Oh, the recessed light argument is the source of many heated internal arguments I’ve had in every single room I’ve ever designed. , there is an inherent level of snobbery in talking about these basic fixtures. But often without them, especially in certain rooms at certain times of the year, the frustration is that you can’t see anything. After going through PNW’s first dark winter, having breakfast on the beach and starting dinner after sundown, I feel like I have some perspectives to share. This is where I actually used the recessed lights (I didn’t use them at all this year and I regret having them).
But first… the purpose of recessed lights:
Not all types of lighting have the same purpose. It doesn’t just “lighten up” or “look better” all the time. no. The purpose of a recessed light, or why you put it in a room, is one (or both) of the following:
- To light a room enough to perform a specific task, such as cooking, cleaning, crafting, applying makeup, or dressing.
- To keep lighting fixtures to a minimum – perhaps in a more modern home where you want to focus on other architecturally interesting things rather than ceiling fixtures (this time).
Before we delve deeper, you should know that when we talk about recessed lighting, we are referring to more sophisticated/modern lighting. 3″ or 4″ round with square casing White or black (for wood or dark ceilings). That’s what we have all over the ground floor and I think it’s lovely to look at in every way.
So let’s go room by room for my current opinion based solely on my own personal experience over 43 years. Everyone is different, but this is my perspective.
Agree or disagree? Personal preference! (But I am now yes)
Designers hate this, but I use my kitchen recess lights a lot for both cooking and cleaning. Probably because I cook a lot. Or maybe I’m just used to it, but his four recent kitchens had track or recessed lighting in addition to clean fixtures. Using track lights both when installing tracks to expose wood ceilings that can be hidden along vintage beams and when using recessed lights in more typical drywall ceilings Did.
Last winter on the farm, I was still using sconces and pendants as a morning light in my kitchen. But if I’m following a dinner recipe from a cookbook, I want to look really good. Candlesticks and pendants provide a lot of nice light, but it’s not task lighting, it’s not direct (it’s more ambient), it’s not enough. Also, the kitchen needs to be cleaned every night after dinner, but the bathroom can be cleaned during the day on weekends, so it needs better lighting to clean at night. Only in favor of recessed lighting in the kitchen.
Agree or disagree? Depends! (I didn’t this time).
Now this is considered a very utilitarian room, and people usually recommend a lot of overhead task lighting (so do I). We have high ceilings here, so I installed these 4 pendants, and that’s enough. Never wanted more lighting. So we skipped them, but if you don’t have many overhead light options (such as pendants or multiple semi-flash lights), choose recessed. I don’t like the look (which is a trend these days), but I do like spotlights and I love multiple pendants as much as we do.
Agree or disagree?Skip unless it’s also a children’s playroom
This is the 4th living room described here on the blog and I never installed or wanted recessed lighting. So if you can fit enough fixtures and sconces (and table/floor lamps) overhead, I don’t think it’s generally necessary. The farm living room has an exposed ceiling, so we couldn’t really place recessed lighting here. The purpose of this room is usually to hang/converse. It’s always better to turn off recessed lights and turn on ambient lights. However, if your main living room is also where you gather around the coffee table to play games or do crafts, you probably want them. . The lamp light was useless in winter (and the room didn’t have a lot of natural afternoon light).
Agree or disagree? Depends! (We mixed it up and my opinion is based on several factors)
First, this varies greatly depending on the age of the house. For vintage houses, avoid recessed lighting and ensure plenty of overhead semi-flashes, flashes, and/or sconce.
My current opinion is that if you have tall or recessed lights and not both, you need either a multi-bulb semi-flush or a chandelier. will throw them in.
We had them in our Mountain House (1970s) bedroom (not the master), but as long as they’re dimmable they won’t be noticed when not in use. I wanted to keep it clean and minimal, and I liked the look of it without lighting fixtures.
The ceiling in our farmhouse bedroom was very asymmetrical, so we didn’t install overhead lights (we are tall, so you might want to hold up a large Japanese lantern for decorative reasons. ). Other types of luminaires have to come from a very awkward spot in the middle of the beam to be centered which I don’t like, so we fixed that and replaced it with a recessed We’ve arranged the lights. It can be either a luminaire with multiple bulbs or a recessed light. But if you don’t need to change or look in the mirror in your bedroom, or if you have a separate dressing closet, you don’t need a lot of bright lighting in your bedroom. We rarely turn on bedroom overhead lights, so I could have turned them off (but I don’t regret overusing them).
I didn’t put them in my LA home’s bedroom and children’s room (100 year old vintage style house). Light during the winter. I’m currently replacing my children’s semi-flash light because one 40 watt bulb isn’t enough (you can upgrade the wattage, but the fixture is clear glass, so white LEDs light bulbs don’t look good). Instead, I’m throwing in a cool-looking multi-light semi-flash. But vintage windows and doors look great without modern recessed lights, so I’m glad I didn’t go recessed.
I couldn’t put it in, but I wanted to put it in…
We didn’t want overhead lights in the master bedroom of Mountain House because we didn’t want to obscure the gorgeous wood ceiling. To deal with overhead lighting, we tried to mount LED strip lights on top of the collar knot (horizontal beam), but unfortunately this flickers in a very nasty way (some LED + dimmers still often don’t work well).Well, for the most part, I was fine with no overhead lights in my bedroom to exclude When I wanted to try on an outfit on a winter night (which was rare because I wasn’t out in the house). I actually have a black track light originally intended for a closet in my garage, but it’s not installed (what I should/shouldn’t do). The thing is to put 4-6 small black recessed lights in the bedroom (I really like the look of black recessed lights).
Agree or disagree? personal preference (skip if possible, but a lot depends on the candlestick)
We never put them in our kids’ bathrooms and never missed a moment. But we have them in the bathrooms of all our mountain homes and have used them a lot! It cast a certain (downward) light and deliberately skipped all the ceiling fixtures so you wouldn’t have to look into it. On the other hand, the farmhouse, a more vintage-style house, opted for very good lighting (clear or opal glass) sconces with similar ceiling fixtures, so no recessed lighting was needed (except for the shower). .
I wish they hadn’t installed recessed lights in the bathroom vanity area. Beautiful tiles will be ruined. Had I known that sconces provided a bright light to apply makeup, I would never have put these overhead appliances in. My bad.
Agree or disagree?personal preference
This is a personal preference as you definitely don’t need recessed lighting in your powder room or bathroom. However, we put one in the bathroom flush toilet, which I rarely use, instead opting for a dimmable sconce over the toilet. It’s not harmful or aggressive (but skip it if you have a vintage-style home).
Agree or disagree?yes
Listen, even if you don’t turn on the recessed light in the shower, you need a light for cleaning. Otherwise it becomes really difficult to see in corners.
Agree or disagree?everytime
Sure, you can put weights on the sconces here or put semi/flashes in them, but you really need a decent recessed overhead light (and I prefer this over a single fixture ). I often put my clothes away at night, so it’s more than just preparation.
Agree or disagree?everytime
You have to tell the difference between peas and green lentils, quinoa and brown rice. We had a very cute light fixture in our pantry, but we certainly knew that we would be using black recessed lights more often. but I think the embedded formula works better here.
As with all things, there are some things that are recommended and tend to be called “rules”, but a lot of them are a matter of personal preference, so I’d like to invite you all to leave your anecdotal experiences in the comments. I think.
Opening image credit: Photo by Sarah Ligoria-Trump | | From: Mountain House Introducing: Our Serene Scandinavian Master Bedroom