot to learn, but I get mixed directions from everyone. The company that did about 35 flush mount ceiling speakers through sonos is suggesting we run away from zigbee/zeewave as that tech will soon be outdated. He's also advising to ditch the wifi lights and just run with smart switches everywhere.

Still playing with options, I will take all the suggestions you all have. Thanks again!