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Recessed lighting: The best in trendy functionality

  • Lighting Ideas
Jul 31, 2022
Functional recessed lights design ideas - Beautiful Homes

It looks clean and streamlined while increasing the amount of light in a room, but recessed lighting can be so much more! From highlighting specific features to making a space look bigger, read on to discover why recessed lighting may be the perfect choice for you!

Regardless of if you’re building a brand new home, renovating an old one or simply refurbishing a single room, one of the main concerns you’ll need to put a lot of thought into with your interior design is the lighting. There are many options when it comes to the type of lighting elements you can choose, but if you don’t like a lot of fussy fixtures and prefer a more subtle look, a recessed light could be the perfect solution. With their high degree of utility and clean, streamlined, no-fuss look, recessed ceiling lights can be a great way to add both style and practicality to a space.


Here, we’ll give you the lowdown on recessed lighting and a few tips on how to choose the perfect recessed lights for your home.


Recessed Light Info : What is Recessed Lighting?

The recessed light, also known as downlights, gained popularity as static fixtures that could be installed within a ceiling, rather than on the surface – creating the appearance of a spot of light emerging from a hole in the ceiling and shining down in a straight beam. These light spots were usually a broad floodlight (for better ambient/general lighting) or a narrow spotlight (for task or accent lighting).


Today, modern recessed lighting is also available as track lights or with moveable fixtures that can swivel within the main housing of the lamp – this type of recessed lamp increases the number of uses that a recessed light can have within a room. Plus, with the LED panel lights that are available today, you aren’t restricted to the ceiling and accent recessed wall lights have started to gain popularity.

Recessed Light Info: When should you Use it?

When properly installed, recessed lights are fairly unobtrusive and won’t draw attention, this is why they aren’t often the sole light feature in a room, and more frequently used as accent lights. From making a space more functional as task lighting, to increasing the ambient light in dim corners, highlighting a special feature, or even making a room look much bigger and more welcoming, a recessed light can do it all. You can use recessed spotlights to bring artwork, a sculpture or other accent pieces into focus without fear of your lighting stealing the limelight, or install recessed track lighting in the kitchen or bath for task lights that keep your ceilings looking uncluttered.

Downlights for open floor plan - Beautiful Homes

Another advantage to the unobtrusive quality of modern recessed lighting is that while this type of lighting is particularly suited to homes in the minimalist or contemporary style, it can actually be made to suit any style of interior décor, just make sure the fixtures you pick suit the style of your home and your taste.


Recessed Light Info : What to Know Before you Buy

Recessed ceiling lights for living room design - Beautiful Homes

1. The Main Parts of a Recessed Light

Although you do get recessed lights that come as a single, fixed, ‘all-in-one’ unit (this is more common with LED recessed lighting), most recessed ceiling lights have two major components: the Housing – which is mounted to the ceiling and is the space into which the bulb fits, and the Trim – which is the finished edge that’s inserted into the housing and sits on the ceiling.


If your recessed fixtures are made for installing into open framing, they will also have a mounting frame, these are needed to secure the fixture into place and attach to the framing members (or joists) in your ceiling.

2. What is the Purpose of your Recessed Light?

Before you get into all the different types of recessed lighting fixtures that are available, you need to know what you will be lighting and how these lights are going to be used. Do you need simple downlights with a broad beam to help increase the ambient lighting? Or are you looking for a more focused effect like recessed track lighting will produce? Create a basic lighting plan so you won’t have decision paralysis once you are actually making your lighting choices.

3. What Sizes do Recessed Light Fixtures come in?

As previously mentioned, originally, recessed downlight fixtures were mostly round spotlights, and came in three standard sizes; 4-, 5-, and 6-inches in diameter. These days, you can find recessed panel light fixtures in squares and rectangles too, but the above sizes still tend to be the norm. 6-inch fixtures are often used in larger, high-ceilinged spaces, or with lower wattage bulbs to create an ambient glow, while the smaller 4-inch sizes are great when your going for something more low-key and restrained or have a small space that needs inconspicuous lighting solutions.


Recessed Light Info : The Types Available


1. Trim Type of your Recessed Light

The trim of your recessed light fixture can be seen, and there are quite a few trim types available, such as ‘decorative’, ‘adjustable’, ‘open’, ‘pinhole’, ‘baffle’, ‘slotted’, and ‘shower’. Each of them have their own look and optimum usage area – adjustable trim is good for accent lighting, open light trim can light up a larger area, while shower trim is made to be moisture resistant and is the perfect choice for a bathroom or outdoors.

2. Light Bulb Type and Temperature for your Recessed Light

Recessed light fixtures are made to work with most of the different types of bulbs available – and for both screw-in or pin base – such as LED, CFL, halogen or the standard incandescent bulb. LED light bulbs are not only cool to the touch but also more cost-effective and energy saving, which can make them the best option for a recessed mounted light. Keep in mind the temperature/colour of lighting you prefer; be it bright, soft or daylight in cool white, warm white or yellow. You could also choose a fixture with a dimmer functionality and have dimmable bulbs to adjust your light levels. Don’t forget to check the wattage of your recessed ceiling light fixtures – this will tell you the maximum wattage of bulbs that can be safely used in it.

Recessed spotlights for drawing room interior design - Beautiful Homes

3. Recessed Light Wiring Types

Modern recessed lighting has two different types of support options; remodel fixtures and new-construction fixtures. Because of the wiring, you will need to choose your type of recessed light fixtures according to whether or not you can access the space behind where your fixture will be located – if you can’t get into that space to run the wiring, you will probably need to use a remodel fixture, but if you can, then installing a new-construction fixture is possible.

Some things to keep in mind are :

a. If you need to feed wire from one joist bay to another, you will need to bore a hole in the centre of each joist.


b. The connections for recessed lights are made in a junction box attached to the fixture.


c. If you are using non-metallic (NM) wiring, look for fixtures that have built-in Type NM clamps in their junction boxes. If you
        are using Type MC cable, get fixtures that have that clamp built-in.


Recessed Light Info : The Basic FAQs

Recessed linear lighting for modular kitchen design - Beautiful Homes

1. Before Choosing a Recessed Light, What do I Need to Know?

From the standard recessed ceiling lights to the quickly growing-in-popularity recessed wall lights, recessed lighting is a very adaptable, attractive and functional option. Make sure to choose your fixture according to the purpose your lights will have, and if you can try to go for new-construction fixtures, as these come in many more trim options and are usually less expensive than remodel fixtures.

2. Do your Recessed Light Fixtures Need to be in a Straight Line?

Although this might make wiring easier, you can choose to have your recessed lights in any pattern that suits your taste and the style of your home. A single spot, strategically placed panels or track lighting can all have their place in your lighting plan. Of course, if not properly spaced, or with slightly too minimalistic trim style, recessed linear lighting can occasionally look a little clinical and not very homey – a more abstract pattern or possibly more decorative trim can negate this effect.

Recessed mounted light for small apartments - Beautiful Homes

3. What are the Pros and Cons of Recessed Light?

We’ve covered most of the Pros of recessed lights already but one thing to keep in mind is that if you have concrete ceilings it is probably not possible to install recessed lighting. And of course, if you have a highly decorative ceiling – intricate plasterwork, ornamental panels/coffers or a painted/papered motif – recessed mounted light may not be the right choice for you as it may detract rather than enhance the ceiling's embellishments.


4. Can you Put Regular Bulbs in Recessed Light Fixtures?

The simple answer is yes. Of course, you need to match the type of bulb to the type of fixture you buy – always check whether your fixture is LED recessed lighting, halogen, fluorescent or incandescent, before buying replacement bulbs.

Recessed light fixtures with sectional sofa - Beautiful Homes

5. How Long Does a Recessed Light Last?

As with any light fixture, this is largely dependent on the type of bulb your recessed lamp requires. If the fixture you choose is an ‘all-in-one’ unit with a fixed light source/bulb – such as an LED or CFL panel – the recessed light will last as long as the bulbs don’t burn out. Luckily, LED and CFLs are fairly energy efficient and can last for a long time. Of course, if the bulb is replaceable, then it’s very easy to just switch them out when they die. The fixture itself, if properly installed, should last a very long time.

If this has made you eager to try adding some recessed lighting in your home but you could use a little advice in choosing the best recessed light fixtures for your home, our team is here to help!


Here at Beautiful Homes Service by Asian Paints, we partner with you to craft the home of your dreams – from making those first design decisions to delivering the ideal final outcome, we’re there for you, every step of the way! We even make it easier for you to source the latest in furniture, home accessories and décor styles with our curated collection. So, if you’re eager to get started on creating that perfect haven, and live in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Pune or Kolkata, now’s a good time to get in touch with our team.

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