The Pros and Cons of Recessed Lighting

When you’re thinking about installing new lighting in your home or business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options out there. There are countless types of fixtures to choose from, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The key is to find out what works best for you.

One popular lighting fixture you can consider is recessed lighting, a flexible technology that is incredibly effective for some applications and not so great for others.

The type of lighting you choose for your space is vital to its function. So if you’re considering recessed lighting as part of your residential or commercial space, then it’s vitally important to weigh the pros and cons of how it will affect your room and your overall design. That way you can discover whether recessed lighting is right for you.

As a distinct lighting option, recessed lighting offers you a versatile and understated lighting method, one that can fit into many different applications and doesn’t make a big design statement. You can use it in specific rooms that take advantage of its benefits, but you also need to be aware of its downsides.

Here are the pros and cons of installing recessed lighting:

The Pros of Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting definitely has some great advantages that make it a great choice for your next lighting installation. When it comes to interior design, it’s an unobtrusive, effective way to light your spaces with class. If you install recessed lighting in the right rooms, you’ll be quite happy with its unique benefits.

First of all, recessed lighting is perfect for low ceilings. The simple fact that the lights are built straight into the ceiling make them an effective application for any room or space with low clearance. Recessed lights are especially helpful if you’re concerned that you or anyone else might knock their head on any hanging fixture such as a chandelier. This is perfect for bathrooms and hallways, where you want as much open space as possible. As an added bonus, they also help make the room look bigger by freeing up more space.

Another great benefit you’ll get from installing recessed lights is clear, focused light you can use as part of your overall room design. As an example, you can utilize recessed lights for displays of artwork or antiques that serve as strong design elements in your overall interior design. The spotlight effect that you can achieve with recessed lights also helps you illuminate reading areas, work desks, or dining tables where strong, clear light is necessary. When you have a well planned space, you can use recessed lighting to aid how each part functions.

Recessed lights are wonderful for kitchens too. The unobtrusive, directed light you get from recessed fixtures is perfect for culinary spaces, where you need strong light on areas like counters, islands, stoves. Any place where you do prep work, cooking, or home crafts is a great candidate for recessed lighting.

Also, recessed lights are great for bathrooms, especially above showers where you need a waterproof fixture that can withstand high amounts of moisture. If you want a light in your shower, they’re practically essential, as you don’t want a hanging or extruding fixture that will just get in the way.

The Cons of Recessed Lighting

One real downside of recessed lighting is the possible energy efficiency problems they might create in your home or business. To install recessed lighting you have to cut holes in the ceiling and sometimes parts of the walls, which then become potential areas that air can leak in and out of your house. In hot or cold climates, this could be a potentially very expensive energy problem, one that may not be worth it when weighed against the benefits of recessed lighting. When the lights are installed correctly, it’s usually not an issue, but if they’re not you could be paying for it in the long run.

Another problem is what designers call “the cave effect.” Essentially, this occurs when there are a handful of concentrated bright spots in a room (such as would come from the direct beam of a recessed light), but all the space along the wall stays comparatively dark. For some spaces, “the cave effect” might create just the mood you’re looking for, but for many others it might be distracting and take away from the room’s aesthetic quality.

This leads us to our next problem. To downplay “the cave effect,” you often have to install quite a few recessed lights in every room, sometimes more than ten. This can often be very expensive, and also increases the chance that you’ll have an energy efficiency issue when you’re cutting all those holes in your ceiling. When you factor in the cost of the fixtures with the risk of exposing your space to possible air leaks, it might not be worth making the investment in recessed light fixtures.

 Is Recessed Lighting Right for Me?

When it comes to making a final decision on recessed lighting, your best bet is to weigh the pros and the cons and see how they apply to your particular space and its needs. For some applications, such as movie theaters, kitchens, bathrooms, and art galleries, recessed lighting can be a great option.

For other spaces, recessed lighting may not be the best option. This could include living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and many more.

Whatever sort of lighting you decide on, we are here to help. Please give the Shine Retrofits team a call for guidance in making the lighting decision that is best for you. You can reach us at 1(800) 983-1315 anytime from 6 am to 6 pm, Mountain Standard Time. We look forward to hearing from you!