As many homeowners know, lighting makes a major impact on the style and ambience of a living space. Lamps and table lights can illuminate spots, but recessed lighting puts a classic and crisp aesthetic front and center. Essentially, recessed lighting is the best canvas to add lighting decor and build a foundation for any homeowner’s style and aesthetic preferences.
Recessed lights, also known as downlights, are fixtures which are directly installed into a ceiling. The light then shines down directly, lighting up the space underneath the fixture. Recessed lighting can be installed in clean and simple lines, in pairs, or just solo to illuminate a single spot or display area.
Besides crafting a totally-you home that’s designed with your style and budget in mind, it’s also important to use the best lighting for safety and sustainability. With an eye for home safety and budgets of all sizes, we rounded up the top class recessed lighting options for homeowners.
Ready for an illuminated and clearer space?
How to Choose the Right Recessed Lighting for Your Home
For homeowners looking for a brighter space, the first essential step is to determine the location of the recessed lighting, how many fixtures are needed, and landing on a budget. Recessed lighting is one of the best ways to dramatically shift the light scape and tone of any home, so clearly defining the needs and financial wiggle room around these three pillars will keep the planning and installation process streamlined. If location, number of units, and a budget isn’t finalized, it can result in unforeseen costs or repairs, mismatched styles, or simply choosing the incorrect fixtures for a home.
After the above is finalized, it’s important to note what makes up a recessed lighting fixture. Recessed lights consist of a bulb, housing, and trim. These three elements make up one fixture and style can vary. The bulb is enclosed in the fixture’s housing (and installed into the ceiling), so the trim will be the most visible part of the recessed light. From there, homeowners have a bevy of bulb options to add into the mix, too! With this in mind, homeowners can note style preferences when perusing options for each fixture.
To avoid these speed bumps along the way, we compiled a short but important list of questions to tackle. For solo or partnered homeowners, review this list together to determine the perfect recessed lighting options:
- Where am I installing the recessed lights?
- How many lights will I need? Am I replacing older fixtures?
- What size fixtures do I need?
- What is my budget? Is there any wiggle room?
- What designs do I like? What trends am I interested in?
- What effect or ambiance do I want to achieve?
With these questions in mind, it’ll be easier to articulate the purpose and effect of recessed lights in a home. Remember, recessed lighting can create the atmosphere and also highlight and showcase specific elements and areas in a home.
Recessed Lighting Locations
There are three main places homeowners can install recessed lighting: ceilings, walls, and in ground. Ceilings are the most typical and common options to transform a home. But walls add another spice that takes any home to another level. And, in ground lighting adds an element of smart safety but also stylish aesthetics.
Recessed Lighting Options
What recessed lighting options are there?
Can style recessed lighting is retro and classic all at once with its pot style aesthetic. The downlight resembles a canister, and the Torchstar’s retro oil rubbed fixture ($42) adds a playful twist on a well-known style. Plus, this specific style has a seamless plug and play installation which is perfect for homeowners looking to replace already existing recessed lighting fixtures.
Dimmable LED Step Light
Want to light up your path? For homeowners who need a brighter step, the LeonLite dimmable step light ($11.49) adds recessed lighting to stairs and even walls. The fixture will illuminate walls and other surfaces that need a bit more brightness.
Gimbal recessed lighting is for homeowners looking to showcase a specific area or collectible or decor items. This Lithonia LED recessed light ($45) can be turned and aimed at one spot.
Whether it’s for an indoor-meets-outdoor space like an enclosed porch, or a cozy laid-back den, LED lighting is supreme in its long-lasting efficiency and performance. The ultra-thin Torchstar recessed lights ($129) are dimmable and come in a variety of relaxing light color options such as Soft White, Daylight, Warm White, and more.
For homeowners who need waterproof fixtures, shower trims will keep the bulbs and housing units dry.
In Ground Recessed lighting is the unsung hero of outdoor lighting. Most people notice the light, but don’t see the source, and that’s the mark of a great light. These in ground style lights add shine and brightness to dark areas. For touches of light with added safety, mini recessed in ground lights are also a superb addition to outdoor spaces.
Stephanie Valente is a Content Director and Editor in Brooklyn, NY. She’s previously held writing and social media positions at Barkbox, Men’s Journal, and currently works at a full-service advertising agency. She’s a self-confessed home and design enthusiast. Stephanie is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. When she’s offline, you can find her taking a yoga class, running, hanging out with her rescue dog Pepper. Find her on stephanievalente.com.