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Optimizing Your Living Room with Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting has become a favorite of many homeowners for its many merits particularly the simplistic contemporary look and the seeming largesse of the rooms with this kind of lighting.

Recessed lighting also has a longevity that most traditional lighting did not have particularly the pendant or hanging lights that may also be restrictive in terms of placement since they are bulky and too many hanging apparatus would be an eyesore. While even the hanging lights have their advantages, it is clear that an overwhelming majority have elected to install recessed lighting. 

With recessed lighting, one of the major challenges is how best to set up multiple light fixtures in a single room, to provide optimal utility.

For a living room to come alive under this kind of light, it is absolutely crucial that lights are placed evenly and at the most prime location to avoid the mess a poorly lit room will become.

Factors to consider when installing recessed lighting in your living room

Recessed Lighting

In most situations, the installation of recessed lights is done during construction so you may not need to weigh in. You will likely need to consider the factors below if you are remodeling your home or if you are building the home yourself.

Size of the Family Room 

Recessed lights are set into the ceiling, limiting light, unlike pendant lights, which may light a room. This requires multiple hidden lights to produce enough light.

The size of your living room is the most essential factor when installing recessed lighting. You want to avoid dark patches while without overlighting the room.

There are internet tools and algorithms for this, however more than room size is needed. Therefore, hiring a competent contractor is best.

You should only measure and install recessed lighting if you know a lot about electricity, architecture, and building.

Ceiling Shapes

The ceiling used to be level, making it easier to calculate light fixture placement points, but more imaginative designs now use sunken or high ceilings.

When the family room is divided, the ceiling is decorated to indicate that the area is separate but still part of the family room. A eating or reading space with a variable ceiling height requires a different recessed light setup.

Type of Bulbs

This is a crucial factor considering how many different types of bulbs are out there. In most instances, the bulbs should be of the same type which means the beam and brightness will be even across the room.

However, in a particularly large room, you may want more light in some areas such as the designated reading area, and less light in a separate area such as where the fireplace is located.

Additionally, you may want the option to pick different lighting patterns for different times or seasons which could mean you may need to change the bulbs or install parallel lighting systems.

The beam sizes will be a key factor in deciding how many lights you will need and where they should be placed. An online calculator may not give you the most accurate results since bulbs come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. 

Decor and Furniture

When deciding how and where to put any kind of lighting, you should always think about all the things that will end up in the room. It’s best to do this when putting in deep

When you have recessed lights, you know that the style of your decor and furniture will go well with them.

Recessed lights don’t go well with every style of decor. Caribbean-style homes or old western designs are good examples of styles that don’t go well with recessed lights. This style of decorating seems to go against recessed lighting, which is more modern and has a post-modern feel to it.

Old rocking chairs made by hand out of wood and walnut that are next to red brick built-in fireplaces shouldn’t be under a ceiling with recessed lights. And while it can make sense to combine some features from different style catalogs, some just don’t work and may cost you a lot of time and money to fix later.

Replacement and Repair

Recessed Lighting

After the kitchen, the family room is the most used room in the house, so you may need to change the fixtures or put in newer, nicer lighting. It’s hard to change out recessed lights in new building because you can take them out, but you can’t always put back the same kind. You will need to get new ones.

The quality and durability of the substitute lights rarely match those of the new ones. New building recessed lights have more trim options than replacement fixtures, which limits how the light can be changed in the future. Since recessed lighting is fixed, it is expensive to switch to pendant lighting. Recessed lighting that costs more is harder to replace, so make sure you really want to put it before you do.


Due to the multiple sunken fixtures, a recessed lighting layout for your living room may cost a lot to install. The price goes up if you want more aesthetic work done on the ceiling to fit in a particular design feature. You will, however, save money on your energy bill if you go for energy-efficient bulbs.