Recessed lighting is a subtle way to focus your guests' attention on a specific spot in your home, or it can be used as a way to provide soft overhead lighting to particularly dark rooms in your home, like your basement or a room that does not have a lot of natural light.
You might be wondering how to use recessed lighting, especially if you've never had it before. Do you use one light or many? How many is too many? Here are a few tips on how to use this type of lighting to your advantage.
One thing to keep in mind: you can retrofit recessed lighting. There are kits and tools available, or any home remodeler should be able to do this for you. You're not limited to recessed lighting only in new builds and you don't have to worry about having your entire basement remodeled to get these kinds of lights.
You want to be sure that the lights are not placed too close together, nor do you want them to go in a straight line down the center of the room you're trying to illuminate. These two tips might seem almost counter-intuitive but your room will end up looking more like a runway and less like an inviting place to relax and hang out.
A basic rule of thumb when it comes to spacing: lights that are four inches big should be about four feet apart and lights that are six inches big should be about six feet apart. Consider centering your recessed lighting around the object you want to illuminate. For example, if you have a lovely sculpture on display, group the recessed lights around that sculpture and adhere to the rule listed just before this. You should also buy enough lights that you can light up the object from several different angles. This will ensure you and your guests can clearly see the object from all angles and there are no shadows cast.
If you are using recessed lighting to light up an entire room, consider where you will be placing your chairs and sofa. You don't want people's heads and shoulders to block the lights, especially if you are trying to read or play games.
The best part about recessed lighting these days is you can get decorative rings to go around the outside of the fixtures. You are no longer relegated to plain white or cream colored bands. You can get rings with lovely decorations and details, and you can match those to the rest of the room's décor.