If you've ever walked through a model home, or a fabulous room addition just completed by a proud neighbor, you might have thought to yourself, “That recessed lighting is terrific. Now why didn't we think of that?”
Don't kick yourself too hard; many time-pressed builders pass on installing recessed lighting because it requires time and planning to do it right. After all, it's much more expedient to mount a light fixture on a wall or ceiling than in a ceiling or wall.
But it's never too late to install recessed lighting – also referred to as can lighting and pot lighting. It's a versatile way to add both task and ambient light to many rooms in your home. The lighting technicians at Experts In Your Home can help you design a lighting plan so that you get it right.
Select a Recessed Lighting Trim
There's no doubt: the “fun part” for many Experts customers is choosing a fixture to suit their décor. Fixtures vary by trim, which fits inside the housing and forms the outer ring that is visible when you look up at the ceiling:
- Baffle trim features a ribbed interior and is the most common trim.
- Eyeball trim allows you to direct light exactly where you want it, making it a good choice for accent lighting.
- Wall wash trim features a shield over half the light so that the rest can be trained on a focal point, such as a painting or fireplace mantel.
- Wall wash trim has a shield over half the light to evenly focus light on a specific feature, such as a fireplace or a painting.
- Shower trim features a tempered glass lens, which makes it ideal for bathrooms.
Experts In Your Home Can Provide Size and Spacing Help
The fun isn't exactly over at this point, but many people need Experts In Your Home's help most when it comes to settling two issues in particular: the size of the fixtures and spacing:
- Most recessed lights range in size from 3 to 6 inches in diameter. If you're in the middle of a construction project, the amount of space between the ceiling joints should point you to the right-sized fixture. Otherwise, keep in mind two general rules of thumb: 6-inch fixtures project a wider beam of light, making them well suited as a main lighting source in a family room or kitchen. Smaller fixtures are better suited for accent and task lighting, such as illuminating a painting or a kitchen island.
- Many fixture manufacturers include what they call “spacing criteria” to help you determine how far apart the fixtures should be placed in the ceiling. Recessed lights should not be placed too far from walls or a room will look dark, if not cave-like. Special care also must be taken in rooms with ceiling fans or else the combination of downcast light and spinning blades could create the strobe effect of a disco.
Experts In Your Home Can Reconcile Other Issues with Recessed Lighting
Other factors should be taken into consideration, too, including:
- Separating fixture size from brightness. A 6-inch fixture doesn't necessarily give off more light than a 4-inch fixture. It depends on the bulb.
- Choosing a bulb to balance the issues of beam angle, brightness, efficiency and light quality. Halogen and LED bulbs are most commonly used in recessed fixtures.
- Infusing a room with other light sources since relying on recessed lighting alone can backfire by making a room look either bland or stark. For example, recessed lighting can produce facial shadows when it is placed above a bathroom sink or mirror. Experts In Your Home can recommend another light, placed on the side of the mirror, to minimize those shadows – and put you in the best light possible.
Experts In Your Home electricians are planners, and they believe in drafting a lighting plan and marking the fixture locations on a ceiling before they cut a single hole. Then, with you at our side, we make any tweaks or adjustments so that when we're done, you can look at your home with pride and say, “That recessed lighting is terrific. I'm glad we thought of that.”
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Experts In Your Home has been serving the North State’s construction, remodeling and maintenance needs for over 30 years and provides home painting, heating & air conditioning, plumbing, electrical services & more for your home or business in the communities of Chico, Paradise, Magalia, Durham, Oroville, Red Bluff, Corning & Orland, California.