What Is Recessed Lighting And Do I Want It?

There are many different types of lighting that you can use in your home. You can hang mason jars or you can string fairy lights, or perhaps both! But one of the more popular types of lighting is recessed lighting.

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The reason it is popular is that it can be used with any design style, any era, and in any home. Today, we’re going to learn all we can about recessed lighting and the best recessed lights you can buy online.

What Is Recessed Lighting? 

Recessed lighting is a type of lighting that uses minimal space. It is placed into a hole in the ceiling and ends up flush with the ceiling itself. This saves a lot of space and passes the focus on to the rest of the room.

There are many reasons to choose recessed light which we will get onto later. Right now, all you need to know is that in general, recessed lighting is just like any other lighting but it is recessed into the ceiling. 

LED Recessed Lighting Vs Incandescent Recessed Lighting 

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LED can lights are much more popular than their counterpart incandescent recessed lights. This is simply because LED lights are a newer type of lighting with quite a few more benefits than incandescent lighting.

As far as looks go, both LED and incandescent lights look very similar, but it’s the energy efficiency as well as the safety of LED lights that ensure they come out on top. Learn more about the difference here

How Many Recessed Lights Do I Need?

How Many Recessed Lights Do I Need?View in gallery

When placing recessed lights, you can pretty much use the same amount of lights as you would with certain other types of lights. Even though recessed lighting does light differently than other types of light.

Recessed lighting is set into the ceiling so it won’t illuminate in a 360-manner as other lights do. So you may have to space them closer together if you aren’t using any other lights to accompany them.

In general, you want each recessed light to cover around five square feet of space. You can also space them four feet from the wall and then ensure that there aren’t more than four feet between each light. 

Best Recessed Lighting Options

If you want to take the guesswork out of choosing recessed lighting then you probably want certain recommendations. We’ve found some of the best recessed lighting options you can buy online and shared them with you right here. 

Amico Recessed Lights

These Amico lights come in either 4-inch or 6-inch sets, each with 12 in a pack. This is one of the safest choices as they are very versatile and fit any design. This is exactly what you’d expect a recessed light to be.

You actually don’t need a can with these lights you just cut the hole, connect the wire nuts, and then connect it to the hardwire box. The attachment of the box is super easy so this is another reason to buy it.

Ensenior Ultra Thin Lights

Here is another safe choice with the most important options available. You get to choose the type of lighting it is, choosing between illumination, brightness, and the color temperature of the light in question.

There is daylight, soft light, warm light, neutral light, and clear light. There are also more than five color options to choose from, making this great for those who want a very specific type of lighting in their home. 

Lithonia Lighting

This lighting by Lithonia Lighting is a real winner. If you want a specific amount of lights then you can buy one only whereas most recessed lighting makes you buy at least a twelve-pack even if you only need a few. 

This one is also very special because it is black. Since black recessed lighting is so rare, this is an awesome find. While most people do want white lights, black is always a viable option for those wanting something contrasting. 

Gimbal Spotlight Recessed Lights

These Gimbal lights are fully adjustable so you can control where your lighting rests. Get a full set and you can have any lighting mood that you want. You can buy a 2-pack, 6-pack, 8-pack, or 12-pack. 

This can save a lot of money if you only need a few lights. But it’s still the adjustable nature of these lights that makes them so popular. Imagine controlling your lights to this extend! You don’t have to imagine anymore. 

Luxrite Square Lights

Most recessed lights are round and bland, which is what most people want. But some people highly prefer square lights to round ones. This is what you’ll see here, square lights with a pleasing aesthetic. 

They are quite a bit more expensive than the round lights but this is worth it to most people. They also come in a sixteen back with five different color temperatures built-in so you can choose a different one each day.

How To Choose Recessed Lighting

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If you want to choose your own lighting but need a list of things to look out for, we’ve got you covered there. This is the generic checklist you’ll want to take a look at if you are planning on installing recessed lighting. 

Plan The Placement

Before you buy any lights, always mark where you want to place them. With recessed lights, you’ll add a few more spots so make sure you plan this out carefully as you don’t want to overbuy or underbuy. 

Choose Your Size

The size of light you choose matters. You can get tiny tea light sized recessed lights or those that are over one foot wide. The spacing will be greatly affected by the size so decide this before anything else.

Room Measurements 

The height of the room matters a lot because recessed lighting doesn’t light as far down as other lights. So you will need to add more if your room is taller than nine feet and you may need to add accompanying lights. 

Lighting Design

The trim design is also important because it is 90% of what affects the style of light. So find a minimal trim design or a more intricate one, depending on how much focus you want to be put on these lights.

Bulb Type

Finally, this is a good time to decide on a bulb type as some lights aren’t compatible with all bulb types. So if you want an E12 then ensure the light you get is compatible with most E12 bulbs or you may be making another trip to the store.

How To Install Recessed Lighting

If you’ve ever installed a light before then chances are, installing recessed lighting will be a walk in the park for you. These are the basic steps you need to take to install recessed lighting in your home.

Step 1: Find A Circuit

Unless you want to rewire the entire room, which would require you to take down the ceilings and some of the walls, you need to find a circuit to provide power. You need to find where the power will come from.

After you find a source, then you can cut a few holes in the ceiling where you will feed the wires to the light. Do this very carefully so you won’t have to do a lot of mudding to fix your mistakes when you’ve finished.

Step 2: Cut The Hole

This is the hole the recessed light will go into. It’s much better if you already have the light on hand as there is usually a guide that will help you cut the correct size. This stencil of sorts can be screwed into, or stuck onto, the ceiling. 

You can use a serrated construction knife or a drill with a hole cutting attachment. There are other ways to do this but these will be your two easiest and smoothest ways that won’t require touchups afterward. 

Step 3: Rough-In The Wiring

Run your NM-B cable from the power source to a switch box and then to the first hole, allowing a couple feet of extra cable so you won’t be short. Then, run the cable from the first hole to the second hole, and so on. 

It should also be mentioned that your power should 100% be shut off to this area of the house before you begin this. In fact, it’s safer to shut it off before you begin cutting holes so you won’t hit a hot wire.

Step 4: Start The Wiring

Get to your breaker box and rub the cables to the junction and clamp them down. Strip a few inches off of the cables and then connect like-colored wires using wire connectors. The black and whites always match.

However, ground wires may be green or copper, so you can match green to copper and vice versa. But the other two must match. So if there is any confusion, call an electrician to help you finish up the wiring. 

Step 5: Install The Light 

This part is the easiest and doesn’t take much time, you simply clamp the can’s box into the hole and push until it fits into the ceiling appropriately. The clamps should click and that’s when you know that you’ve done it right.

This part varies but you usually feed the wires through the hole in the can and then attach them correctly. Next comes the trim which fits onto the can and then you’re ready to install a lightbulb!

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Why Choose Recessed Lighting? 

There are many reasons why you’d want to choose recessed lighting. Sure, it may not light as large of an area as hanging lights but that’s a small price to pay for all of these benefits that come with recessed lighting. 

  • Great for small spaces
  • Energy-efficient
  • Flexibility 
  • Minimal ceiling damage