You have heard these called can lights due to the original style that had a can shape with a light bulb inside. Now many people think of the recessed light trim as the entire light fixture. However, recessed lighting includes a trim piece (the look and design) and housing (the electrical part, and a bulb).
It is really important to figure out what type of housing installation system you need before you begin considering the design. Answer these two very important housing questions first:
Will this be installed in new construction or an existing room?
New Construction Housings: These are installed between the ceiling joists in the attic space. Characterized by the two extending arms, these usually go in before the sheetrock is installed.
Remodel Housings: Notice the lack of the extending arms. Since these are designed to be installed when the home is completed, they are made to be installed from below and attach directly to the sheetrock.
Will the recessed lighting likely come into contact with insulation?
Insulation Contact Rated Housing: Recessed downlights that are installed in an insulated ceiling must be able to withstand the heat build up the insulation causes and be made specifically for this type of application. These recessed fixtures are called IC Rated.
Non-Insulation Rated Housing: Non-IC Rated Recessed Light Fixtures are generally preferred if your ceiling is not insulated. Some downlights are listed for both IC and Non-IC use, but with different wattages or bulbs.
What are the Types of Recessed Lighting?
There are many different options of recessed lighting trims from the traditional looking baffle trim to the damp resistant shower trim. When designing your space, make sure to consider the lighting function, layout, and desired light output for your home.
Adjustable Trims - Also know as eyeball trims, adjustable trims allow the user to adjust the light direction any way they would like. Great for easily directing light to any desired area or highlighting a specific element of your home.
Baffle Trims - Notice the ridges on the inside of the baffle trim. These ridges actually act as a light diffuser to soften light output and help soften any glare from your recessed fixture. Baffle trims are great for lower ceilings to create a softer, more comforting light.
Reflector Trims - As opposed to the baffle trim, the reflector trim is actually meant to amplify light. The reflective trim lining reflects the light giving you max lumen output for your application. These are great for high ceilings or rooms needing max lighting output with minimal fixtures.
Shower Trims - Shower trims have a specially made rubber gasket that prevents water and moisture from leaking into the ceiling space. These trims can also be used outside, in garages, or any other area where moisture damage may be an issue.
Wall Washer Trims - Wall washer trims use an adjustable half-cone design that is perfect for accenting a certain wall, architectural design or artwork below. Wall wash trims are great for smaller rooms because when used properly they can add emphasis to vertical features which makes the eye perceive the room as larger.
Pinhole Trims - Pinhole trims are cut in a way that is meant to make the light form a more precise beam. These are excellent for task focused lighting as well as drawing attention to a display case or other feature in your home.
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