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The Best Locations for Recessed Lights

recessed light fixture
Summary: Options for placing and installing recessed lighting: Wall wash recessed lighting for a special room, Kitchen recessed lighting for a clean appearance, Above window recessed lighting brightens up the day, Hallway recessed lighting provides a safe passageway, Fireplace recessed lighting will add extra warmth and glow.

How to Plan the Ideal Location for Recessed Light Fixtures

Recessed lighting has come a long way from being found mainly in closets and hallways.

Now recessed lighting can be found in most all newly constructed homes and in almost every room.

With new technologies in lighting available today styles are available that will contribute toward energy efficiency and provide several choices that will serve as a green energy alternative.

What you should know about recessed lighting for your home

Your selection of the size and type of recessed lighting will be a factor on the amount of light that is produced and the appearance of the light not only for the room but the contents of the room as well. This is why you will find recessed lighting in special applications such as theater hallways, restaurants, retail stores and even bathrooms. A variety of sizes, levels of light produced and style of the fixture trim will have allot to do with the overall appearance of the space being illuminated. installed recessed room lighting

Option 1 - Wall wash recessed lighting for a special room

wall recessed can light fixtures The basics of recessed lighting involve planning out the type of lighting you wish to have. The type of light that will be produced will depend on the location of the recessed lighting placement and how close the fixtures are installed to a wall.

Option 2 - Kitchen recessed lighting for a clean appearance

kitchen recessed light fixtures Some types of recessed lighting will produce a different type of appearance and type of light that is cast down onto the area to be covered with light. Kitchen ceiling light fixtures may require brighter task lighting than a softer accented lighting location.

Option 3 - Above window recessed lighting brightens up the day

window seat recessed light fixtures Understanding recessed lighting will help you in the selection process especially when you have a special area in mind that will require a certain style of mood lighting that is desired. Adding a dimmer switch will allow you to obtain the exact level of light as well. Expanded lighting controls options offer remote control for your convenience.

Option 4 - Hallway recessed lighting provides a safe passageway

recessed hallway can light fixtures Considerations for recessed lighting don't have to be complicated, however they do require careful consideration. Recessed lighting can be installed in harmony with solar tube lighted areas to add light during cloudy days or evening time.

Option 5 - Fireplace recessed lighting will add extra warmth and glow

recessed can light in front of the fireplace The recessed lighting placement can produce ambiance and will add value to any room of your home. Recessed lighting is a great way to upgrade and improve any home and will always provide a new look and appearance.

Job notes that apply to a Recessed Lighting Project
Typical Labor and materials to install recessed lighting will depend upon the layout of the room and accessibility not only inside the room but also in the attic area as well. The scope of the project should be planned out and the materials determined with an agreed upon price and signed contract before the job begins.

NOTE: Each home electrical project requires careful planning. See our list of Helpful Low-Cost Home Project Guides: Home Electrical Project Guides

Electrical Code reference for wiring recessed light fixtures
410-66 Lighting Fixtures recessed lighting fixtures Recessed lighting fixtures installed in insulated ceilings or installed within 1/2inch of combustible material shall be approved for insulation contact and labeled Type IC.

NOTE: This is a partial list of electrical codes. Other codes may apply. Some codes may be updated.
See the Electrical Code area for more information: Home Electrical Codes

Tools for wiring recessed can lights
Materials for installing flush lights
Large Straight-Slot Screw Driver, Medium Straight-Slot Screw Driver, Small Straight-Slot Screw Driver, Awl, Lineman's Pliers, Needle-Nose Pliers, Crimp Pliers, Wire Strippers, Sheath Knife, Black Electrical Tape, Red Electrical Tape, White Electrical Tape, Green Electrical Tape, Yellow Wire Connectors, Red Wire Connectors, Ground Crimps, Claw Hammer, Volt Tester, Pencil Marker

Romex wire, staples, wire connectors,
splice or junction boxes,
recessed lighting, lamps, fixture trims,
switches and cover plates.

The electrical tools for each project may be different depending on the individual project requirements and the access to install electrical devices.
More about Electrical Tools

The electrical parts list will depend upon each individual project and the requirements to wire specific devices added to the project.
More about Electrical Parts


Questions about Installing Recessed Lighting

Susan asks:
I'm trying to get a straight answer about installing new light fixtures, which it seems are ALL supposed to be installed on 90 degree supply wires. Well, my home is 52 years old and does not have wire (for the most part) rated 90degrees. All of my lighting fixtures have been installed by licensed electricians and not one of them has said that this is a problem, especially if the fixtures are not flush mounted and/or if the bulbs are not enclosed. At this point, I don\'t know what to believe since I keep reading posts by people who say how unsafe it is to install these new fixtures in older homes. Am I expected to rip holes through my walls every time I want to install a new light fixture? Am I safe if I install only open fixtures without enclosed bulbs? Please help me on this since I can't get a consistent answer from people who are supposed to be experts.

Hi Susan - Great Question!
Specifically - What type of light fixtures do you want to install? What is the type of lamps, watts for each, and how many. New homes and rewiring projects do require the installation of wire rated for 90 degrees or more. With any circuit in the home the breaker or fuse size is determined by the Wire Size, Type, Length and other factors. Local Codes are also taken into consideration as well. A call to your Local Building Authority or Building Department may give you a direct answer from an Inspector. This would prove to be the best help you can get for your specific project.

Recent Questions and Answers about recessed lights

  • Why Recessed Can Lights Turn On and Off
  • What is causing our recessed light to go on and off all by itself? How To Fix Recessed Flush Lights that Turn On and Off.

  • Installing Pot Lights
  • How to Install Recessed Pot Light Fixtures: Some types are constructed so that the insulation can come into contact with the fixture housing and there are others that give a specific distance based on the heat that will be produced and other factors.

  • Recessed Lighting Designs and Installation Factors
  • Installing Recessed Lighting: Factors to Consider when Choosing Recessed Lighting: I am installing recessed incandescent fixtures in a basement room with no ceiling insulation.

  • Installing Outdoor Recessed Lighting
  • Selecting Outdoor Recessed Lighting Fixtures – The type of recessed light can itself will depend on the type of attic space you have, the type of insulation and the local energy codes in your area. The trim type should be rated for outdoor use. One trim you may consider is a shower trim where there is a tempered glass or plastic lenses mounted into a trim that has a gasket.

  • Install Air Tight Recessed Lighting for Efficiency
  • I removed the burned out spot light bulb in the recessed light fixture and I noticed a draft coming down from the attic, is there some sort of gasket that’s available to place around the neck of the new bulb…

Find out more about recessed lights


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