How to Layout Recessed Lighting

Lighting a room with recessed lighting – especially a kitchen – should take a bit of planning. The overall size of the room, ceiling height and how the light fixtures will be used should all be taken under consideration.

For general purpose lighting, recessed lighting is a great way to go because they can actually also serve as task and accent lighting at the same time. Additionally, recessed lighting can be configured in almost any pattern and to work with and without ceiling mounted and pendant fixtures.

General rules for using recessed lighting include:

Walls: There should be at least three (3) feet between the wall and a recessed light. Using this guideline eliminates odd shadows and the feeling that the room is smaller than it is.

Spacing: Take the height of the ceiling and divide by two; this is how far apart the lights should be placed. Also important: fixtures should be installed between joists.

Where to start: In the middle! Place the first light in the middle and measure out from there using the spacing rule in the previous point.

If some lingering doubt about whether or not there are enough lights, it’s always better to add a few extra and then use a dimmer to control the light output.

Also, if a particular light is meant to highlight a piece of artwork or be positioned over a kitchen island, for example, make sure to draw out the room first to be clear about where each fixture will go. Taking this simple step eliminates headaches and frustration down the road.

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