Recessed Lights: What To Know Before You Buy

1 min read

Recessed Lights: What To Know Before You Buy
Recessed Lights: What To Know Before You Buy

Recessed Lights: What to Know Before You Buy


Recessed lights, also known as can lights or downlights, are a popular lighting option for both residential and commercial spaces. They provide a sleek and modern look while offering efficient and focused lighting. If you’re considering installing recessed lights in your home or office, there are a few things you should know before making a purchase.

What Are Recessed Lights?

Recessed lights are light fixtures that are installed into the ceiling, creating a seamless and flush appearance. They are designed to direct light downwards, illuminating specific areas or objects. Unlike traditional pendant or chandelier lights, recessed lights are recessed into the ceiling, which means they take up less visual space.

Types of Recessed Lights

There are several types of recessed lights available in the market. The most common ones include:

1. New Construction

New construction recessed lights are installed before the ceiling is finished. They require access to the ceiling from above, making them suitable for new construction or major renovations.

2. Remodel

Remodel recessed lights are designed for installation in existing ceilings without the need for access from above. They have adjustable brackets that can fit into existing ceiling openings.

3. Retrofit

Retrofit recessed lights are similar to remodel lights and are used when you want to upgrade your existing lighting fixtures. They can be easily installed without the need for major modifications to the ceiling.

Factors to Consider

Before purchasing recessed lights, it’s important to consider the following factors:

1. Room Size and Ceiling Height

The size of the room and the height of the ceiling will determine the number and spacing of recessed lights needed. A larger room or higher ceiling may require more fixtures to ensure adequate lighting.

2. Lighting Needs

Consider the purpose of the lighting. Do you need ambient lighting to illuminate the entire room, or do you require task lighting to highlight specific areas? This will help determine the type and placement of recessed lights.

3. Dimming and Controls

Decide whether you want the option to dim the recessed lights. Dimming controls can help create different moods and save energy when full brightness is not required.

Installation and Safety

Recessed lights should be installed by a qualified electrician to ensure they are properly wired and insulated. Safety precautions, such as using fire-rated housings and sealing gaps around the fixtures, should be taken to prevent heat transfer and reduce the risk of fire.

Maintenance and Accessibility

Consider the accessibility and maintenance requirements of recessed lights. LED lights have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance compared to traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs. However, if a light fixture needs to be replaced, ensure there is easy access to it without damaging the ceiling.


Recessed lights are a stylish and practical lighting option for any space. By considering factors such as room size, lighting needs, and installation requirements, you can make an informed decision before purchasing recessed lights. Remember to prioritize safety and accessibility to ensure the longevity and functionality of your lighting system.