Many people redecorating or renovating a property these days will fit recessed lights in some rooms. Recessed lights can, of course, be installed in any room of a property to provide inconspicuous lighting and an even lighting pattern within it. Whilst most recessed lighting is fitted into ceilings; it can also be fitted into walls, under cabinets and even in staircases to create some truly stunning effects.
Housings for Recessed Lights
Dependant on both the room and the construction of the room, or feature, that you want to install recessed lighting into – you will need to consider the best housing for the recessed lights.
Some of the housings you use may be subject to local building regulations, which you should check on before buying or installing any recessed lighting. The following are ‘rule of thumb’ guides on the housings you could use.
If you’re fitting a recessed light into a ceiling you can buy housings according to whether the ceiling space is insulated or not. In an insulated ceiling you must use an insulated ceiling housing; whereas for a non-insulated ceiling you can use either an insulated or un-insulated ceiling housing.
Recessed lights in rooms that are likely to have a high humidity, or even be wet, must have damp location housings. So, damp location housings are at least recommended in bathrooms, shower enclosures and kitchens.
Particularly important in ceiling spaces is being aware of any fire risk from recessed lighting. Your local building regulations will inform you of any minimum requirements in respect of this and there are a variety of fire resistant and retardant housings that you can buy.
Recessed Lighting Trims
The basic sizes of domestic recessed light fittings are; 4, 5 and 6 inch diameters. It is a matter of personal choice whether you fit a few large diameter recessed lights or a larger number of smaller ones. The trim of a recessed light is the visible part of the component that is exposed on the surface of whatever it’s fitted into.
Whilst an open trim is the cheapest to buy, not having a covering glass, they don’t always look too good. Wall washers are popular, giving the appearance of a wide metal washer retaining a glass cover. Although a baffle cover will give a subdued and widely spread lighting effect a reflector will amplify the light effect and can be a good choice to use on stairways.
Reflectors can also be used to concentrate recessed lighting towards a particular point, making them useful in a home study. Finally there are ‘eyeball’ trims that can give a ‘light wash’ effect on walls. By shopping around, especially on the internet, you should be able to find any type of trim you want in a variety of materials and colors.
Recessed Lighting Bulbs
When choosing bulbs, or lamps, for your recessed lighting you should always fit energy efficient bulbs – if at all possible. Compact fluorescent bulbs are increasingly available for all sizes of recessed light fittings and are perfectly adequate for general lighting purposes around the home.
Recessed lighting that uses low voltage bulbs is also available. However, you should inspect the positions that you’ll be fitting the recessed lights into before buying low voltage recessed lights – as you’ll need to allow extra space for the light units transformer.
You can also use High Intensity Discharge bulbs if you want to create colored lighting effects with the bulbs. Otherwise ordinary incandescent bulbs will work well in your recessed light fittings. Use ‘Par’ lamps to get a really bright white lighting effect or ‘halogen’ lamps for highly defined beams of light.