To get the best illumination in your room when dealing with a low ceiling and light fixtures that flush with the ceiling, you need to know how to layout recessed lighting. The purpose of lighting, the intensity of illumination as determined by the bulb’s lumen, and the size of your room, is part of the things that determine how you layout recessed lighting.
Consider how many feet of space you have to plan with, your power source, the size of light fixtures, the amount of lumen each bulb provides, and if you will need rows of light to meet the specifics of your lighting design.
You will be provided with tips on layout recessed lighting in this article. You will also know what influences the spacing between each recessed light fixture in a room and how to adopt the appropriate distance between recessed fixtures.
Factors That Influence Recessed Lighting Layout
Recessed lighting fixtures are primarily used in rooms with low ceilings, but they can also be used in high ceilings, depending on the lighting and the lumen output of the bulb used in the light fixtures. Generally, recessed lighting is used to accomplish ambient, task, and accent lighting. However, for each type of lighting, some factors influence their use.
It is common to see recessed light fixtures in big rooms, such as banking halls and church buildings, but in children’s playrooms, offices, and bedrooms, you will also readily see them. The versatility of recessed lighting means it can serve different purposes, which are affected by the height of the ceiling to the floor.
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If your living space has a low ceiling, the chances are that room does not need pendant lights, so it doesn’t impede your movement or come too close to you. Whatever your lighting plan is, recessed lighting can help you achieve your goal.
Your ceiling height determines how close your lightings are to the floor; therefore, you may not need to install as many lightings as you will in a room with a high ceiling. On the other hand, fewer light fixtures may be required to achieve the desired overall illumination.
Your lighting plan is the way to seek to achieve the desired illumination of your room. It includes the light fixtures you choose and their strategic positioning to achieve the desired lighting goals.
Your lighting plan with recessed lighting may provide accent lighting, task lighting, or general lighting. Whichever it may be, you need a solid recessed lighting layout to achieve that goal. In addition, installing lights around a work area surrounded by relaxation can be tricky, thus requiring a lighting plan.
The nature of your room – height and width, the amount of light each area of the room needs, the size of the fixtures you’ll purchase, the size of your room, and the appropriate distance between each light fixture, influence the lighting plan you will come up with for your room.
The architectural details of your room are contained in the blueprint of the room, and they will be needed to help you achieve that lighting goal you have. For example, it shows the corners that may allow shadows to appear if the lighting spacing is inappropriate and exposes the room’s natural focal point.
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A rectangular room and a hexagonal room have different architectural details. Hence, they need different lighting layouts to achieve the desired lighting goal.
How to Layout Recessed Lighting Appropriately
Laying out recessed lighting appropriately involves spacing light fixtures in your room to achieve your lighting goal per your lighting plan. You need to have a blueprint of the room in focus, know the number and types of light fixtures you will need for every area of the room, and ensure that the right light fixture is applied to the right room area.
Here is a general guide on how to layout recessed lighting appropriately.
Determine the Purpose of Lighting
Different types of lighting can be used in a room. The ambient lighting provides general illumination to the room, and it may only be used at certain times of the day, usually when you need light in every area of that room. Task lighting focuses on one area of the room. For instance, it is generally installed around the work area in a room, for cooking purposes, over the kitchen island. Finally, accent lighting is meant to expose the beauty of certain room features, such as art on the wall, a beautiful wall design, or to create aesthetic effects.
While the ambient light can have a high lumen output, the accent lighting may have low lumen output but be present in the room in more numbers. The task light may have an ideal level of brightness, depending on the height of your ceiling.
Lighting different room parts are important in drawing a suitable recessed lighting layout. In addition, it eliminates the inappropriate use of specific light fixtures for certain areas of the room.
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Work With the Blueprint
The blueprint of the room shows the expanse of the room and all the architectural peculiarities of the room. It is instrumental in helping your lighting layout. You need to divide the room into areas on the blueprint and determine which areas need lighting.
Although it is generally advised that you begin from the center of the room, it is also important to ensure that the room’s corners are adequately lit. With the blueprint, you can have every area of the room covered in lighting, depending on the distance you choose to allow between light fixtures.
Choose the Appropriate Recessed Lighting Fixtures
After accounting for each area on the blueprint and translating it to the actual room, you should decide on the appropriate recessed light fixture for your lighting purpose. For example, will 4-inch fixtures allow you to use the proper spacing between them? Does your lighting plan include lots of light, and will the light fixtures you have to help you achieve that?
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These questions should inform your choice of recessed lighting fixtures. In some cases, 6-inch light fixtures are more appropriate for your room.
Calculate the Number of Light Fixtures You Will Need
Having worked with your room’s blueprint and determining the type of light fixtures that are best for your lighting purposes, you need to know the number of these light fixtures your room will need. Chances are different parts of your room will need different types of lighting; therefore, ensure that you get the correct number of light fixtures for the square meters they have to cover.
As a general rule of thumb, one light fixture should illuminate approximately 25 square feet of space. So, if your room measures 100 square feet, you will need four light fixtures for general lighting. However, that depends on the lumen output of your choice light fixture.
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Recessed Lighting Layout Tips
- Sketch your lighting design, ideas, and layout on a piece of paper. It may be advantageous to have multiple sketches as you may have to make some adjustments, and you can choose from different options.
- Your first light should be in the center of the room. To determine the appropriate distance between the wall and your first light, know the length and width of your room. Split the room into rows and columns, and determine the number of lights each row will contain. Divide the row length by the number of lights it will contain to determine the spacing of the light fixture. Divide the spacing between the light fixture by 2 to get the distance between the first light and the wall.
- Ensure your light fixture is no more than 3 feet from every corner of the room to avoid shadows.
- Consider including dimmer switches in your light fixture purchases as they allow flexibility in lighting. You can increase the illumination in the entire room, especially for general lighting, or reduce the lighting to enable the prominence of task lighting.
A recessed lighting layout is essential as it puts your lighting project and idea in perspective. To get the layout right, you need to have a rough plan that follows the general lighting guidelines as per its purpose.
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