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How to choose led ceiling lighting for kitchen?
2020-07-17

Whatever you call recessed lights, theyre some of the most versatile lighting options out therewhether youre using them for downlighting, wall lighting or uplighting (yes, you can even recess lights into the ground).

 

Theyre great for providing ambient light in a variety of residential and commercial spaces, as well as accent lighting to highlight furniture, artwork or the wall itself. With so many different applications and looks, its tough to know where to begin

 

This guide will give you the rundown on what you need to know about getting the right recessed lights for your needs and incorporating them into your space.

 

Sowhat are ceiling lights?

Also known as can lights, pot lights or high hats, depending on what part of the world you are from, recessed lighting is a type of lighting fixture that is just that: Recessed.

 

Generally, ceiling lighting is composed of two pieces: The trim and the housing. The trim is the part that you can see from the room below, and comes in a range of finishes, sizes and shapes. The housing is the portion of the light that you do not seeit sits above your ceiling line. If youre working with incandescent lighting, theres also a third piecethe light bulb.

 

These components are designed to work together, so it is important to choose a trim and housing that are compatible.

 

Types of ceiling Lighting

They usually go in ceilings, but you can stick them in walls and in the ground too.

 

Ceilings: The most common use of ceiling lighting, and what well focus on here, is recessed downlighting from the ceiling.

Walls: When recessing a light into a wall, youll want to use an angled flange to direct your light down to illuminate a pathway or onto steps.

In Ground: Usually used in outdoor applications to iluminate a pathway or uplight landscaping.

Selecting the Trim

Choosing the right ceiling lighting trim comes down to your aesthetic taste and desired effect.

Choose a flangeless trim to fit seamlessly with the surface, or a flanged trim for a more prominent look.

A square aperture for a more modern look, or a circular one for a more classic aesthetic

A bevel trim for depth, or a flat trim for a minimalist finish.

In addition to aesthetic differences, there are a variety of functional differences between trims that customers should look out for in their search.

Wet location trims are appropriate for areas where water could come in contact with the trim, such as a shower or sauna. Damp location trims are suitable anywhere else.

Adjustable trims are suitable for sloped ceilings or walls that will be washed; otherwise, fixed trims are the way to go.

Of the adjustable trims, directional trims give the most flexibility in directing light while gimbal trims still offer plenty of flexibility, but not quite as much.

Open reflector trims emit the highest amount of uncontrolled light possible, while baffle and specular trims reduce glare.

 

Why do I need ceiling lighting?

Plain and simple: For lighting! ceiling lights are a practical and elegant way to illuminate spaces that might not have been designed or built with enough lighting.

 

Recessed lighting can:

 

Provide an ambient layer of lighting over a whole room;

Spotlight or highlight architectural details or features;

Wash a wall with light to create a dramatic effect.

 

ceiling LIGHTING: WORDS TO KNOW

APERTURE: An opening or hole, specifically referring to the cutout on a recessed lighting trim where light is visible.

 

HOUSING: The protective safety covering around a recessed downlight.

 

IC RATED: IC stands for "Insulated Contact." An IC rating is required for light fixtures that will be installed in direct contact with a building's insulation material in the wall or ceiling.

 

TRIM: A decorative molding around the opening of a recessed light.

 

BAFFLE TRIM: A style of trim with large grooves that absorbs excess light and reduces glare. Baffles are typically available in black (which reduces the most glare) and white (which reduces the appearance of holes in the ceiling).

 

GIMBAL TRIM: A style of trim that allows control of the direction of light with a pivot inside the housing.

 

REFLECTOR TRIM: A style of trim that uses a smooth, polished interior to maximize the amount of light.

 

Can I use ceiling lighting?

While the ceiling lighting systems of yesterday were sometimes thought to be clunky and complicated, today's options meet almost every need. New systems are not only performing to higher standards, they're easier than ever to plan and install.

 

Youll need someone who is familiar with residential lighting, like a contractor or electrician. He or she can help you with a lighting plan, ensure your lights are meeting any local codes and, of course, install the fixtures for you.

 

What size ceiling lights should I use?

There are a range of sizes on the market, and the size of your trim really depends on your application.

 

When we look at trim sizes, we are generally looking at the aperture measurement. The aperture is the opening through which the light shines. Keep in mind that this dimension is not the overall dimension of the trim.

 

Historically, the standardsize used in many residential applications was a 6-inch aperture. Because of the popularity and widespread usage by contractors and builders, this size can look a tad dated. Newer trends indicate that a 3- to 4-inch aperture is the new standard.

 

Current design trends are leaning toward smaller and smaller apertures. While they do tend to look cleaner on a ceiling, smaller doesnt necessarily mean better. Youll want to keep the size-to-function ratio in mindsmaller sizes (2- and even 1-inch trims) can be a great addition for detailing or highlighting a space, but would not be the best choice for lighting a whole room.

 

ceiling lighting is, at its heart, an architectural lighting solution. This means that it is highly dependent on the space it is going into. The same lights that work brilliantly on an 8-foot ceiling will seem dim on a 15-foot ceiling. Working with your contractor, architect, designer or a Lumens lighting specialist will help ensure that you'll get the right product for your space.

 

What type of ceiling housing do I need?

There are two main types of housings: Remodel and new construction. What you need is dependent on how they are being installed.

 

As the names indicate, new construction housings are meant for spaces where the ceiling line, i.e. sheetrock/drywall, has not been installed or has been removed. These housings are designed to be installed between the ceiling joists.

 

Remodel housings are for installations with an existing ceiling. They enter the ceiling through the hole cut in the drywall or sheetrock and are held in place using clips.

 

Another rating to keep in mind is the IC Rating. IC stands for Insulation Contact. IC Rated housings can be installed with the insulation running up to or over the housing. This is especially important for spaces where the housing is going into an attic. Non-IC Rated housings will need a buffer or clear zone around the housing to operate safely.

 

What type of ceiling trim do I want?

The trim you choose should be determined by the application and your design aesthetic. Round trims have predominated for some time, but square designs are becoming more popular. Some options even include a decorative flange or lens that can be glass, metal or even crystal.

 

Trims are also defined by function:

 

If youre trying to light a specific object or feature in a room, go for an adjustable or gimbal trim. These are designed to provide control in aiming the light.

If you need a ceiling light for a shower or outdoor space, make sure you look for a wet-rated or shower trim. These are designed to keep the fixture safe and functional in a wet space.

If youre using ceiling fixtures for general lighting, even with downlight, you can keep in mind the color and shape of the baffle, which helps diffuse light better than an open trim.

There are a lot of options for recessed lighting. While that can be overwhelming, it also means there is a trim out there to meet the needs and scope of your project.

 

Should my ceiling lighting be LED?

There isnt a clear yes-or-no answer herebut in our expert opinion, not considering LED when shopping for recessed lighting would be an unwise move.

 

But, it depends on your project. Its important to note that some states and municipalities require LED or high-efficiency lighting for projects that require a permitso always check your local code before ordering.

 

In cases where it is not required, its simply a matter of choice. Generally, LEDs will have a higher initial price point due to the technology involved. But keep in mind that, while they are more expensive to purchase, they also require much less energy to run and far less maintenance since they have incredibly long lifespans.

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