Recessed Lighting For Interior Design

Recessed lighting can be found in a number of applications in home decor, creating a variety of settings and serving many functional purposes. Depending on their application, recessed lights can illuminate spaces with subtlety or make a bright design statement. This versatility makes them an attractive option for interior design, and a simple but impactful upgrade for any given space. 

First: Let’s Talk Tech

It’s always a good idea to have some basic knowledge of any product you’re considering buying. So, before we dive into design, let’s talk a bit about the lights themselves. 

Types of Light Bulbs for Recessed Lighting 

LEDs are an energy-efficient alternative to their predecessor, the incandescent light bulb. These power-packed bulbs can be rated to last 50,000 hours and higher—giving you years, if not decades, between bulb changes. When it comes to recessed lighting (and really, many other lighting projects), LEDs are an excellent choice.

Halogen bulbs can also be used in many recessed lighting units, however, halogen bulbs burn hotter and for far fewer hours than their LED counterparts. Still, they can be more affordable, making them a more attractive option for smaller budgets.  

Components of Recessed Lights

Recessed lights generally feature two primary components: trim and housing. Recessed light trim is the exposed portion of the assembly—that’s the part you can see once it is installed. This trim is how you will decide on the aesthetics of your recessed lights. The housing of the recessed light unit is the part that connects to the ceiling and houses the bulb. 

Interior Design with Recessed Lights

So where can recessed lights be used? The short answer: anywhere and everywhere! While not every space is designed for recessed lighting, virtually any space can be. And, with a multitude of housing units designed for various applications, you can always find one to meet the unique needs of your space at LBU. 

Lighting Layers

When it comes to lighting, it’s important to understand that there is much more to beautiful design than simply installing a new light fixture. In design, we talk about light as having three layers: ambient, task, and accent. Ambient lighting is our base layer, and one most people can understand the need for. But to truly elevate a space, you need to build upon your ambient lighting—thus layering—with task and accent lighting. While the application should be specific to its purpose, recessed lights can be applied to all three layers with appropriate design considerations in mind. 

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is the most basic of all the lighting layers, and it refers to the general lighting in a given space (it is also sometimes called general lighting). This primary room lighting includes natural light sources as well as installed lighting fixtures. Ambient light fixtures might include ceiling fan lights, chandeliers, torchieres and more.

Recessed ceiling lights can be a perfect addition to ambient lighting as they direct light downward, brightening the room and complementing natural light sources.

Task Lighting

With the general space lighting established, it’s time to think about how the space will be used. Aptly named task lighting is the lighting needed to get something done. Task lighting is used in work areas, like kitchen prep zones, desks and tables. Here again, recessed lights can be a highly functional choice, shining light downward directly to the surface or workspace that needs to be illuminated. 

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is our most decorative layer, and all too often it’s overlooked. This important layer is often what completes a space. It’s where we choose our finer finishes and use light to illuminate specific features or artwork.

Here, recessed lights will typically be used as downlighting, perhaps with dimmers to set the mood of the space. They might also be used as decorative spotlights, highlighting paintings or framed photographs, specific room features and more. 

While recessed lights are most commonly affixed to the ceiling, they can also be installed elsewhere. Brighten walkways and steps in outdoor or transitional spaces with in-ground recessed lights that illuminate the path ahead, or uplight landscaping or architectural elements to create a cohesive design experience. 

Highly functional recessed lights can be used in virtually any setting. Waterproof recessed lighting is perfect for showers, pool decks and other places with water features, while something like gallery spotlights might be used to illuminate artwork and photography.  

Whether you’re replacing the style of your recessed lights to update your look with a retrofit, or designing recessed lighting into a brand new space, the team at LBU can help. Visit a showroom to get inspired for your next project.

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