i want to start by saying thank you for the few that helped answer my question yesterday.

to make a long story short....i am a fairly new homeowner and unfortunately did not have a father who was much of a fixer upper growing up. so when it comes to home repairs and doing things around the house i am very inexperienced.

i am trying to start off by doing small simple projects to help boost my confidence around the house. so over the weekend when I looked up at the ceiling in my living room i decided that i wanted to replace the faded white trim for the recessed lights. so after doing some browsing i found these: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kichler-Baffle-Recessed-Light-Trim-Fits-Housing-Diameter-6-in/1000257661

they are really nice and not that expensive. so i went to lowes and picked one up along with some GE LED BR30 bulbs. i wanted to buy just one to make sure it fit and looked nice. but upon reading the sticker on the trim it said MAX 9W BR30 LED. so i exchanged the bulbs for a lower wattage.

i went home and put up the trim and it fit beautifully. such a simple change gives the ceiling some new life! but as i was putting in the trim i noticed a sticker on the housing unit. it's a HALO 7T housing unit. no where do I see the trim i purchased on that sticker. as matter of fact it says to use only HALO trim. in addition...i don't see any mention of LED bulbs on that sticker either.

so am I overthinking this here? is it that big of a deal? what about the LED bulbs? can they go into this unit? i have read some conflicting articles online as far as LED bulbs in incandescent housing.

i just don't want to create a fire hazard, that's my real concern. maybe my questions are silly but again, i'm new to this and want to be 100% sure. thanks so much

3 Answers 3


R is for reflector and 30 is how many eighths of an inch wide they are... 3-3/4 inches in this case. BR is for bulged reflector. PAR is for parabolic aluminized reflector.

I agree with all the other comments regarding code and UL. Halo says use halo trims. Of course they do. And technically you should use Halo trims, but I would use another brand in my own home if it was convenient and or priced right. It is just a beauty ring.

They sell BR3O led lamps from 8 to 12 watt so stay with 9 watt maximum like they state on the label and sleep easy. I have 45 years experience in this work and this is 100% safe.


I can't speak to the trim type/compatibility - that may be pure marketing, or it may really be that only certain types fit.

But as far as LED bulbs, as long as the power (W) is <= the rated power of the fixture you should be fine. LEDs do produce heat, but less heat (based on the power used) than incandescent, compact fluorescent and halogen bulbs that produce the same amount of light (lumens). LEDs can produce some very high heat in small areas (e.g., there may be a lot of heat (relatively) at the base of the bulb, where an incandescent bulb produces no heat at the base but produces a lot of heat everywhere else), but the TOTAL amount of heat is simply based on the power consumption.

One real concern with LEDs is dimming. Both the bulb and the dimmer need to be designed to handle LED dimming. With incandescent bulbs this was never a problem, but with LEDs it often is a problem.

  • yes, the LED bulb puts out 9W. the fixture states 65W-75W but that is for incandescent bulbs. so i am way below that mark. Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 14:18

In the civilized world, products are tested: The manufacturer designs the product and creates labeling and instructions. They pack them off to UL or similar testing lab, who tests them according to their instructions and labeling. If the products don't burn the lab down, they become listed.

The listing only applies if used according to labeling and instructions, since that is all they were tested for. NEC is a thick codebook but its very first reg (110.2) effectively requires you use only listed products. The second reg (110.3) requires obedience to the labeling and instructions (so you don't void the UL listing by faulty installation).

But a "trim ring" is a wobbler. On one hand, what I just said. On the other hand, NEC doesn't have any code about trim rings, and they are a cosmetic piece so liable to be more of a marketing pitch. Code does indeed not recognize a "Use Only Our Brand Accessories" demand. That said, circuit breakers are in fact not interchangeable across brands; some will "snap in" but they won't fit the busbars correctly, and will arc badly.

The real deciding factor, I think, will be whether the product appears safe and has good fitment, not hokeydoked up there with duct tape and paper clips. That's also addressed in an early NEC rule, 110.11, "neat and workmanlike" execution of work.

As far as "9 watts", if the part is UL/etc. listed, then you must follow the labeling and instructions. If it is not listed, you must not use it at all.

Generally fixtures don't care how many lumens shine through them; they are concerned with the ability to remove lamp heat so they don't overwhelm the fixture's insulation and set your house on fire. The second concern is LED and CFL lamps need to run cool - (particularly, CFLs do badly in "socket up" orientations because 90% of the heat is made in the tube's phosphors, and then rises to overheat the driver electronics.) The fixture may not be good at removing heat (since it's made for incandescents which enjoy being oven lights) - and so the maker may derate the fixture for LED/CFL in an attempt to keep the LED/CFL at workable temperatures so it doesn't fail prematurely.

  • thank you. but why would a recessed trim specify a certain wattage/bulb type if the fixture can handle it? i put the trim in and it fits like a gem - i don't see any difference aside from color than the last trim that was up there. Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 16:20
  • @MichaelKennedy Good question. The only logical answer is "UL forced them to". If it's plastic trim, there are wildly varying grades of plastic. There's the plastic in 25 year old car interiors that's still going on strong (or in Boeing cockpits) and the stuff that lasts 3 months in the sun. UL's testing may have exposed a limit of the product. Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 16:51
  • that's a great point. makes a lot of sense. but one last question....BR30? i found a PAR30 that meets the wattage requirements. is it because of shape/size? i did put the par30 9W bulb in to test and it fits looks great. you think i'm safe with that? Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 19:59

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