Most people probably don’t give much thought to the lighting in their homes or office. But the truth is, lights play a very important role in our lives. It affects our mood, our productivity, and our health. In fact, according to research published on NIH PubMed Central, poor illumination at home can lead to poor health.

This means that if your lighting system is old or inefficient, you may need to start considering changing things up with a new, more energy-efficient recessed lighting system, and this means choosing between retrofit lightning vs. a new build.

There are two types of recessed lighting: retrofit or remodeled designs and new construction.

A retrofit is a cost-effective way to upgrade your current system without having to replace it entirely. This involves replacing your current light bulbs and fixtures with more energy-efficient ones. New construction is a more expensive option, but it will provide you with a brand-new, state-of-the-art system.

To help you make your decision on whether to retrofit or replace the home lighting system, keep reading.

Lighting installation

Parts of Home Lighting

If you are new to recessed home lighting systems, you need to know the different parts of the fixture, this will help you make the best installation or replacement decisions.

A fixture has three parts: housing, trim, and bulb.

  • The housing holds the electrical components and protects the entire system hidden in the ceiling.
  • Trim is a decorative feature covering the opening and is often fitted into the housing.
  • The illumination source can be a bulb, depending on the design and style.

Some fixtures come fitted together into a single piece, and others are sold as a two-piece, composed of the housing and trim. Housings also have varied diameters ranging from four to seven inches. The trim contains reflectors that alter the fixture’s intensity in some fixtures.

Pros and Cons of Retrofit Lighting

 Retrofit lighting

Retrofitting your lighting system is a big decision. There are a lot of factors to consider, and it’s not a decision that should be made lightly. That being said, there are a few key pros and cons to retrofitting that you should know about before making a decision.

Here are some of the pros of retrofitting:

Allow for upgrading

If your lighting is outdated, retrofit designs allow you to easily redesign your home to match modern living technology. If your home and the existing system can support a retrofit, then there are components, parts, and upgrades you can add to your existing system to bring it up-to-date.

Also, retrofitting can help you apply the latest energy efficiency technology to boost your home living.

Smart technology

Retrofits come in various models and designs depending on your desired technology. If you’re looking for smart features for your home or facility, you can easily upgrade by retrofitting.

In fact, you may be able to install motorized window shades to match your smart home technology. However, be sure to always consult an automated smart home expert to be sure it can work with your existing system.

Cons of retrofitting

Cabling is a major challenge for some remodeling technologies. Especially where you need to route cables through the ceiling and walls to speakers in different locations of the house. This is one of the setbacks you will experience when remodeling, and you should consider the advice of an expert.

The installation might involve tearing holes in walls for cabling, which will be messy and costly. And some structures might be impossible to install, especially where walls are made of solid concrete.

How do you overcome these challenges?

Wireless speakers provide suitable solutions if you cannot install cables around the house. However, installing cables is the best option as it is more reliable and easy to redesign when needed.

Pros and Cons of New Construction Lighting

The most convenient way to install recessed lighting is on new constructions. And it offers various benefits as follows:

Easily accommodates different technologies

New construction offers no limitation to adding new technology or any design of choice. This is because you can install the necessary cables for fixtures and fittings, video, and audio when constructing the walls.

Reduces future costs and remodeling needs

It allows you to plan and design your home to match all your needs and the latest technologies. As a result, you can easily change various designs and upgrade accordingly at will without the need to tear down walls. You can also work with interior designers, and architects to create the most convenient and customized smart systems for all your future needs.

Cost of Remodeling and New Construction Lighting

When choosing between remodel vs new construction lighting, one important factor to consider is the cost.

An existing home fixture may cost between $200 to $300, and the total cost will depend on the number of lighting fixtures. For new constructions, a single recessed bulb may cost an average of $500, and the entire cost may double that of remodeling.

If you are looking at Lutron lighting options for a smart lighting system, you can expect to spend between $15,000 to $25,000, but this system may not match if you are thinking of upgrading or retrofitting so be sure to ask.

All in all, always go for the most efficient option.

What is Easier to Instal?

So should you retrofit or build a new smart home lighting?

Recessed lighting cabling is easier on an existing home because it requires less labor. However, it is more convenient at the construction stage because you can conveniently set up the right cables. However, if you are placing it on existing lighting or house, you may face certain challenges and have to compromise on some of your needs.

When to Install Lighting?

It is best to install lighting when constructing your home or remodeling just before you move in. This way, you have the freedom to install all the parts and components of the system you choose without worrying about how you will break into the ceiling.

You can also choose to opt for an automated home light control system. After all, automated lighting is the future of smart homes. This does not mean that you cannot automate your home after you have moved in, but it is easier and less expensive at the construction or remodeling stage.


Recessed lighting can add value to your home. Studies show that it can add 1% to 3% to the value of your home. Plus, you can use it to complement your decor and set the mood you desire in your home. This is something you should definitely consider investing in.

Whether it is a new home lighting or remodeling an old one, you should always consider the opinion of the experts at OM WAVE, the home automation company in Miami, FL, when choosing the right design for your home.

We can help you understand the benefits of home automation so that you can make the most of the latest innovations.