Whether you’re building a new Boston area home or renovating an old home, recessed lighting can be a key element in both the function and style of the space. It can highlight a single piece of art, a specific sitting area, or can be installed to light up a room the way chandelier lighting can’t. However, recessed lights may not be right for every space. In this article, we’ll share some basic tips on what to look for when considering this type of lighting.
There are three main types of lighting that come into play when you design any room or living area. Ambient lighting provides general illumination, task lighting serves a specific purpose, and accent lighting highlights chosen spaces. One of the most attractive things about recessed lights is that they can be used to address all of these lighting needs.
This option is also very energy efficient because most are low-voltage lighting, and in turn will use less electricity. Though recessed fixtures are most easily installed between ceiling joists, some are designed specifically for retrofit applications and can slip into an existing ceiling space through holes made to accommodate wiring. However, concrete ceilings, ceilings with ornate plaster or delicate molding details are not good candidates for this type of lighting. In these spaces, choose a crystal chandelier, mini chandeliers, hanging lamps, wall sconces or table lamps instead.
To get the maximum benefits of recessed lighting, space the light according to the needs of the space. For instance, if you are lighting a task area, such as a kitchen, then direct a group of closely placed lights toward the counter or kitchen light. If you want less illumination by a kitchen table or breakfast nook, then space the lights further apart and direct them toward the wall. You can also install dimmer lights to control the illumination. If you need a recessed light to accent a specific area or object such as a painting, then use a low wattage bulb and aim the light accordingly.
Unlike many other types of residential lighting, recessed ones can be used to create drama in your home. When lighting a three-dimensional object, such as a fireplace, sculpture or flower arrangement, it is more effective to light it from two or three different angles. Instead of boring cabinet lighting in your kitchen, install recessed light fixtures in the bottom of your cabinets. The light will wash your counter top with focused light. Be choosy when selecting the trim for your recessed lights. The trim makes a design statement and can help focus the light, as well as influence the quality and glare.
Recessed lighting is perfect for maximizing space and creating drama in your home. Besides being beautiful and functional, it can save you a lot of money in electrical costs. Before you install recessed lights yourself, speak to an experienced electrical salesperson or consider hiring an electrician so that the job is done right. That way you can relax and bask in the glow of perfectly placed recessed lights.