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About Recessed Lights

Recessed Lighting Overview


Recessed lighting is one of the most unique and versatile ways to brighten the home. As a distinctive form of ceiling lighting, it covers a wide range of illumination possibilities pretty much anywhere in the home. Recessed lighting can truly become a centerpiece for any room in the home.

Recessed lighting has enough versatility that it's virtually customizable, beginning with the many distinct recessed lighting trim, housing, and lamping options. In addition to these many options, the clean look and feel you get with recessed lighting simply cannot be matched with any other lighting fixture. And if you're concerned about saving energy and money, recessed lighting is a very efficient way to brighten a room. In short, recessed lighting can help transform any living space in the home.


Why Recessed Lighting?


If you're thinking about adding recessed lighting to your home, it's going to take some planning. But the end result is a beautiful way to illuminate any room in the home.


Recessed lighting has a number of benefits. First of all, it's streamlined. With everything neatly tucked away up into your ceiling, there's no lights or wires hanging down or in the way. Recessed lighting is also fairly easy to install. But if you don't have the right tools and knowledge of how to work with electricity, it should be fairly simple for someone who does. Recessed lighting is also incredibly versatile. It can act as the main source of light in a larger space. It's equally effective as a complementary light. And when it comes to task lighting, nothing does the job so beautifully and efficiently as recessed lighting.

Which rooms can recessed lighting be used in? How about every room?! Recessed lighting can transform a great room, bedroom, or home office and be used as a main light source. It can provide complementary light in a hallway or bathroom. Recessed lighting is an ideal form of task lighting over a kitchen sink or kitchen island. And it can also give that Man Cave of yours a sophisticated and dimmable design element—if you want that.


As a light fixed at the ceiling, recessed lighting can effectively replace virtually every type of traditional light fixture you can think of. Recessed lighting is designed to generate an optimal amount of light, so it can take the place of a chandelier, flushmount ceiling light, or semi-flushmount ceiling light. And since most recessed lighting is dimmable, it can produce as much or as little brightness as you choose, making it an ideal replacement for a wall sconce in a hallway, kitchen, or great room.


The recessed lighting trim you choose is important since it determines how the bulb will sit in the housing and how and where the light will shine.


Recessed Lighting Trim Styles

  • Open trims are considered the standard style of trim and are typically used for general and accent lighting.
  • Baffle trims feature grooves in the visible surface of the reflector wall.
  • Eyeball is another popular style of recessed lighting trim. It's commonly used for accent and wall-washing lighting, and it can be aimed and adjusted to focus on certain areas or objects.
  • Wall-wash trims usually feature an eyelid-shaped cover over the aperture, which allows light to be thrown on a wall's surface and prevents too much light from coming back into the rest of the room. This task lighting is ideal for featuring something on a wall, like a piece of art.
  • If you have a sloped ceiling, a slope recessed lighting trim can accommodate. These trims are designed to adjust for the lamp's adjustment up to 45 degrees.
  • Lensed trims are also very common, since they have a specific function. They prevent the lamp from making direct contact with any moisture, and that makes this recessed lighting trim ideal for mounting in a bathroom or on outdoor eaves.
  • Decorative trims are more in vogue than ever. These are designed in a wide range of available finishes and can complement the fixtures that already exist in your home.
  • Other recessed lighting trims used are slotted and Alzak cone.


Be sure to select your recessed lighting trim (as well as their measurements) carefully to match your needs. Depending on which recessed lighting trim you select, the vast majority will range anywhere from 3 inches and on up to 12 inches in diameter. Smaller rooms should feature trims of 3 to 4 inches, and ceilings of 12 feet or higher would benefit from recessed lighting trims of at least 6 inches.

When you're ready to power your recessed lighting, you also have a number of bulb options.


Recessed Lighting Lamping Options

  • Incandescent: Provides effective general lighting and is the most popular. Generally pretty efficient.
  • CFL: Compact fluorescent light bulbs are the standard for efficient lamping, but could take a few moments to achieve full brightness. NOTE: It's recommended that CFLs NOT be used in recessed lighting that's enclosed. Doing this can create extremely high and unsafe temperatures.
  • LED: The light emitting diode, this ultra-efficient form of lighting can be used for residential and commercial recessed lighting applications. Low heat and wonderful brightness make this lamp the future of all lighting, including recessed lighting.


When considering recessed lighting for your home, you should also think about its housing. Recessed lighting housing contains all of the electrical components, and is typically hidden in the ceiling or behind a wall.


For most types of recessed lighting housing applications, there are two options: new construction housing and remodel housing. The most important factor when considering the type of housing is the IC rating (for insulation contact). If the wiring is (or is going to be) near ceiling insulation, the recessed lighting housing must be IC rated. If there's no insulation in the ceiling, the recessed lighting housing is non-IC rated.

Both new construction housing and remodel housing can be applied to insulated or non-insulated ceilings.


Recessed lighting can truly transform any living space within the home. It's a clean, elegant, and streamlined form of ceiling lighting and can provide the largest great room or the smallest bathroom with beautiful illumination that can be the centerpiece of a room. So whether you could use recessed lighting for general, general, or task lighting, be sure to shop for all of your recessed lighting needs.