Everything You Need to Know About Recessed Lights

Recessed lighting has come a long way, and many people now use it in their homes, offices, garages, and other spaces. It mainly meets two specific needs- ambient and accent lighting. You can use it to highlight some of the best features of a room. For example, using recessed lights can help you focus on artwork which can be the focal point in your room. Additionally, this lighting sets the mood in a room. Whether you want a vibrant or laidback look, recessed lighting has got your back.

While it has been proven to work, recessed lighting is only effective when used right. Incorrectly installing it can not only pose a danger to you but others in the home too. Plus, DIY-ing recessed lighting can also damage your lighting fixtures. To help you avoid any costly mistakes, we have compiled some of the most important things you must know about recessed lighting.

Breaking Down Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting also goes by downlights, can lights, and pot lights. Therefore, if you encounter someone talking about recessed can lights, you are talking about the same thing. This lighting fits into holes in the ceiling, floors, and walls, hence the recessed name. What remains visible to the eyes is the light but not the fixture itself. However, based on the type of trim you choose, more may be visible.

This sleek lighting can work for all the rooms in the house, including exterior spaces. If you look at LEPRO recessed lighting options, you are sure to find something for your living room, bathroom, kitchen, etc. The light will basically have three main features:

  • The Frame: This part secures the light to the ceiling, floor, or another mounting choice.
  • The Housing: This section holds the light bulb and other parts of the fixture and resembles a can; hence the name can light.
  • The Trim: What you see on the outside is the trim that lies outside the fixture. Trim is available in various colors and materials, and you can choose one that complements your home’s style.

Safety Concerns with Recessed Lighting

With other types of light, it is easy to walk into a store, find something that works for you, and DIY-install it in your home. But should you do this with recessed lighting? The answer is no. Instead, you must understand the different types of lighting installation and what may or may not work for your home. Additionally, if you do not have prior electrical experience, you are better off delegating the installation to an expert. You need to pay attention to:

The Suitability of Recessed Lighting Fixtures

You have two options in this case. In the past, people used original can lighting fixtures. Not only were they a bit of an eyesore, but they were also energy inefficient. Heat escaped from the lights and would create moisture dams on ceilings when the weather got cold. It was not ideal and raised safety concerns, prompting manufacturers to come up with alternatives. You can now choose between:

  • Airtight fixtures: These fixtures ensure that any heat generated by the bulb remains in the fixture and are highly energy-efficient, e.g., in an unfinished attic.
  • Insulation-compatible fixtures: These fixtures are best for housing that can touch insulation without posing a fire hazard, e.g., in an unfinished attic and insulated ceiling.
  • Non-insulation compatible: If the housing can pose a safety hazard when it touches the insulation, this is the better option, e.g., in an uninsulated ceiling.

When choosing between the two, you need to consider if the mounting choice is insulated. For example, suppose you want to install the light in the ceiling. If the ceiling has insulation, you can work with an insulation-compatible and airtight fixture. If it does not have insulation, you will need a non-insulation-compatible fixture.

The Number of Lighting Fixtures

Most people do not have the expertise required to wire recessed lights, and this role is best left to professionals. Think about it this way. A fixture can only handle a given number of watts. If you go above the limit, you can expect that what will follow will not be pretty. Therefore, a professional must come in, assess the circuits in the space and determine how many bulbs you should get. Luckily for you, LEDs have very low wattage, and you can probably house many bulbs. However, you always want to be sure about this configuration to avoid damaging the wiring.

How Should You Choose Recessed Lighting?

With the safety concerns out of the way, you can move on to aspects where you can take charge of the decisions. There are some integral determinants you must keep in mind to find the perfect lighting for your home. They include:

The Housing

We mentioned that housing holds the light bulb components and is barely visible because most housings sit inside the openings. However, you can choose shallow options which are visible from the outside.

You will have two main housing options in either case:

  • New construction: These allow you to work with more trims. However, they require access above the ceiling for the wiring, which can be hectic.
  • Remodel: These housings are easy to attach and do not require above-ceiling access. On the downside, they have fewer trim options.

The Trim

Given that this is what people see when they walk into your home, ensuring it stands out and matches your style is important. Trims come in different dimensions, materials, sizes, and colors, which is a huge plus for you. Your trim options include:

  • Baffle: Their grooves absorb light and reduce the glare in the room.
  • Adjustable: These trims, also called eyeball, work for all types of lighting and are easy to position.
  • Decorative: As the name suggests, these work for decorative rooms in the house and can work with any style.
  • Wall-washed: These trims are angular and direct the light to walls.
  • Lensed: These options are ideal for rooms with high moisture content, e.g., bathrooms.
  • Reflector: With an array of colors and polished interiors, these trims are perfect for high ceilings.

Once you have these ins and outs down to an art, you can move on to focusing on the type of light you should get. All the best!

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