How Much Does It Cost to Install Recessed Lighting?

Recessed lighting offers major benefits to living spaces. But just how much do recessed ceiling lights cost? On average, the cost to install recessed lighting is $330 per light, falling within a range of $100 to $500.

By Rochel Maday | Updated Aug 31, 2022 5:13 PM

Install Recessed Lighting Cost

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  • Typical Range: $100 to $500
  • National Average: $330

Recessed lighting is a great way to illuminate a room and make it feel more spacious. It can also be used to provide task lighting for specific areas and draw the eye to focal points. How much does recessed lighting cost, though, and is it worth the investment?

According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, homeowners can expect to pay between $100 and $500 per light for recessed lighting, with the average cost to install recessed lighting in a typical-size room coming in around $330 per light. The price can vary depending on the housing type used for the light, the current status of electrical power to the room, and how accessible the area above each light is.

Keep reading to gain a deeper understanding on how to calculate the cost to install recessed lighting, the benefits of this type of lighting, and how to save money on an install.

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How to Calculate the Cost to Install Recessed Lighting

Before beginning, there are a few variables a homeowner needs to determine. Once these variables are addressed, they can be plugged into an equation to help determine the cost to install recessed lighting.

First, calculate the number of lights needed in the installation space (X) using the formula below. Then, determine the estimated cost per light (Y). This includes the housing, trim, bulb, and labor. Next, multiply the first number by the second number. This equation is as follows:

Room square footage × 1.5 = Total wattage ÷ 60 (or whichever wattage preferred) = X

1 housing + 1 trim + 1 bulb + labor = Y

X × Y = Z

Here’s an example for a 100-square-foot room, where each light costs approximately $300.

100 × 1.5 = 150 ÷ 60 = 2.5 (when the answer is less than a whole number, round up; in this case, it would be 3)

Materials and labor for 1 light = $300

3 × $300 = $900

Install Recessed Lighting Cost

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Factors in Calculating the Cost to Install Recessed Lighting

The cost of installing recessed lighting can widely vary. Coming up with an estimate depends on the type of light housing, the type of trim, the location of the light, and whether any wiring and electrical work needs to occur. The cost will also be determined by how many lights are needed and whether the install is taking place in a new or existing home.

The average install cost for recessed lights is $330 per fixture. Homeowners can use the following list of cost-influencing factors to help determine the cost of their own recessed lighting project.

Housing Type

While all recessed lights are different in features, advantages, and limitations, they all have one distinct element in common. They sit inside a can, and the can is recessed into a ceiling.

A ceiling’s architecture and layout determine what type of housing, or can, a recessed light can sit in. The different price ranges, descriptions, and benefits are broken down in detail below. For now, homeowners should know that different housing types for recessed lights have a price range of $10 to $160 per light.

Housing types can be mixed within a room, but for consistency, style, and simplicity, most recessed lighting installations feature the same housing type throughout a single space. It’s not uncommon, however, to find different housing types throughout a home. For example, canless recessed lighting styles can be found in hallways, while vaulted ceiling cans are ideal for sloped ceilings. Wet-rated housings are required in bathrooms and are ideal for outdoor spaces. One of the first steps to estimating the cost of a recessed lighting installation is to decide which housing type is either required or desired.

Trim Type

The trim is the piece of recessed lighting that covers the hole holding the housing. Sometimes when the hole for the light is cut, there can be jagged cuts or edges. Trim gives the area around a recessed light a clean and polished look.

The type of trim a homeowner chooses can significantly change the appearance of a recessed light, as well as the price. For example, a baffle trim has a ribbed interior housing that casts a wide beam of light. It creates a softer glow by reducing glare and is ideal for living rooms, hallways, and entryways. A recessed light with baffle trim costs between $5 and $80.

An eyeball trim is adjustable and can swivel to direct light to a specific area in a room. It features a rounded bulb casing that protrudes from the ceiling, making it the perfect choice for accent or task lighting. A recessed light with eyeball trim costs between $15 and $30.

Gimbal is another type of trim, and it ranges in price from $15 to $90. It’s also an adjustable trim option, and it tilts and rotates. It features a flat bulb that remains flush with the ceiling and is designed for accent walls or sloped ceilings.

A reflector trim costs between $10 and $60. A recessed light with reflector trim offers a polished finish and is ideal for kitchens and high ceilings. A wall wash trim includes a shield that covers half the bulb. This directs the light to a specific spot in a room, so it’s perfect for highlighting artwork or displayed heirlooms. A recessed light with wall wash costs between $10 and $100.

A recessed light with shower trim is best for bathrooms. This trim forms a watertight seal and is covered with a tempered glass lens for safety in wet spaces, including bathrooms and saunas. A light with a shower trim costs between $10 and $50.

Additional trims each have their own price range, as follows:

  • Open trim: $5 to $80
  • Slot trim: $10 to $50
  • Surface-adjustable trim: $10 to $60
  • Pinhole trim: $15 to $80
  • Lensed trim: $15 to $150
  • Decorative trim: $15 to $150

Finish Type

Many homeowners choose a traditional white finish for their recessed lighting. Since most ceilings are white, a white finish is a tasteful choice that blends well. But there are other finish shades and colors that can complement a design when paired with a wall color, farmhouse feel, or rustic ambience. Every option has its own price range for homeowners to consider against their budget.

Simple and common, white trim is the most affordable trim finish at $10 to $25 per piece. Gold is another affordable and stylish choice, costing between $10 and $45. Nickel and chrome finishes are similar in price, with ranges between $15 and $80 and $15 and $90, respectively.

Copper is a finish type that’s quickly gaining popularity in rustic homes. It’s a bit more expensive, coming in between $25 and $60. Black trim finish for recessed lighting has a cost range of $25 to $80, while bronze ranges between $30 to $60 per piece.

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Bulb Type

Most types of recessed lighting housing can utilize a number of different bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs are a common choice, and each bulb costs between $2 and $15. This type of bulb ranges in brightness and color, so it’s easy to find a combination that works best for a space’s unique lighting needs. Fluorescent bulbs also last for a long time, though they need to be disposed of safely since they contain mercury.

Halogen lights cost between $3 and $12 per bulb. They’re filled with halogen gas that burns brighter and lasts longer than standard bulbs. For areas that can benefit from extra bright light, halogen is a great option. Compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, cost between $3 and $15 per bulb. They’re on the smaller side so they’re great for smaller recessed lights that still need to light up a large space.

Low-voltage bulbs cost between $5 and $15 per bulb. Not all types of recessed lights can use these bulbs. Incandescent can lights cost between $3 and $40 a bulb. They’re an uncommon choice, however, because they’re not very efficient and burn out easily. Finally, LED bulbs are the most common type of recessed light bulb. They cost between $5 and $50 and come in a wide variety of both warm and cool colors. LED recessed ceiling lights are very energy efficient, making this bulb type a great value choice for recessed lighting.

Wiring and Electrical Work

Recessed lighting installation requires wiring and electrical work. The extent of the work can greatly affect the installation cost. Most houses are wired with either copper or aluminum wire; the two cannot be mixed, so what exists in a home determines what is used during a lighting install.

Newer homes tend to have aluminum, as it’s less expensive. When adding recessed lighting during a new build, aluminum wiring costs between $0.26 and $0.59 per linear foot (for material only). Older homes tend to have copper wiring, which is quite a bit more expensive at $0.52 to $1.25 per linear foot of material.

When simply extending wiring from an existing switch, the cost for the wiring itself is minimal. However, if a home needs to be completely rewired during a remodel, homeowners can expect to pay somewhere between $4,000 and $10,000 to complete the project.

Light Location

The location in which the recessed lights are to be installed can also affect the cost. For example, homeowners often add recessed lighting to their living rooms to brighten up the space, make it feel more modern, and create illuminated focal points for design. On average, the cost to install recessed lighting in a living room averages between $200 to $300 per light in a new build or $450 to $650 per light in an existing home.

The kitchen is another popular space to add recessed lighting, as it pairs well with other types of kitchen lighting like chandeliers and tube lights. When adding recessed lighting to a kitchen in a new build, homeowners can expect to pay between $200 and $300 per light. Adding recessed lighting to an existing kitchen costs between $450 and $650 per light.

Adding recessed lighting to basements costs the same as adding lighting to a living room or kitchen. Closet recessed lighting costs between $250 and $350 per light in a new build and between $500 and $700 per light for existing spaces.

Bathroom lighting is a bit more expensive because wet-rated lights are required. This increases the range for lighting in new construction to between $275 and $375 per light, while adding recessed lighting to an existing bathroom can cost as much as $725 per light. The cost to install recessed lighting in a bedroom is the same price as it would be for a bathroom.

Ceiling Material

Ceiling material can be a factor when determining the installation cost of recessed can lights. However, homeowners should keep in mind that what’s more influential is whether or not a ceiling is present at all. New-construction installs will always cost less than installations in an existing home.

With that being said, different ceiling materials can cause fluctuations in installation cost. Ceilings made out of drywall are easy to cut into and easy to repair if needed. Ceilings made of wood, especially hardwoods, can be more difficult to work with and incur a higher labor cost.

Ceilings with detailed textures or designs, such as shiplap or tray ceilings, will take a bit more planning and finesse to execute a proper recessed lighting layout. This can boost the final installation cost as well.

Labor

Labor costs can vary depending on the difficulty of the installation. It should be noted that installing recessed lights is easiest during new construction and less likely to incur high labor costs.

Under typical conditions, labor costs involve cutting a mounting hole, adding or modifying wire from an existing switch (after safe amperage has been verified), connecting the light fixture, securing the wiring, and placing the trim. Hiring an electrician to install recessed lights will cost between $85 and $105 per hour, and it typically takes about 2.5 hours to install each fixture.

Install Recessed Lighting Cost

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Additional Costs and Considerations

No two recessed lighting installations are the same. Besides the more common cost-influencing factors listed above, there are additional costs and considerations homeowners should consider.

When it comes to recessed lighting installation, the following can be major contributors to fluctuating costs.

Existing Home vs. New Construction

Installing can lights during an initial build is easier for contractors. This automatically makes new-construction installations more affordable than existing-home installs.

In fact, recessed lighting can cost 40 percent to 50 percent less during new construction than it would for an existing home. This is because the ceiling is still open and contractors don’t have to worry about cutting into drywall or making sure there’s enough space to access the install site from above. Additionally, since rewiring or updating circuit breakers isn’t part of a new-construction job, the cost will be less.

While adding recessed lighting to an existing home can look great in the end, this type of install tends to be messier, more difficult, and more expensive compared to what it would cost with new construction.

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Indoor vs. Outdoor

It’s more common to have recessed lighting indoors than outdoors. This is because recessed lights are only installed in ceilings. When it comes to the cost of installing indoor recessed lighting, the price is affected by housing type, trim type, color, and where the lighting is being installed in the home’s layout.

But when it comes to comparing indoor and outdoor recessed lighting, homeowners should know that the cost can be a bit more expensive for outdoor lighting. There are fewer ideal locations for outdoor recessed lighting, but common areas include porch ceilings or beneath an overhang. Recessed lights are also sometimes installed around the top of a home or even on one or both sides of a window.

Wet-rated recessed lighting is the safest option. Per can, outdoor recessed lighting costs between $305 and $550. The good news is that in most cases, fewer lights are needed outdoors. Therefore, the overall cost of the job can be quite affordable while offering a strong boost in curb appeal.

Permits

A permit won’t be required if an old fixture is being replaced with a recessed light. But if a new circuit is being installed, a permit is required since this involves changing the house’s wiring.

Permits can cost between $50 and $500; the price is determined by the local municipality and the scope of the project. Assuming they’re registered with the city, a hired electrician can typically tell during a quick survey of the jobsite whether a permit will be required or not.

Drywall Repair

Drywall repair is common in existing-home installs. It’s less likely to be an issue when there’s enough space above an install site, such as a second floor or attic, but it can still affect the overall installation price. When electricians need to cut into ceilings or walls to run wiring through, homeowners can expect to pay between $50 and $300 for drywall repair.

If drywall does need to be repaired, it’s likely that a paint touch-up will be required as well. If this is the case, homeowners can expect to pay between $1 to $3 per square foot to touch up walls and ceilings after a recessed lighting installation.

Customizations

When homeowners are installing recessed lighting, there are several ways to customize the lights, though this can add to the overall cost of the project. Dimmer switches are a great customization option. By controlling the intensity of recessed lights, homeowners can completely change the function and feeling of a room. They can brightly light up spaces to improve safety, soften the lighting for a relaxing evening with a book, or dim the lights almost entirely for just a bit of ambience during movie night. Adding dimmer switches adds approximately $125 to the project total. Keep in mind that in order to take advantage of a dimmer switch, dimmer bulbs need to be used.

Wall panels are another customization option homeowners can consider. They can include a dimmer switch and standard switches. Depending on how many switches are wired, a wall panel costs between $50 and $100.

Lighting designers can help homeowners create a truly customized look by offering expertise in planning a recessed lighting layout. These pros can help determine how many recessed lights a room needs, how far apart to space them, and offer guidance on temperature, lumens, and directions. A lighting designer charges between $85 and $300 per hour for an in-home consultation.

Install Recessed Lighting Cost

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Cost to Install Recessed Lighting by Housing Type

The housing of a recessed light is the portion of the fixture installed above the ceiling. This is what contains all of the electrical parts, the mounting frame, and the bulb socket. There are many different types of recessed lighting housing, each with its own unique capabilities and price ranges. Homeowners should be aware of the differences in recessed lighting housing to ensure they’re choosing the best type for their installation project. Here are some of the most common types homeowners can consider for their own recessed lighting install.

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IC-Rated

It can be dangerous to install a recessed light in a space where it will touch insulation. This is where IC-rated housing can be beneficial.

There are two ratings for can lights: IC-rated and non-IC rated. Simply defined, an IC-rated housing makes it safe to install a light where insulation is present. Otherwise, the insulation could melt, warp, or even emit dangerous volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Using an IC-rated can where necessary can reduce both fire risks and health risks. The cost for an IC-rated can is between $10 and $110.

Non-IC-Rated

Non-IC-rated can lights can be used in areas without insulation, but they can also work in spaces with a clearance of 3 inches away from insulation. It’s important that a homeowner is absolutely certain of the proper clearance when using a non-IC-rated can light; otherwise, there is the risk of potential fire damage and health issues. This housing type has a cost range of $10 to $150, depending on size and features.

Airtight

Homeowners can expect to pay between $10 and $130 for an airtight recessed light. The cost varies depending on size and other features. An airtight housing creates a tight seal around a light can and stops air from flowing in between different levels of a home.

This can help with energy efficiency, but it could also be a hindrance; therefore, it’s important that homeowners understand when an airtight housing is beneficial. A recessed light dropped down from an unfinished attic is an example. It’s not ideal to have airflow between a heated room and the unfinished space above. But when a home is partially heated with a wood stove, a homeowner would likely want to avoid an airtight housing to keep the warm air circulating throughout the entire home.

Shallow

Shallow housing costs between $10 and $150 per can and is ideal for older homes that tend to have tighter spaces. Standard recessed lighting cans rest on average 5 to 6 inches within a ceiling. By comparison, older homes can have ceilings as shallow as 2 inches. For the homeowner of an older home who wants recessed lighting, shallow housing is the solution. This type of can is just the right size to fit into a shallow ceiling.

If a homeowner has been told in the past that their home can’t accommodate recessed lighting, they will want to mention shallow housing to their contractor to see if it’s an option.

Canless

One benefit of recessed lighting is that it doesn’t block visual lines in a room like floor lamps or chandeliers might. For the homeowner who wants to be sure their recessed lighting is as inconspicuous as possible, a canless housing may be the answer.

This type of housing is installed directly into the ceiling and connected to an existing wiring system. These lights sit completely flush with a ceiling and are more energy efficient than traditional light bulbs. A canless housing costs between $15 and $130 per fixture.

Remodel

Just as the name suggests, remodel housings are designed for recessed lighting installations in existing homes. Not all homes are built with recessed lighting in mind, so adding this lighting style to an existing build can take a bit more work and finesse. Remodel housing can make it easier. This housing type costs between $15 and $160 per unit.

There are many different types of remodel cans, each with different features, advantages, and limitations. That’s why a homeowner will want to choose a contractor with a strong understanding of installing recessed lighting in existing homes. They can explain each type and make a recommendation based on the home’s current layout and homeowner’s budget.

Vaulted Ceiling

When a ceiling isn’t flat, it’s considered vaulted. Having a vaulted ceiling doesn’t mean recessed lighting can’t be utilized, though. It just takes a different type of housing that can be installed at an angle, otherwise known as vaulted ceiling housing.

Vaulted recessed lighting cans cost between $20 and $75 each, making them an affordable option. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that depending on how high the ceiling is and whether there is access above, a contractor may charge more in labor for this type of installation. It can take extra time and caution to install a vaulted ceiling can from below or if there is little clearance above the ceiling.

Wet-Rated

Wet-rated lights can be used in any room in a home, but they’re ideal for wet or damp areas. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, above showers, outdoor saunas, gazebos, patios, or any outdoor space that needs light. In some cases, wet-rated recessed lights are required for safety reasons. A recessed light with wet-rated housing costs between $20 and $100 per fixture.

This type of housing takes up less space than more traditional lighting options in these spaces. It’s also more modern. Since this type of housing is available in LED, fluorescent, dimmable, and halogen options, homeowners aren’t limited in their design choices. If excess moisture is a concern when installing recessed lighting, wet-rated housing is recommended.

New Construction

When recessed lighting is part of an initial build, new-construction housing is used. These housings are installed right into the ceiling as the house is built. This type of install offers the most flexibility to a homeowner. New-construction housings cost between $20 and $100 per can, depending on size and features.

Install Recessed Lighting Cost

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Benefits of Recessed Lighting Installation

Lighting is one of the most overlooked aspects in home decorating, but it can have an enormous effect on how a house looks, feels and functions. Good lighting can make a house feel more welcoming and comfortable, while bad lighting can make it feel dark, depressing, or even unsafe. There are several beneficial reasons for installing recessed lighting that go beyond what a homeowner may think a single switch can do.

Clear and Focused Light

Recessed lighting is a great way to highlight certain focal points in a room. When correctly installed, recessed lighting can draw the eye to artwork, architectural elements, or display cabinets. This can bring a room’s design to life. For example, walking into a study with highlighted artwork sets a sophisticated yet inviting tone, while recessed lighting directing the eye to a display cabinet of family photos and heirlooms can make a living space feel more inviting and soulful.

Increased Visual Appeal

Rooms that look good feel good. So when a room’s visual space is blocked by bulky chandeliers or cut off by oversize floor lamps, it can affect the mood of the room. Recessed lighting improves the visual appeal of a room by not blocking visual lines. This instantly makes a room feel more open and spacious.

With the right lighting temperature, a room can also be more visually appealing. Too-bright lighting can be glaring and off-putting, while a room that is too dark can be unsettling. Recessed lighting, especially when paired with a dimmer switch, can be modified to perfectly match a room’s lighting needs at different times of the day.

Added Space

Where a centrally installed light fixture may only be able to light up two-thirds or half of a room, properly spaced recessed lighting can light up the entire room. By removing dark corners and unnecessary shadows around furniture and fixtures, recessed lighting makes a dark room feel much bigger once it’s properly filled with light.

Recessed lighting helps open up space not just visually, but physically. Where hanging lights and floor lamps take up walking and head space, recessed lighting stays out of the way while still illuminating the space.

Increased Home Value

When all three previous benefits are combined, it’s easy to see how recessed lighting can increase a home’s value. Between helping potential buyers see the purpose of each room and making rooms feel more inviting and spacious, recessed lighting can easily make a once dark and dull home feel more inviting and modern, which can result in higher offers when the house is listed for sale.

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Recessed Lighting Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

A recessed lighting installation always involves electricity. Anytime someone is working with electricity, there’s a risk for injury. That’s why it’s always recommended that a homeowner reach out to a professional when it comes to any lighting project, including recessed lighting. Unless a homeowner is a certified electrician and knows how to install recessed lighting, this is a project one should never attempt to undertake on their own. But if safety alone isn’t enough to convince a homeowner to seek out a pro, here are a few other reasons.

Working with a professional can ensure a job stays on budget. An experienced electrician can provide a detailed quote before a recessed lighting installation. When trying to do the job on their own, a homeowner might run into unexpected expenses that derail their budget. A professional is more likely to spot potential issues before they turn into a money pit. Lighting contractors also have access to all the right tools to get the job done. The cost of buying or renting tools is enough on its own to throw off a homeowner’s DIY budget.

Professionals are also faster at installations than a novice homeowner. Most professionals can complete an entire installation in a few hours, depending on the scope of the project. Taking a DIY approach is often slower, which can leave a homeowner quite literally sitting in the dark until the job is done.

Finally, a professional has experience that can only be earned through years of on-the-job training. A lighting contractor knows how to plan a recessed lighting layout, whether the circuit breaker needs to be upgraded to accommodate the needed additional power, and can suggest materials that offer both value and style.

When deciding whether to DIY a recessed lighting install or hire a pro, it all comes down to safety. For a homeowner without electrician experience, it’s simply better for a licensed and experienced professional to take on the job.

Install Recessed Lighting Cost

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How to Save Money on the Cost to Install Recessed Lighting

The average cost to install recessed lighting is $330 per fixture. Despite this being an affordable home improvement job, there are still ways homeowners can save on a recessed lighting install. Here are some tips to consider.

  • Place recessed lighting in easily accessible areas. Access from an overhead attic is best; otherwise, holes may need to be cut into the ceiling for access, which can add to the cost.
  • Properly space the lighting to avoid expensive repairs or having to move lights around. Experts recommend placing lights at least 2 feet away from each other and the walls.
  • Double-check the number of lights needed before making a purchase. Buying too many can overextend the budget, while buying too few can extend the length of the project and potentially hike up labor costs.
  • The same concept applies to dimmers. Avoid under- or overestimating the number of dimmers required to prevent extending a project or overspending on materials.
  • Check for insulation contact. It’s not always possible to tell if a light is making contact with insulation if ample ceiling access isn’t available. Failure to install a special housing fixture to prevent fires can lead to dangerous hazards.
  • Look for materials on sale at big-box stores or online marketplaces. Picking up fully functional light fixtures at a bargain can drastically reduce the cost of an install.
  • Speak to multiple contractors and ask for several quotes before choosing a lighting professional. This is the best way to turn a recessed lighting install into an investment rather than just an expense.

Questions to Ask About Recessed Lighting Installation

Electrical issues can lead to serious problems, such as electric shocks, broken outlets, flickering lights, and even electrical fires. That’s why finding an experienced yet affordable lighting contractor to install recessed lighting (rather than taking a DIY approach) is so important.

Homeowners should consider asking the following questions either before, during, or after a recessed lighting installation to make sure they’re confident in their contractor choice and understand how to get the most out of their installation.

  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • Do you have any references?
  • Do you subcontract your jobs?
  • Will you be completing the work yourself, or will it be an employee?
  • How are your employees trained?
  • Do you offer free quotes?
  • What’s included in an estimate?
  • Is recessed lighting outdated, or is it still a popular install you do?
  • Do I need cans for LED recessed lights?
  • Can you break down the steps of the installation process?
  • What size recessed lighting should I use?
  • What is the difference between can lights and recessed lights?
  • Do I need fire-rated recessed lights?
  • Does recessed lighting need special bulbs?
  • What lumen output do you recommend for my space?
  • What temperature lighting do you recommend for my space?
  • What trim options do I have for my canned lighting?
  • How do I operate my recessed lighting?
  • Do you offer a warranty? If so, what does it cover?
  • How often should the light bulbs need to be replaced?
  • Are there any special maintenance steps I should be aware of?

FAQs

Lighting sets the tone of a home. If the current lighting in the home is lackluster, recessed lighting could be the spark the home needs to really shine. Starting a recessed lighting project can be intimidating but with the cost to install recessed lighting being affordable, it’s certainly worth considering.

For the homeowner still on the fence about recessed lighting, here are some common questions and answers to help make a final decision.

Q.Is recessed lighting going out of style?

Recessed lighting is timeless and will never go out of style. But that’s not to say that the finishes and sizes that look stylish today won’t look outdated tomorrow.

When trying to decide if recessed lighting is appropriate for a room’s style, remember the benefits of this type of lighting. It saves on space, provides an even distribution of light, and the finishes can be changed anytime. By updating finishes over the years to match modern design,, an investment in recessed lighting can continue to provide a return.

Q.What is the difference between can lights and recessed lights?

There is no difference between can lights and recessed lights. They refer to the same light housings installed in a ceiling, and the two terms can be used interchangeably.

Q.Can you add recessed lighting to an existing ceiling?

It’s easiest to add recessed lighting during new construction or a full remodel, but it’s not a requirement. Though there may be additional materials or labor costs, recessed lighting can be added to an existing ceiling, whether it’s a week after construction or a decade.

Homeowners should note that by cutting into a ceiling to add recessed lighting, additional projects may pop up. There should always be room in a remodel budget to handle surprises, including when installing recessed lighting into an existing ceiling.

Q.How far should recessed lights be from the wall?

The space between a recessed light and the wall of a room is important to get light balance in the space. If a recessed light is being installed to light up an entire wall, accent a particular architectural feature, or illuminate a piece of art, the light fixture should be installed between 1.5 and 3 feet from the wall.

The exception to this is if the recessed lighting is fixed. Fixed can lights should be placed a bit closer to the wall. At the same time, adjustable fixtures can be placed a bit farther from the wall. What’s more important is that all individual lights in a space are evenly spaced from each other.

Q.Does recessed lighting make a room look bigger?

Yes, recessed lighting can make a room look bigger, and it does this in two ways. First, by taking up less visual space in a room, recessed lighting can make a room feel like it’s larger than it actually is. Without floor lamps, chandeliers, or wall-mounted sconces, there is less to interrupt the visual space of a room.

Second, recessed lighting makes a room feel larger thanks to an effect called “wall washing.” As more light is cast around a room via a white-wash trim, a room can feel bigger and brighter when someone turns the lights on.

Q.How long does recessed lighting last?

LED can lights last longer than ordinary bulbs. But just how long? In general, most LED lights last 50,000 hours or more. Even if a homeowner were to leave their lights on 24 hours a day, their recessed lighting bulbs wouldn’t need to be replaced for well over 5 years.

But since most people don’t leave their lights on all day, here’s another example to consider. When LED recessed lights are used for an average of 6 hours per day, the bulbs can last up to 22 years!

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Fixr, HomeGuide

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