Recessed light, if done properly, really can accent the space. One tip: Consider placement of artwork or knickknacks carefully. Then consider a “wall-washer” or eyeball to highlight that piece. And always make sure that enough lights are being installed so that no shadowed area exists when the lights are on.
While more homes are now being designed to accommodate more natural light, you may find that daylight and lamps are not enough to make it easy to read or work in some rooms.
Layering light sources can improve your ability to see and your mood. Recessed lighting can be one important element of your lighting plan. Recessed lighting can be an included feature or an option in new homes, but for owners of existing homes it can be a big project to install recessed lights in rooms that lack them.
We asked Jason Arce, an architectural designer with Anthony Wilder Design/Build in Cabin John, Md.; Chuck Khiel, a senior vice president with Fred Home Improvement in Bethesda; and Megan Bell and Danielle Steele, designers with Marks-Woods Construction Services in Alexandria, Va., for their advice on installing recessed lighting in an existing home. Each responded via email.
Can you add recessed lighting to any ceiling in any room? Or are there some circumstances where you shouldn’t?
Arce: In general, recessed lights are sufficiently simple and minimal in design to place just about anywhere without bringing a lot of attention to them. In areas that require more lighting, such as laundry rooms, walk-in closets and storage spaces, you may consider going with a surface mounted light for better light vs. two to four recessed cans.