Indoor lighting has changed a lot over the decades, but recessed lighting has stood the test of time as an inexpensive lighting option that provides versatility in design. Using the recessed lighting in your home to its best advantage means coming up with a lighting layout design that will provide the most light possible in the areas where it is most needed.
Spacing Lights for the Best Effect
Understanding how recessed lighting spreads its light is integral to coming up with a design. Figure out how far the lights really spread the light. It may be 5 feet and it may be 8 or 9 feet. However large the diameter of effective light is, that will determine the spacing the lighting needs in order to be most effective.
Another thing to keep in mind anytime you are planning a lighting layout design is to think about what the area will be used for. If a lot of reading will need to be done in the room, the recessed lights should be closer together.
For bathrooms and kitchens, most people want a bright light that will allow them to see as well as possible. Home offices also need bright lighting.
For a living room or dining room, there may not be as much need for bright overhead lighting. Living rooms, like bedrooms, may not rely on the recessed lighting to provide most of the light. If there are table lamps or floor lamps that are frequently in use in any given room, that room probably doesn’t need as many recessed lights as a room that depends exclusively on the overhead lighting.
For rooms that don’t require bright reading or working light, spacing the recessed lights about 8 or 9 feet apart is enough to provide adequate lighting. For rooms where overhead lighting is extremely important to the function of the room, the lights may be spaced 5 or 6 feet apart. This recessed lighting layout design is not set in stone, but it is a good guideline for most recessed lighting.
Working with the Architecture
The walls of any room that is being outfitted with new recessed lighting are important considerations in the placement of the lights. One factor is the height of the walls. If the ceiling is very high, 10 feet or more, the lighting may need to be spaced closer to each other to provide better light far away from the ceiling.
If the ceiling is high and the room will need a lot of light regularly, then placing the recessed lights 4 or 5 feet apart will help the lights compensate for the distance.
The walls should also be taken into account when the recessed lighting is being laid out. The walls should not have the lights installed too far away from them. Start your lighting pattern at the walls and then work away from them to figure the exact spacing you will need.
The walls do not have to have brighter light than the rest of the room, but they do need to be worked into the plan so that the areas around the walls are not dark. Along the walls are prime areas for couches and chairs to be placed, putting the occupants of the room near the wall and in need of light.