Recessed lights are installed in holes in the ceiling, unlike traditional light fixtures that are mounted on the ceiling and hang down. Recessed lights can use either incandescent or LED light bulbs. Lights that are powered by LED bulbs may cost more upfront, but they can save money in the long run. A recessed light fixture can be adjusted to illuminate a specific area. Recessed lights generally require little maintenance and can last for many years.
Where is Recessed Lighting a Good Choice?
Since recessed lights are installed in holes in the ceiling, you may want to consider this option in an area with a low ceiling, such as a basement or attic, or a place where a hanging light fixture would be impractical or could make the space feel small. For example, you don’t want a light fixture hanging down in the shower, where it could get wet or you could bump your head on it, so a recessed light would make more sense. In a hallway, a hanging light fixture could make the space feel even narrower. One or more recessed lights would work better.
Recessed lighting is also a smart choice for places where you need concentrated light. If you have artwork that you would like to draw people’s attention to, you can position recessed lights to shine directly on it. In the kitchen, recessed lighting can give you plenty of illumination in areas where you cook, and you won’t have to worry about bumping your head on a light fixture. You may also want to consider recessed lighting for areas where you work or read.
What are the Drawbacks of Recessed Lighting?
A recessed light can only illuminate a relatively small area. That can leave other parts of a room in shadows and can give the space a cave-like feeling, unless you install several recessed lights. That can get expensive.
Installing recessed lighting may make your home less energy efficient. Cutting holes in the ceiling to install lights can make those areas susceptible to air leakage if contractors don’t seal the openings correctly. If air can leak through holes in the ceiling, that can result in high heating and cooling bills.
Recessed lights that use incandescent bulbs can generate a lot of heat. In the summer, that can heat up a room and force the air conditioner to work harder to keep it cool, which can lead to high energy bills.
Is Recessed Lighting Right for Your Home?
Recessed lighting can be both practical and stylish, but it’s not appropriate for all areas. If you’re not sure if you should install recessed lights, consider the design of the space and how you use it. You may want to seek advice from an interior designer or contractor.