Planning recessed lighting requires thinking from a three-dimensional perspective of a home’s interior architecture at all times. A number of key architectural and design elements play significant roles in recessed lighting plans. Such things as ceiling height, the overall size of the room, the number of windows determine where light shines and disperses throughout a room. Other lighting fixtures such as chandeliers, ceiling fan lights, pendant lights also play a pivotal role in planning the intensity and location of recessed lighting fixtures. Elements such as room color, decorative lighting color, fine art, and interior decorations also play a major role in deciding whether or not you should use plan to use recessed lights as the primary source of general light or a secondary, supportive element of a multi-dimensional home lighting plan.
Regardless of which direction you take when planning a recessed lighting installation, keep in mind that all recessed lighting is accomplished through a very simple principle known as “pooling of light.” Because these fixtures direct light downward from circular or semi-circular housings, they create circles of illumination when they strike the floor. When a number of these lights are installed together, they form overlapping pools of light which create a uniform, general lighting effect. The reverse is true when recessed lights are selectively or individually installed. In these cases, the individual pools of light provide accent to any number of special room decorations, sculptures, or works of fine art. In both general lighting and accent lighting, it is paramount to develop a point-by-point photometric lighting plan prior to purchasing and installing recessed lights. Because you are dealing with multiple layers of lighting combined together, it is crucial to mathematically calculate first how many fixtures you will need, the distance between your recessed lights, and the angle of incidence for the direction of each light. ILD house lighting plans created by lighting specialists can help you with these calculations and even produce three dimensional plans of how your new living room, home office, entertainment room, or personal study will look under our recessed lighting fixtures.
It is also best to plan a recessed lighting system with the help of a professional lighting design firm, and to share with that firm any interior decorative plans you currently have in mind. If you are working on a new home construction, think ahead to how you plan to decorate each room of the home. Visualizing your new home’s interior ahead of time will help you determine where to install recessed lighting for maximum luminary affect. Planning ahead is even more important if you are remodeling an existing home or making home repairs. Some recessed lights are made specifically for new homes, while others are made specifically for remodels. You need to have a clear picture of what the new look and feel of your home is going to be before you go out and buy fixtures that may turn out to be inappropriate for your particular project.
You should also pay attention to the types of lamps you plan to install in your recessed fixture housings. Clear halogen lights are the best source of recessed art lighting or picture lighting, and render color the colors of paintings, decorative arrangements, and vases with at a level nearly equivalent to daylight. Clear halogens are not so good for general lighting, though. They tend to highlight object outlines sharply, produce stark shadows, and at times even highlight skin blemishes and wrinkles. When used in general lighting plans, recessed halogen lights are normally fitted with frosted lenses or frosted lamps that disperse a more gentle down light over the room.
In spite of new laws and plans to phase out incandescent-based light sources such as halogen lamps, for the time being recessed lighting still relies heavily on incandescent technology for light sourcing and lighting control systems for mood setting. Although fluorescent lamps can now be fitted to recessed housings, they lack the color rendering abilities of halogen and cannot be altered or dimmed with wall box dimmers to set the mood. Until changed is mandated unilaterally by lighting regulatory codes, plan on recessed halogens sticking around for a while until fluorescent technology is able to catch up to the colour correction, dimmability, and ambient mood lighting that our heretofore incandescent world has made us all accustomed to.