There really isn’t a room in your home that couldn’t benefit from recessed can light, but the kitchen and living room are two top candidates. If your room feels dim, but you want to create the illusion of a larger, cleaner room, or if you want to have a dramatic impact on the ambiance of your room without breaking the bank, recessed can lighting is a smart choice.
Before you plan your recessed lighting, you should first choose where you’ll place large fixtures like chandeliers. Next, decide where you need focused task lighting. After those two layers of light are in place, look around your space for areas that are still dim – these are good spots for recessed cans.
A clever strategy is to over-light your room and place each light or layer of light on separate dimmer switches. If you’re going through the effort to revamp your lighting, it’s better to err on the side of more rather than less. It would be a shame to complete your lighting and then have to redo it because it’s not quite bright enough.
Need Help Choosing the Right Lighting for Your Room?
Lighting Your Living Room
Recessed cans are an extremely versatile type of lighting. You can place them in a grid around the room for general lighting, you can strategically place them in specific locations for task lighting, or you can use them as both in a single room.
If you have a central fixture for the room, it can provide a great design focal point. It’ll add to the overall light in the space, but it isn’t likely to provide adequate illumination for the perimeter of the room. To eliminate dark spots, you can place recessed lights around the edge of the room
After you pick the best spot in the room for reading or lounging, you should install a task light above it. You could select something modern like a telescoping light that mounts to the wall behind the chair, or you can install a clean, simple, directional can light in the ceiling above the spot. The right fixture for your space will depend upon your overall design scheme and preference.
When it comes to installation, a professional can help you determine precisely where you should install can lights. Corners are especially tricky to light without creating glare or shadows, but a lighting expert can find the ideal distance from the wall to avoid both. He or she can also help you determine the perfect number of cans so that your room is neither too bright nor too dim.
Lighting Your Kitchen
Like your living room, you’ll probably start planning your kitchen lighting by choosing a central fixture to hang over your island. Once you know how much light your main fixture produces, you can better assess the remainder of your lighting needs.
Many people choose to put a small fixture above their kitchen sink, but this is a smart place to use recessed lights if your kitchen is small or your ceilings are low. Directional recessed fixtures are ideal for brightening work areas like sinks and countertops, and they’re unobtrusive, which makes a small room feel more spacious.
Task lighting is likely your top priority in the kitchen. Some homeowners choose to use multiple hanging fixtures for their lighting, but intricate fixtures have a lot of places for grease and grime to set up shop. Small, low-profile ceiling cans are a minimal-maintenance option that provides plenty of light.
Kitchens often have a variety of different areas that need their own lighting. For example, you might need light above the desk where your kids do their homework. If you have an eat-in dining area, you can choose between a hanging fixture or recessed cans to brighten the spot. The fixture can be an interesting design feature, but recessed lights will make the dining area feel larger.
Set up a professional consultation to address the unique lighting needs of your space if you’re having trouble deciding between hanging fixtures and recessed lights.
Cost of Recessed Can Lights
Recessed cans can vary widely in price. Budget options start around $5.00, while more decorative or high-quality lights can cost $30.00 or more each. The price depends upon the quality of the light, as well as whether it includes both the housing and the trim. Some cans have LED lights pre-installed, which also increases the cost.
Balancing your budget, style preferences, and lighting needs can be a challenge, so consult a lighting professional who can suggest fixtures that meet your needs.
Types of Recessed Lights
When you select your recessed lights, you can choose between new construction or remodel housings. If you’re doing a full remodel where you gut the space enough to expose the ceiling joists, you can use new construction housings, otherwise, you’ll need the remodel variety.
If the housing is going to touch your insulation, you should select IC (insulation contact) housings. Sloping and flat ceilings require different varieties, and you’ll also need to make sure that the voltage is correct for the housing that you choose.
You can select from a variety of trim types to go with your housing including baffle, reflector, open, eyeball, gimbal, pinhole, and square. Once you have your housing and trim, you still need to select a bulb that will fit the trim and has the shape, lumens, and Kelvin that will best suit your space.
How to Install Your Recessed Cans
Recessed cans are a simple solution to many lighting issues, but choosing between all of your options isn’t. At the end of the day, the housing has to go with your existing electrical, the trim has to match the rest of your décor, and the light bulbs need to bring out the best tones of your paint, cabinets, and countertops. And, we haven’t even addressed the actual steps of safe installation.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. We’ve got the expertise to help you select the perfect housings, trims, and bulbs for your remodel, and we’ll even take care of the installation too.