The main purpose we think of when discussing recessed lighting in the home is as a task light.  What do we mean by task light?  The time to install recessed lighting in the home is to light up that kitchen work top, shower or sink area.  Recessed lighting here is for making the common jobs we do in the home easier. Not as a main light source to give us an adequate light level to light a room.  This job is best left to wall lights, or pendant lights in the middle of the ceiling.

Recessed lighting was very fashionable.  Why not, with a range of finishes, downlighters can be made to fit almost anywhere.  Some downlighters can be mounted in a ceiling void depth of just 60mm.  However, in the home just adding a dozen downlights in the ceiling can create a harsh light which doesn’t add to the environment. This light can be dimmed to make it acceptable but it misses that opportunity to add a decorative light to make the finishing touch in an overall room design scheme.

In rooms with low ceilings and an accessible ceiling void, recessed downlighters are a good solution, they definitely avoid some bruised heads!  Recessed lighting is very popular in offices where the light level can be controlled very accurately.  PIRs and daylight harvesting ensure minimal waste of electricity. With the advent of LED lamp technology recessed light fittings in the office or commercial environment can lead to huge savings in energy consumption. 

Outside there is a range of recessed lighting for the wall, path and driveway.  Outside recessed lighting has a dual function, as a task light to light the way and as accent lighting they can take the premises to another level when installed correctly.

Fire Rated Recessed Downlight
Fire Rated Recessed Downlight

 

In The Kitchen

Forget those symmetrical grids of 4, 9, 12 downlights covering the ceiling.  Place downlights over the kitchen island or worktop. If you have high level cupboards it might be better to go for under cupboard lights, this avoids casting shadows when the person is working over the worktop.  The latest LED strip lights are very low profile, give a good light output and because they are LED with very little wattage, they also give off very little heat.  The same applies to the kitchen sink, if there are no high level cupboards go for a downlight.

In The Bathroom

If the mirror above the sink has no light then consider a downlight.  Above the shower cubicle.  The bathroom and in particular the shower cubicle is a harsh environment for a light but there are IP Rated downlights designed specifically for the purpose.

LED Downlight IP65
LED Downlight IP65

 

What Are Fire Rated Downlights

In the event of a fire, downlights can expose the building to a weakness that the fire can exploit to spread from room to room.  Plasterboard contains the fire but if there is a downlight the fire can gain access to the ceiling void, wooden joists and the room or loft beyond.  Fire rated downlights contain a means of holding back the fire tested for a minimum amount of time, normally 60 minutes or 90 minutes.  If the downlight is not fire rated then it is also possible to achieve a fire barrier by installing a Fire Hood behind each downlight.  For more on the subject please see the PDF provided by the Electrical Safety Council Page 8.

Fire Hood For Recessed Downlights
Fire Hood For Recessed Downlights