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What You Should Know About Recessed Lighting Before Installing New Lights

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If you're looking at options to install new lighting in your house, you might be thinking about the possibility of recessed lighting. If you're not familiar with recessed lighting, you might wonder if it's even worth installing. After all, you'll need to work with an electrician to help you install them, so is it really worth it? Here's a look at the benefits of recessed lighting as well as the bulb choices you would have available.

What Are the Benefits of Recessed Lighting?

You might think that there aren't enough differences in the types of lights available to really affect your home's lighting enough to change it. The truth is, there are many benefits to opting for recessed lighting over other lights.

  1. You Can Install Them Anywhere – Recessed lights need little more than a flat surface and electrical wiring. That means you can install them on vaulted ceilings, sloped ceilings, stairways and walls.  
  2. They Are Versatile Lighting Options – Recessed lighting provides you with general ambient light in a room, but you can also install it as targeted lighting over work spaces or to spotlight a specific architectural feature. The versatility makes recessed lighting a great choice for almost any application.  
  3. You Can Customize Your Lights – The trim around a recessed light is the only visible part of the light case. You can customize that trim to match the decor of any room or area. If you have a space that benefits from extra light and reflection, you can opt for a mirrored surface. In rustic wood cabin structures, a wood veneer trim will help the lights blend in.  
  4. They Accommodate a Variety of Bulbs – Choosing recessed lights won't leave you stuck with one single bulb option. Recessed lights can accommodate many types of bulbs, so your electrician can help you choose the best ones for your needs.

What Bulbs Can You Use in Recessed Lighting?

  • LED Lights – LED stands for light emitting diodes, and these are highly efficient lights. They don't release an intense light, casting a blue, cool light in the room instead. If you've always liked the warm glow of incandescent bulbs, your electrician may be able to help you find a warmer LED, but they may be more expensive.  
  • Compact Fluorescent Lights – Compact fluorescent lights are often referred to as CFL bulbs and they are the most common options for replacing incandescent bulbs, which are no longer available in the United States. Compact fluorescent lights often generate heat, though, so you'll want to be sure that you use them in areas where they aren't going to be covered. Just make sure that you only install CFLs in fixtures that are rated for them, because they could damage other fixtures. Your electrician will tell you which fixtures are CFL-rated. Also, remember that CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, so you'll need to handle them carefully.  
  • Halogen Lights – Halogen light bulbs produce bright white light, and they are a long-lasting bulb. The low wattage makes them cost-effective despite the fact that they often cost a bit more than the other bulb options. If you're installing halogen light bulbs, though, make sure your recessed lighting will be covered. Otherwise, the lights may be a bit too bright. The light produced is often a bit on the cool side, so you may want to counter that with some warm colors in your room decor if you use these lights.

Your electrician can help you assess the rooms in your home where you're thinking of installing recessed lighting. He or she can tell you if your current wiring and construction will be suitable or if you need to plan on other work as well. If you aren't sure about which bulbs are best, an electrician from a company like RDS Electric can often help you select those, too.