One of the major things we do at Positively Electrical is help homeowners and Contractors upgrade light fixtures when they are doing a remodel or renovation. Sometimes all it takes to totally update a room is to change from light fixtures to recessed lighting. Recessed lighting has become more popular over the last decade for many reasons, one of which is that recessed lighting makes a room feel bigger. This makes it especially popular in smaller rooms or any room that needs to feel more spacious. Recessed lighting makes a room feel bigger because it actually takes up less space in the room, because the light cans are set into the ceiling itself, nothing hangs down to interrupt the visual space of the ceiling.
Recessed lighting can also makes a room look bigger due to an effect called “wall washing”. No, that doesn’t mean you go and take soap and water to the walls. Wall washing is a lighting effect that casts more light around the room via use of special kind of trim (the part of the light that is visible from the hole in the ceiling). Wall washed trim involves a directional reflector and a light scoop that directs light onto the wall. If you have a sloped ceiling, a gimmble trim can be used.
To really take advantage of the wall washing effect, recessed lighting need to be spaced correctly away from the wall and apart from each other. Recessed lighting should be spaced apart from each other at the same distance they are spaced away from the wall.
For example, if you your ceiling is 9 feet high, we place the recessed light fixtures 2-3 feet away from the wall and from each other. The higher the ceiling, the higher that spacing will need to be. Then aim the lighting toward the wall with the directional reflectors and it will literally wash the wall with overlapping, ambient light. The end result? The recessed lighting makes the room feel bigger and brighter. Recessed lighting also casts light on the wall you want to highlight for other design reasons. Consider recessed lighting if you want to highlight a wall bookcase, works of art or a special collection of some sort.
There are also other benefits of recessed lighting. First of all, it comes in all kinds of colors (the trim and the lights and the reflectors) so they can be used to really upgrade a room in several ways. The casing for recessed lights also protects it from dust, children and mishaps, so it’s also a safer lighting option than hanging lights.
Keep in mind that anytime you want to upgrade your light fixtures, you need the help of an experienced residential electrician for safety reasons.