Bob Vila Radio: Quick Tips Before You Install Recessed Lighting

Placement is key when you're installing recessed lighting. Follow these tips to ensure the best results from this lighting design.

Whether you need task lighting above a desk or countertop or accent lighting to brighten a dark corner, recessed lighting can deliver. But it’s not quite as simple as choosing a wattage and type of bulb—unlike floor or table lamps, you only have one shot to get the installation right.

Recessed Lighting Tips




So, first, consider the places you want to be well-lit. If you need task lighting, position it above the workstation, not above where you’ll be sitting or standing, which would have you working under your own shadow. Also, situate recessed lights at least 2 feet away from the walls.

Then, use this rule of thumb: Space recessed lights as many feet apart as a bulb’s diameter is in inches. So a bulb with a 4-inch diameter should be 4 feet away from the next light. These 4-inch bulbs work well for the average ceiling height, and 5- or 6-inch bulbs are best suited for higher ceilings.

Whether you’re installing recessed lighting in new construction or retrofitting a ceiling with them, this installation process is bound to pose some challenges best left to a professional. Consult an electrician to determine the best course of action for your home.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!