Recessed Lighting: Advantages & Benefits

Recessed lighting has made a strong comeback in home lighting décor. The comeback is in part due to new low-voltage lighting solutions and energy-efficient light bulbs that can be used with recessed lighting. Recessed lighting provides an inexpensive way to update the appearance of your home. The lights can accent any room in your home by highlighting artwork and by adding bright, symmetric light.

Clean and Sophisticated
Recessed lighting can provide a clean and sophisticated look. Recessed lights are hidden and do not break ceiling lines. This helps a room feel open and airy. Recessed lighting can be an elegant way to light a room without the lights being obstructive to the design of the room.

Energy Efficient
One of the best qualities of recessed lighting is that the lights can be dimmed. Dimmers allow you to control how much light you want. Dimming lights reduces the amount of electricity required to light a room and decreases your electric bills.

Recessed lighting fixtures are available in numerous shapes, sizes and colors. This allows homeowners to be creative and select the fixture that best complements their room decor. Recessed lighting can be used with standard line voltage, low-voltage halogen or fluorescent fixtures. The common sizes used are 4, 5, or 6 inches in diameter. The 6-inch fixtures are often used in tall entryways. The 4-inch sizes work better in smaller spaces.

General Tips

* IC Rating – Recessed lighting fixtures should be IC rated. “IC (insulation contact) rated” means that the recessed lighting fixture (also called a can) may touch the insulation in the ceiling without posing a fire hazard.
* Ceiling Type – Avoid DIY recessed lighting installation for concrete ceilings or ceilings with elaborate plasterwork or delicate molding. They often require a more complex installation.
* Closets – Recessed lighting is the safest lighting choice for closets. House fires have been caused by objects falling from shelves and coming into contact with unshielded bulbs from surface mounted fixtures.

Placement Tips

* Avoid placing lights too close to each other. Placing lights too close to each other will create an “airport runway” effect of uniform rows of lights close together.
* Place a recessed lighting fixture approximately 12-18 inches from the front of the object that you want to highlight.

* 4-inch fixtures should be placed at least 4 feet apart and 6-inch fixtures at least 6 feet apart.
* It is more effective to light a three-dimensional object from two or three different angles. A fireplace, sculpture or flower arrangement should be highlighted by at least two lights.
* If recessed lighting fixtures are your only source of built-in light in a room, install one fixture for every 25 square feet of floor space.

Marcy Tate is a home improvement writer with over a decade of experience in the home improvement and electrical industries.

Electrical contractors can professionally install recessed lighting fixtures in your home. Find residential electricians in your area.

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