Recessed Lighting: The Pros and Cons
During a home makeover, kitchen lighting is often on the agenda. Kitchens impose special lighting needs, quite different from a bedroom or a den. The brightness and temperature of the bulbs as well as the focus of the light are important in the cooking environment. Also, cleaning is often an issue as kitchens produce humidity, smoke and fumes that may accumulate on light fixtures and dim the illumination. In general, the choice of kitchen lights begins with a decision about whether to install recessed lighting or standard fixtures, particularly where new LED lights are desired. Here are some of the pros and cons of opting for recessed lighting in a kitchen: Pros
- Recessed fixtures emit light in a more focused area that concentrates lighting, usually the perfect choice for performing specific tasks such as food preparation and cooking.
- Because the bulb is fully recessed into the housing, which is embedded in the ceiling, it’s less exposed to dust, smoke and humidity and requires less frequent cleaning.
- Recessed lights provide an uncluttered look and don’t disturb the contour of the ceiling like external fixtures do. This clean, seamless appearance is particularly aesthetic in a kitchen environment. Once recessed lights are turned off, the fixtures almost seem to disappear.
- Because the light fixture penetrates the ceiling, installation of recessed lights is generally more complicated than adding an external light fixture on the ceiling. Attention must be given to routing electrical wiring as well as the location of joists in the ceiling to properly place the lights.
- For safety reasons, recessed lights that may come into contact with attic insulation above the ceiling must be specifically rated for that use.
- Recessed lights are a permanent installation and not portable. If you sell the house and move, you can’t take them with you.
- Certain ceiling materials such as ornamented plaster, concrete, or ceilings with a complex contour aren’t a good choice for installation of recessed lights.