Recessed lights, also known as downlights or can lights, are a wonderful way to illuminate your place. They provide a clean look and help keep the ceiling uncluttered and unbroken. Moreover, installing downlights is a great way to add light to rooms without adding bulk to the ceiling.
Though downlights are ideal for contemporary spaces, you can use them with any interior design. If you’re interested in adding some downlights to your home, keep reading to learn about how to install them.
1. Assess The Area
One of the first things you should do before installing downlights is to assess the area where you plan on putting them. You need to consider the size of the room, how much furniture you have and what type, the height of your ceilings, and the color of the walls. You may want to measure the room before buying your lights to ensure that nothing looks out of place. An important thing to consider is whether you want dimmable lights. To have some dimmable lights, make sure that you get lights compatible with dimmer switches. If there’s a lot of furniture in your room, it might be better to use brighter bulbs to illuminate all areas instead of using dimmer bulbs and focusing light on just one spot. Don’t focus all of your downlights on one part of the room. Downlights on one section will look odd, and you might feel uncomfortable with this kind of setup. For spaces with low ceilings, install downlights closer together, which will provide more light without making the ceiling look too low. However, if you’re unsure of how to handle the electrical aspects, it’s best to reach out to professionals.
2. Buy The Right Size And Wattage
As downlights come in different sizes, choosing the right size for your space is essential. You can buy downlights in fixed or adjustable options. An adjustable downlight can be tilted up and down to create ambient or directional light while a fixed downlight will create a more focused light beam. The wattage of your downlight is essential too, as this will determine how bright they are. Most ceiling lights are between 40 and 50 watts, but you can buy LED downlights that produce the same amount of light and use less energy. In rooms where you’ll spend time reading or writing, like a living room or a study, opt for an LED light. If you’re looking for something softer, pick an LED downlight with a diffuser. Finally, consider the size of your room when choosing the number of downlights you need. For example, one 60W spotlight will cover about 1 square meter, so a couple of spotlights will cover 2 square meters.
3. Prioritize Safety
Safety should always be a priority when installing downlights. The last thing you want is for an accident to occur, especially if you’re planning to install the downlights yourself. But if you’re not confident in your DIY skills, it’s best to consult with an electrician. Additionally, it’s important to note that different types of downlights may require different installation methods. For example, some downlights may require cutting holes into your ceiling while others may be installed through existing holes. This is when you’ll need to hire a professional. One way to ensure safety when installing downlights is to install insulation barriers or baffles around the lights. These barriers will prevent heat from building up around the lights and keep the lights cool during operation. They also block any insulation materials from coming into contact with the light fittings and wiring. Furthermore, downlight covers can be a practical way to ensure safety during the installation and usage of downlights.
4. Add Dimmers
One way to achieve the versatility and flexibility of downlights is through dimmers. You can use a dimmer to control the amount of light in a room, which will allow you to dim or brighten the lights. What’s great about dimmers is that they can be added to your existing lighting system by simply replacing your current switches with compatible dimming switches. Dimmers are available for most light fixtures, including indoor and outdoor fixtures, low voltage and line voltage, incandescent and halogen, fluorescent, HID, and LED. You can even install a dimmer on a 3-way switch or multiple-location circuit to control the same light from more than one location.
There’s no reason to be afraid of installing downlights in your home. While it’s true that you might make mistakes, end up with lights that don’t work properly, or cause damage to the wiring, you just need to take the time to read up on how it all works and what safety precautions you need to keep in mind. So, before you set out on a lighting project, arm yourself with the above information, and the installation will be done right and safely. At the end, don’t forget to hide your main switches behind a recessed door.
It’s almost winter soon, so I was thinking of adding some downlights to our home to keep the place illuminated since we’ll be seeing the sun less during this time of the year. I appreciate your advice when you said to install insulation barriers or baffles around the downlights to prevent heat from building up which might lead to compromising your home safety. I’ll be sure to take note of this while I look for an electrician to contact for our lighting installation soon.