Lighting 101: Working with Recessed Lighting | homify

Lighting 101: Working with Recessed Lighting

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Project Stellenbosch, Dear Zania Interiors Dear Zania Interiors Modern dining room
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Whether it’s garden goodies, hallway storage or brighter bathrooms, here on homify we are always ready with tips and tricks to help you get that luxurious look for your home. And today we are tackling recessed lighting, which is lighting fixtures installed directly inside a ceiling, a wall, or some other surface. 

Three components make up recessed lighting: housing (the bulk of the fixture that’s hidden inside the ceiling or wall and which contains the electrical components), trim (referring to the decorative, visible part which may include shades and reflectors), and bulb (that part that produces illumination).

On a side note, did you know there’s a difference between recessed lights and downlights? Recessed lights (also called “can” lights) take up more space in the ceiling or wall in order to accommodate a replaceable bulb, while a downlight uses much less space with no joist restrictions.

Luckily, you have the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll gain access to all these “lighting secrets” when working with professional lighting experts, such as the Livecopper team from Pietermaritzburg. 

Interested to learn how you can install recessed lighting in your house without destroying your ceiling or ruining your interior style? Then scroll right ahead…  

Tip 1: Suitable for task areas

Oak kitchen with concrete tops JBA Architects Kitchen units Wood Grey concrete tops,oak cupboards,cement floor

When it comes to illuminating task areas (such as reading, working or cooking), recessed lights are perfect. And to make the most of your recessed lighting fixtures, install them over counters, inside closets, and above work surfaces. 

Tip 2: Don’t use just one

Nettleton 199, ARRCC ARRCC Living room

Any lighting expert (including the pros of Livecopper in Pietermaritzburg) will tell you that if you rely on a single recessed lighting fixture to illuminate a whole room, the quality will be way too harsh. Rely on additional lighting sources (“layered lighting” in the form of a wall sconce here, a table lamp there, etc. 

Tip 3: Dimmers are your friends

Project Stellenbosch, Dear Zania Interiors Dear Zania Interiors Modern dining room

Want to turn up the mood by turning down the lights? Add dimmer switches so you can instantly transform that bright overhead source of light into a softer glow. Perfect for date night! 

Tip 4: Don’t follow a pattern

Camps Bay Home, Kunst Architecture & Interiors Kunst Architecture & Interiors Modern kitchen

You don’t need to install those recessed lights in a rigid pattern. Place them strategically so the lights can literally highlight certain features of the room, like a fireplace or wall painting. The last thing you want to do is create an “airport runway” look in which the whole space is over lit. 

Tip 5: Not just for indoors

House Eppel John McKenzie Architecture Patios

Want to highlight an architectural feature on your porch or patio, or even your garden? Place some recessed lights outside where they can help light up the exteriors after sundown and treat your back yard to a soft, moody glow. 

Tip 6: Think twice about task spaces

The Signature, Cape Town, Studio Do Cabo Studio Do Cabo Modern style bedroom

When lighting a task area (such as a make-up space in front of a mirror), avoid installing the light directly above where you plan to sit or stand. Either move the lights so the illumination hits slightly in front of you or go with two directional lights on either side.  

Tip 7: Don’t overlook your hallways

House in Chandlers Ford II, LA Hally Architect LA Hally Architect Modern Corridor, Hallway and Staircase

Even cramped, narrow hallways and corridors can look so much better with the right lighting. Opt for directional recessed lights to help brighten up those narrow walls to make the space seem bigger. And bonus design points if you can squeeze in a wall mirror to help multiply the illumination! 

And speaking of lighting designs, let’s have a look at some tips and tricks when it comes to choosing modern lights for the living room

Where in your house would some recessed lights make all the difference?

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