Recessed lighting has become more and more popular over the years.  Advancements in LED technology has helped to make this type of lighting the go-to choice in lighting design.  Installing recessed lighting is a functional way to really transform your space and add a lot of aesthetic value to a room.  Here are some things you may want to consider if you think recessed lighting might be a good addition to your home.

Use Dimmers

LED recessed lights can be extremely bright.  Chances are if you were previously relying on floor lamps or a single ceiling fixture before converting to recessed lighting, the room will be SIGNIFICANTLY brighter than what you’re used to.  We highly recommend the installation of a dimmer switch with any new recessed lighting installation.  We can help you pick out a dimmer that matches the look of your existing switches. Newer LED rated dimmers will even allow us to set parameters on dimming range to ensure that we customize the lighting level to your liking. If you really want to get into lighting design and control we can even talk to you about smart switches if you’re thinking about investing in new lighting technology.  

Understand Color Temperature

All lighting is categorized by color temperature on the Kelvin scale typically from 2700K to 5000K.  Understanding the K rating on a fixture will make or break your lighting design.  The lower the number the warmer the light, the higher the number the cooler the light.  For example, a 2700K fixture would have a lot of yellow in it, similar to what an older traditional incandescent lamp would put out.  A fixture rated for 5000K would be very white and have a cool color quality similar to what you might see in a commercial parking lot.  3000K has become a good middle ground and industry standard but ask us to see samples if you’re unsure.  Different color temperatures can have different functions throughout your home.  You may want 3000K in your kitchen, 2700K in your bedroom, and 4000K in your garage or laundry room.  Luckily, a lot of recessed fixtures are now color temperature adjustable which has become a massive convenience for both the homeowner and the electrician.

Mix Your Light Sources

As functional as recessed lighting is, you may not need it for every room in the house.  For example, you may want to skip the recessed lights in your dining room and consider having a center chandelier that can add some character to the room.  If the dining room is big enough, we’ve had a lot of success with installing a chandelier over the center of the table and then adding some small recessed lights around the perimeter of the room.  When controlled on separate dimmers it can be a great way to layer light and create a really unique ambiance for that space.  Another consideration is mixing recessed lighting with ceiling fans.  It is common to have a ceiling fan in the bedroom which oftentimes comes with a light kit pre-installed.  However, the lighting on ceiling fans tends to be ineffective.  It’s always great to add some smaller 4” recessed lights around the fan to fill in the voids and eliminate shadows.  Just keep in mind it is crucial to spread the recessed lights apart as far as realistically possible.  If they end up too close to the fan you’ll get a “strobing” or “clipping” effect that will drive you crazy.

Accent Lighting

Recessed lighting is a very effective way to accent certain areas.  For example, you may want to install some 6” recessed lights throughout your kitchen for some general downlighting.  You can also install a separate 4” recessed light directly above the sink for some added functionality.  If you have glass front upper cabinets, consider some 3” recessed lights within the cabinets for a really cool lighting effect.  You can even add small recessed lights in virtually anywhere throughout the house to highlight architectural features like columns or coffered ceilings.  You can even use them to “wall wash” a favorite piece of artwork.

Other Considerations

Ideally your lighting plan mixes light sources as much as possible to factor recessed lighting in with flush mount fixtures, pendant lights, chandeliers, and wall sconces.  However, you may want to lean more heavily on recessed lighting if you are trying to maintain the open concept look throughout your home.  The number of recessed lights within a room is something to keep in mind as well.  Although 4” recessed lights tend to have a modern and low profile look, it may be more effective to light larger rooms with fewer 6” lights that will broadcast a larger field of light.  Keep in mind that if you are interested in having recessed lighting installed on the first floor of your home, be ready to give your painter a call.  Adding recessed lighting on the second floor of a home is typically unobtrusive since we have the benefit of an attic above to run the wiring.  With a kitchen or living room on the first floor with living space above, we will oftentimes need to cut or remove some drywall in or to get the lights installed.  This can turn into a bigger project so keep that in mind when scheduling the work.


Overall recessed lighting is an excellent addition to your home regardless.  It offers a ton of flexibility from a primary light source to an effective way to just add additional or accent lighting to dark or uneven areas of the home.  Contact your Fairfield County lighting experts at Brunson Electric to schedule a free lighting consultation where we can help you layout and plan your lighting.

p.s. Homeowner Tip

Consider having a recessed light installed within your shower that is wired to your exhaust fan.  That way anyone using the shower will unconsciously turn the fan on as well.  We see tons of jobs where beautiful bathroom remodels were built only for the moisture damage to destroy some of the great progress within years due to a lack of ventilation.  Protect your investment and help us make it easier for you to diligently run that exhaust fan to clear the room preventing moisture build up.

**IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19** During this trying time we remain committed to serving our community. We are taking all precautions to ensure we stay safe and healthy while we continue to meet our client's needs. Please let us know what we can do to make your home as efficient and comfortable as possible while you transition into working from home and assisting in homeschooling duties.