E-mail: Info@amfelectric.com
24HR Electrical EMERGENCY
(314) 647-4066

Commercial Electrical Services • Industrial Electrical • Hire Electrician

(314) 647-4066

Commercial & Industrial Electrical • Electrical Build Outs

Beginners Guide to Home Recessed Lighting: Getting It Right the First Time

Have you been thinking about updating your home’s lighting? If you’re considering a home lighting improvement project, you can’t go wrong with recessed lighting.

Recessed lighting is an excellent option for an updated look that oozes style and optimizes function. It’s versatile and can be more affordable than purchasing chandeliers or pendant lighting.

Any lighting project takes some pre-planning, but you can get it right the first time. Read to shed some light on how to plan and prepare for the project.

Types and Terms

Get acquainted with the types of home recessed lighting available and the terms you’ll hear in reference to recessed lighting. First, this type of lighting goes by many names.

You may hear:

  • puck lights
  • downlights
  • can lights
  • pot lights

The different types of recessed lighting either include or can accommodate all bulb options. Traditional incandescent, LED, and CFL bulbs are each an option for your recessed lighting needs. Make these choices depending on your energy and environmental preferences.

In addition to the bulb, parts of a recessed light include the housing and the trim. The housing is the part of the fixture recessed into the ceiling that contains wires and connectors; the trim is the exposed portion of the fixture and allows for a clean, finished look.

New Install vs. Replacement

Recessed lighting can be installed in an area where you desire additional light, or it can replace existing light fixtures. Either option is attainable with minimal disruption to your ceiling. Recessed lighting is a sensible choice for remodels or replacements because fixtures can be affixed with clips and are designed to fit in a small opening.

Layout of the Lighting

You’ll want to start by considering the space and planning an optimal layout for the room.

Overall factors that will determine lighting layout include:

  • Desired light coverage
  • Ceiling height
  • Existing fixtures in the room
  • Natural light exposure

Each of these will affect how many lights you need and what sizes you should purchase. There are general rules regarding how many lights are necessary for different spaces and purposes.

Some tips are:

  • 6′ to 8′ apart for even lighting
  • 12′ to 14′ apart for softer lighting
  • Place lights at least 3′ feet from walls

How you will be using the room is the most important consideration. There are some typical reasons for installing light sources in specific locations, and recessed lighting can supply or supplement the light needed for each.


General lighting is the overall lighting in the room. Lighting for this purpose is typically accomplished with a grid of lights across the ceiling. If the intended use of recessed lighting is for a general purpose, it means those lights are the primary source of light in the space.


Task lighting is in addition to general lighting. This type of lighting means a space requires more light to perform a task. Kitchens, craft rooms, and workspaces are common areas that require task lighting.


Accent lighting adds effect or ambiance to a space. Showcase a piece of art or architectural feature with recessed lighting. Since recessed lighting can be controlled by its own switch, you can create a focal point of light.

Installing dimmer switches is also an option to create varying light levels, resulting in a multi-purpose area.

Assistance From an Expert

Due to the need for electrical safety when wiring, it makes sense for you to hire professionals for your project. Trained electricians are experts in proper wiring configuration and safety codes, and their assistance can eliminate any worry of electrical shock, fire hazards, or electrical shorts.

Experts can also assist in choosing the right light option and creating an appropriate layout for your space.

Realize Your Lighting Vision

Adding or updating lighting in your home is a welcome improvement that improves your space’s function and overall aesthetic. You’re right to think of it as a potential project worth undertaking.

If you want top-quality workmanship and the assurance that your lighting job gets done right the first time, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Let us assist you in the planning, preparation, and execution of reaching your lighting goals.


Submit a Comment