Buying Guides

Recessed Lighting Buying Guide

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How to Buy the Best Recessed Lighting?

Recessed lighting is becoming very popular and for good reason – it’s incredibly versatile and can add ambient light to any room. Plus, recessed lights can be easily combined with many other types of lights to suit any taste. But what is the purpose of recessed lighting and is it worth it to install recessed lighting?

We believe recessed lighting is unlikely to go out of style, so it’s certainly worth investing in – but not without doing your research first! As such, we have compiled this recessed lighting buying guide with some recessed lighting FAQs so you can learn more about recessed lighting and decide if it’s right for your home.

What does recessed lighting mean?

Recessed lighting provides light without a visible fixture, meaning it is not hanging down from the ceiling or mounted on a surface. It’s installed directly inside a hollow opening in a wall or ceiling, making it flush against the surface. A recessed lighting fixture has two main parts – the housing and the trim. The housing is the mounting frame and bars that fit the light to the wall or ceiling. The trim is the decorative part that outlines the light, offering you a choice of style and colours.

When should I use recessed lighting?

Recessed lighting is a great choice when you require a light source but have limited space. Because it’s installed inside a ceiling or wall, it offers a sleek and minimal appearance. It can be used in any room and installed at any stage of the home renovation process, whether you are working with finished or unfinished surfaces. It’s particularly effective if you are trying to spotlight a certain feature, such as your kitchen worktops or wall decoration.

What type of recessed lighting is best?

There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing the best type of recessed lighting. You can choose between many different materials and colours for the trim. The housing (whether insulation compatible or airtight) will depend on whether you are installing the lights on a finished or unfinished wall or ceiling, and whether there is insulation.

You should also consider your bulb. Ask yourself if you want a narrow beam angle for concentrated spotlights or a wide beam angle for more ambient light. What colour or warmth you would like, and do you want dimmable bulbs? The best choice depends on the room, what they will be lighting and your aesthetic goals. An electrician will be able to help here if you’re unsure.

Recessed Lighting FAQs

Where should you not put recessed lights?

You should not put recessed lights directly above a mirror. This is because the downward spotlight can create unflattering shadows.

Do all recessed lights have bulbs?

Yes, all recessed lights use bulbs, although the type of bulb depends on your preferences.

Can you put regular bulbs in recessed lighting?

You can use almost any bulb for recessed lighting, including halogen, LED, incandescent or CFLs. However, you might need to select a small bulb to ensure it fits in the housing. You can get bulbs that are specifically designed to fit in recessed lighting fixtures.

Do recessed lights use a lot of electricity?

The use of electricity depends on the bulb that you choose for your recessed lights and how often you use them. They shouldn’t use more than a standard light fixture. LED bulbs are the most energy efficient.

How many years do LED recessed lights last?

LED bulbs can last anywhere from 3 years to up to 10 years, depending on their usage levels.

Can a recessed light cause a fire?

A recessed light should not pose a fire risk if it has been installed by a professional. Old recessed lights, which were not insulation compatible, did pose a fire risk if covered by insulation, but most recessed lighting fixtures are insulation compatible now.

How much does it cost to install a recessed light?

Installing recessed lighting is relatively straightforward, so it’s typically an inexpensive job, but this depends on how many lights you want to install and some other factors.

What is the most common recessed light size?

Six-inch recessed light fixtures are the most popular size. Because of this, there is a wide variety of trim options available in this size.

Do recessed lights make rooms look bigger?

Recessed lights have the potential to make a room look bigger because of their sleek appearance, which doesn’t take up additional space.

Can you have too many recessed lights in a room?

It’s possible to have too many recessed lights in a room – generally, you do not want too many in a row. This can be imposing and make the room much too bright. The amount you can have also depends on the circuit capacity and the wattage of the fixtures.

Does recessed lighting need its own circuit?

Your existing lighting circuit may be able to handle the electrical load of additional recessed lighting, so installing a new circuit is not always necessary. If you’re connecting to a 15-amp circuit, the combined wattage should not exceed 1,440 watts. For a 20-amp circuit, the total should not exceed 1,920 watts. If the wattage will exceed the limit, you will need a new circuit.

Is recessed lighting cheaper than fixtures?

Recessed lighting is typically less expensive than highly decorative light fixtures like chandeliers. However, they can be more expensive than basic hanging light fixtures depending on your choices.

Are recessed lights good for bedrooms?

Recessed lights can work well in bedrooms. They can spotlight a particular decorative piece or the bed, for instance. They are especially effective in small rooms or attics where space is a consideration.

Should recessed lighting be in series or parallel?

Series and parallel wiring are both suitable for recessed lighting. Parallel works best if you have multiple recessed lights that you want to be able to turn off individually, such as selectively lighting one part of the kitchen. Series works better when you want all of the lights to turn on at once to light an entire space, like in a hallway.

What is the best colour for recessed lighting?

It depends on your wants and needs when it comes to choosing a colour for recessed lighting. If you have opted for LED bulbs, you can have whatever colour you like to match your decor.

How many recessed lights can you put on one switch?

The answer depends on the size of your circuit and the wattage of your lightbulbs. For a 15-amp circuit, the combined wattage should not exceed 1,440 watts – so this is able to handle over 20 60-watt bulbs, which is far more than most people would have in one room.

Do you need an electrician to install recessed lighting?

Although it is possible to install recessed lighting yourself, the expertise and skills of an electrician are invaluable when it comes to ensuring that your recessed lighting is safe and efficient. They can offer you advice when it comes to making crucial decisions about your recessed lighting to ensure it is suitable for your home.

What type of bulb is best for recessed lighting?

LED bulbs are the most energy-efficient bulbs and offer lots of versatility, so many people believe they are the best for recessed lighting.