When it comes to recessed lighting, most people have more questions than answers: “How much illumination does a room need? What types of bulbs should I use? How far do I space each fixture?” with careful planning, recessed lighting offers a multitude of lighting effects.
MAKE A PLAN
If remodeling, plan first, cut holes in your ceiling later! When illuminating an entire room with recessed lights, a spacing of about 6 to 8 feet between lights should be adequate. A farther spacing of 12 to 14 feet will provide a softer light to the room.
Recessed lights installed closer to walls add more reflection and make the room seem brighter. Lights installed farther from walls make the corners seem darker and create the illusion of a lower ceiling. Installing recessed lighting approximately 3 feet away from walls is a good place to start.
TYPES OF LIGHTING EFFECTS
1. Accent Lighting – This is used to spotlight items of interest or textures. Requires at least 3 times as much light on the focal point as the general lighting around it.
2. Wall Grazing – To create dramatic shadows on textured surfaces, install recessed fixtures 6″ to 12″ from the wall, and space them evenly.
3. Wall Washing – For non-textured surfaces, install recessed fixtures 2 to 3 feet from the wall on ceilings up to 9 feet high. For ceilings between 9 and 12 feet high, install fixtures between 3 and 4 feet from the wall and space them the same distance apart as they are from the wall.
4. Task Lighting – Install recessed lighting over the sink and work areas to create adequate task lighting. Counters positioned directly under cabinets should have recessed lights centered over the edge of the counter tops. The spacing should be 3 to 4 feet for adequate illumination.
TYPES OF LIGHT BULBS
1. Low voltage halogen recessed lighting is best for reading, task, or hobby activities that require white and brighter lights.
2. Standard A bulbs are inexpensive and provide a warm incandescent light that is perfect for your general lighting needs.
3. “R” Lamps feature a built-in reflector that helps cast a warm, incandescent light in either floor or spot patterns. Halogen PAR Bulbs provide a whiter, brighter light than a regular “R” bulb along with a more controlled beam spread.
These basics should give you a great start for creating the perfect mood for your home. Call or email us if you have further questions or require an in home consultation.