Recessed lighting is so popular because it easily solves so many lighting dilemmas. While it isn’t and shouldn’t be your only choice when remodeling your kitchen, used strategically it adds visibility and ambiance to the room’s environment. Combined with a variety of other types of lighting such as pendants and sconces, recessed lights make a room feel balanced and inviting. No matter if you’re lighting a modern space or a traditional setting, recessed lighting can work wonders.
There are pros and cons to recessed lighting:
- They can be dimmed and put on separate switches, so you don’t have to flood the room with light all the time.
- You have more control.
- There’s no fixture hanging down to block a view.
- Recessed cans give off good light, but aren’t great for detailed prep work; they may also make the ceiling look cluttered.
- Too many of them and you’ll get a lot of bright spots on a shiny countertop. Pendants, on the other hand, have diffusers that can help cut the bounce and glare.
- If installed in a high ceiling, the light dissipates by the time it reaches the work area.
One final consideration: If there’s no open attic space directly above where you want them installed, recessed lights often required opening up the ceiling via trenching. If you’re installing them in a new basement kitchen, the same process is involved.
Kitchen Recessed Lighting Tips
How to begin? Let’s start with what you want to light. Recessed light fixtures are very versatile and can be used to provide general, task, or accent lighting. If you need more light over your kitchen prep area, for example, downlight is the way to get it. But to highlight specific areas such as a custom backsplash, open shelving, or wall art, a dedicated directional light may be more in order.
- You can, however, use recessed lighting to wash a wall or highlight art and other objects. Since recessed lighting comes in many different configurations, you can use it to create various types of illumination. Notice how the wash lighting here beautifully highlights the open shelving and wording on the wall.
- Beauty is in the details, so choose the trim style that works best for your overall design. There are plenty of choices: high-end metallic finishes look great in contemporary kitchens or wood ceilings, while flangeless fixtures give a seamless look.
- Not all bulbs are created equal, so test the bulb color. Unless you’re going for a stark ultra-modern feel, aim for bulbs with warmth. There are “warm” LEDs, so you’re not confined to just using incandescent or halogens. But keep in mind that lower-cost LEDs often have color quality inconsistency. Our designers can help you find the right bulb for setting the right mood.
- Most residential recessed lighting is 4 to 7 inches in diameter, with the most popular being 6 inches. What size you need and choose depends on what and how much space you’re trying to light. If the room has an 8-foot ceiling, for example, a 4-inch fixture will probably provide sufficient countertop lighting while a 6-inch downlight nicely lights up the breakfast table and a 7-inch fixture works for a nice wall wash. Because they’re the most common choice, there are typically more trim styles available for 6-inch fixtures.
We mentioned dimmers as a “pro” of recessed lighting and highly recommend them. Being able to adjust the intensity of overhead kitchen lighting is paramount to setting the right mood; it also can extend the life of the bulb. Keep in mind that LED lights usually require a special ELV, or electronic low-voltage, dimmer.
Recessed kitchen lighting is not likely to go out of style. But today you have more options to make them work for you. Understated and tasteful, they add a nice layer of general lighting to any style kitchen.
If you’re ready to get started on your kitchen remodeling project and want to learn more about kitchen recessed lighting, drop us a line today. We look forward to talking with you about all your kitchen lighting options!