At Stars and Stripes Lighting, we carry a large variety of LED recessed lighting fixtures that are not only efficient but designed with quality and aesthetics. These light fixtures are recessed in the ceiling, allowing the light to shine downward, hence the name downlights.
When you are considering the installation of new or replacing existing recessed lights in your home or business, its important to know what is available. LED recessed downlights come in a variety of different styles, wattages, and color temperatures. Many of them with their own unique fixtures that may suit your application's needs better.
LED recessed lighting commonly referred to as downlights, can lights, pot lights or high hats, is one of the most versatile lighting systems available. Not surprisingly, the term 'recessed' comes from the way this type of lighting is mounted. These versatile lights are designed to sit flush with your surface (usually a ceiling). LED recessed lighting is one of the most affordable ways to update and illuminate your home or commercial building. However, if not properly placed they can create an uncomfortable appearance. As suppliers of LED recessed lighting, we're here to tackle the most common questions we get from customers with new construction projects and retrofit applications.
While recessed lighting systems of years past were often thought of as being clunky and complicated, today's options are designed to meet almost every need. With the evolution of lighting technology, new systems are not only able to perform at higher standards, they're easier than ever to plan and install.
Recessed lighting can achieve a wide-range of different lighting outcomes in both indoor and outdoor applications. Its perfect for rooms that have limited ceiling space to work with, or for instances where a large fixture would be too obtrusive. Below, we'll go over some general areas inside and outside a home where recessed lighting is commonly used.
Recessed downlights are not only perfect for providing task lighting in a kitchen, they also help create an ambient layer of lighting when combined with other fixtures like pendants and under cabinets.
Recessed lighting fixtures can provide a complementary element when paired with a decorative chandelier or pendant, helping to add a mood-enhancing feel to your dining room.
Recessed lighting that is approved for wet or damp locations can be used in bathroom areas like above showers and bathtubs.
Outdoor rated recessed fixtures can be used to illuminate porches, patios, soffits, and other outdoor spaces like gazebos and kitchens.
Whether you're considering retrofitting your current recessed fixtures or starting with a new layout, we have several LED options to suit your needs. With a variety of different styles, finishes, sizes, and special features available, selecting the most appropriate fixture for your application can feel like a complicated task. However, our guide will help you understand exactly which fixture would be most suitable to illuminate your space.
There are many things that need to be considered when selecting the right LED fixture including size, trim, and color temperature. However, you should first decide on whether to install new fixtures or swap out old ones. Below we'll go over the different options for recessed lighting and how they're applied.
When it comes to new construction and remodel projects, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration in order to select the right fixture including function, operation, and appropriate layout. Typically, recessed lighting has been composed of three pieces, a trim, housing and lamp type.
The trim is the finished portion of the recessed fixture that is seen from the room below. There are a variety of different trim styles that can provide different aesthetics or manipulate how the light will be dispersed.
The housing is the part of the light isn't visible, it sits neatly above the ceiling. As previously mentioned, the housing is either a separate component or often is integrated into the full fixture. Below we'll go over the different types of housings, their ratings and where they are used.
Even though traditional recessed lighting setups are still often used, they are not the most popular. Many home and commercial building owners are choosing super thin 'wafer style' LED downlights, where no housing is needed. These fixtures, commonly referred to as canless, are perfect for ceilings with a shallow plenum (the space that facilitates air circulation for heating and cooling), and are available in sizes ranging from 3 to 12 inches. Their compact design allows you to install them where most fixtures can't go; like under overhangs and eaves, and directly under joists for maximum layout flexibility. With many only being a half inch thick, not only is a housing not required, but you also don't need direct access above the ceiling for installation. Super thin and ultra thin LED downlights are IC rated, they emit barely any heat to require a gap between the fixture and insulation. This means they are suitable for new construction and renovation projects.
Installation is simple and only takes a few minutes once the hole is drilled, making them great for use in bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms. You'll also get all of the benefits of LED lighting including decreased maintenance costs, energy savings, and longer lifespans. Some models have a remote driver box while others are a single unit. You can find in-depth installation instructions on each product page or the downloadable specification sheet.
One of the fastest and most affordable ways to upgrade your current recessed fixtures to LED is by retrofitting. You can install an LED retrofit kit into an existing housing by simply removing the original bulb and trim, and screwing in an LED module adapter into the socket. LEDs are not only 85% more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, they also produce way less heat. Also, since LEDs have a much longer lifespan than other bulbs, sometimes up to ten times longer, they're virtually maintenance-free. Determining which size you need is easy, simply measure the diameter of your existing cut-out, not including the trim (the visible portion of the fixture). Most of the models on the market today can be used for both new construction and retrofit applications, which gives you a greater selection of options.
Fixtures with regression means that the light source is seated higher up into the housing and the surrounding trim is deep. A full, or 'deep' regressed fixture provides less distracting glare since the light is less visible when observing the downlight from a distance.
You should pay close attention to color temperature and intensity since they both can have an effect on the overall look of your space. If addressed properly, these spaces will be where you actually spend the most time. To help, we carry many LED recessed lights that are dimmer compatible, white tunable, and color changing, and we continue to add more and more products that are functional with today's smart technology.
Determining what size your fixture should be will depend on the ceiling height and square footage of your space. You should keep in mind there are no set rules when it comes to fixture placement. In fact, personal preference and design aesthetic is often enough to go on. A good rule of thumb is to use one recessed light for every 4 to 6 feet of ceiling space. Typically, fixtures should be placed 24 inches from a wall or cabinet with 2 to 5 feet of space between them. However, not all rooms require the same amount of brightness. For example, a bedroom doesn't need as much light as a kitchen, so in this case you would use less fixtures.
The most common size for residential recessed downlights is 4 to 7 inches in diameter. The most popular size used is a 6-inch fixture. For that reason, there typically more 6-inch styles to choose from. Higher ceilings require larger diameters, typically 6 inches or above. Generally, the larger the diameter of your fixture, the wider wash of light it will deliver. Below we'll take a look at how recessed lighting should be installed in kitchen and bathroom.
When it comes to kitchens, 4 and 5-inch is an ideal size for providing enough lighting output above countertops for food prep and cleanup. When you begin to laying out recessed lighting in a kitchen, you'll need to focus on areas that aren't covered by other fixtures like under cabinet lighting and pendants. You need to consider where your high-traffic areas are, and focus on lighting that space. For example, gallery-style kitchens or walkways around an island should have a single row of appropriately spaced downlight that will enhance your ambient lighting scheme. Whereas wall-to-wall kitchens that have nothing in the center, a grid pattern would be your best option for even illumination throughout the space.
For bathrooms, LED recessed lighting can add both style and function to your space. Recessed lights can be installed in shower stalls or over tubs, unlike decorative wall or ceiling mounted fixtures. It's important to consider recessed lighting as part of an overall bath lighting layout. When recessed lights are used in combination with bar lights or wall sconces around vanity spaces and mirrors, you'll end up with a layered lighting system that is hard to achieve with just ceiling fixtures alone. Keep in mind for bathrooms, you should always choose a waterproof downlight that's rated for wet and damp locations. For instance, steam that is generated by a shower, it can create problems for fixtures that are only rated for dry locations. Whereas, an air-tight waterproof fixture is able to resist corrosion and is less likely to short circuit over time. You should always check the product page or on the hyperlinked PDF for a fixture's UL listing.
The same spacing guidelines previously mentioned for the kitchen area should be applied here. It's good practice to install downlight fixtures at least 2 feet from walls and cabinets to avoid a spotlight effect on vertical surfaces. If there is too much spacing, shadows can be created throughout the room, so we recommend placing them about 4 feet apart. You should also consider using a dimmer for added control. In bath areas, dimming gives you ambient, task, and accent lighting all at the touch of a button.
LED recessed lighting is the perfect choice for providing practical and functional lighting for homes and commercial buildings.
At Stars and Stripes Lighting, there are hundreds of options at your fingertips. If you're still feeling unsure, just get in touch with us. We'll provide you with accurate information that won't overwhelm you. Our team of lighting experts will help take all the pressure off in deciding which fixtures to choose. We can help educate you on the best product for your application, work with you to create a custom layout, and even estimate the cost of your project. Let us help you select the best LED recessed lights today!