Why You Should Consider Using Recessed Lighting In a Kitchen Remodel

Installing Recessed Lighting During Your Kitchen Remodel

This kitchen uses only recessed lighting in the kitchen, INCLUDING over the island. A chandelier hangs in the foreground over the dinette table.

Recessed lights are a favorite feature for designers and homeowners.  They're flexible, offering the perfect opportunity to provide a clean line while adding drama, looks, and function to your home. Adding recessed lighting to your kitchen can take your design to the next level, working as ambient lighting to set the mood, and providing the perfect amount of light for working in the kitchen. 

Let's explore what recessed light is, some of the advantages of adding recessed lighting to your kitchen remodel and a quick look at some of the lights you'll have to choose from when selecting fixtures.

What is Recessed Light?

Recessed lighting, sometimes called can, or pot lighting is a type of downlighting that's very popular with both interior designers and homeowners. It is installed flush, or nearly flush with the ceiling and consists of a housing, which is inserted into the ceiling, and the trim, which is the part that is visible when the light is installed. 

Some recessed cans only work with certain types of bulbs, for example incandescent, or LED. Others can work with a variety of bulbs. Some come with the lamp included, but many others do not. When choosing fixtures, work with your designer or contractor. They can help you decide which type is best for your home.

Adding Recessed Lighting to Your Kitchen Remodel

This kitchen uses halogen lamps with Alzak reflective trims to disperse light throughout the kitchen. Pendants add a decorative shadow to the ceiling.

If you're remodeling your kitchen, your contractor or designer will assess your kitchen to determine where lights should be placed, what type of lights will work best, and how they will fit into your overall kitchen lighting design. 

The size of the room, the size of the lights you choose, and the type of bulb you prefer will all factor into how many recessed lighting fixtures you'll need. Your team will let you know the decisions you'll need to make and will help to guide you. Basically, you'll need to decide on:

• Can Size – Cans are measured in terms of the diameter of light. The most common choices are 4 or 6-inch diameter lights. But cans are available as small as 2-inches.

• Bulb Type – Today, you have a choice regarding the bulb. These include compact fluorescent  (CFL), light-emitting diode (LED), incandescent, or halogen bulbs. Different states have different regulations regarding the light itself. For example, California requires high-efficient lighting, which means LED. Some states regulate CFL bulb disposal as they contain mercury and are less efficient than LEDs.

• Color Temperature – Lighting can be “warm” (more amber) or “cool” (bluer). The color temperature affects the type of glow it casts in the room. 

• Fixture Placement – This is how far apart you'll place your fixtures. In the past, the size of the light fixture determined how the light would be pushed, so the size of the fixture affected the overall lighting. Today, even small LEDs can have a broad spread so the type of bulb you choose will affect placement.

• Trim Rings – The style of trim ring will change the way the light is reflected, and the appearance of the room. Baffle trims can focus or reflect the light, depending on color and style. Alzak trims reflect light in all directions, making it more dispersed and less intense. Simple flush rings are inexpensive - they place the light bulb flush to the ceiling, but can sometimes provide the harshest, brightest lighting, especially if not dimmable.

Often, your designer or design-build contractor will offer you several choices for each of these items, or they will make suggestions based on their understanding of your creative vision and needs. 

Three Dynamite Reasons To Add Recessed Lighting To Your Kitchen Remodel!

This kitchen uses multiple sizes of recessed can lighting, as well as reflected uplighting and bold pendants to create flexible, layered and FUNCTIONAL lighting.

There's a reason professional lighting designers love recessed lighting. When it comes to lighting design, recessed lighting can add drama, push lighting where it's needed in the room, and conceal your lighting source to keep the lines of your kitchen crisp, clean and modern.

Dramatic Light

Like a spotlight on the stage, an intense beam of light shining on a beautiful architectural feature, or a professional chef's stove creates a visual focal point in your design. Recessed downlighting can add drama by highlighting important elements in your kitchen.

“Pushed” or Focused Light

Ambient lighting like lamps or pendants do not work well when it comes to “pushing” usable light onto a countertop or work surface because the light beams break up before reaching their destination. The recessed downlight is designed to do this. They're also an excellent way to illuminate double-height spaces or extremely high ceilings. 

Hidden Light

Nothing is better than recessed lighting for delivering light discreetly. Today, thanks to LED and halogen bulbs cans are getting smaller resulting in an even more streamlined and cleaner look in the kitchen.

When professionally installed as a part of a comprehensive lighting design, recessed lighting can be an extremely useful way to compliment your kitchen design. Your design-build contractor will fill in the technical blanks regarding installing the proper cans.

If your kitchen remodel is a gut job, they will choose the appropriate housings to be installed before the ceiling drywall is installed. They will also take into account specifications for dealing with insulation, shallow or sloped ceilings and will make sure the cans are installed in the most energy efficient manner possible using sealed housings to reduce treated air from leaking into the ceilings.

Work closely with your design-build team, and you're sure to get the perfect lighting for your kitchen remodel. A professional electrical contractor will be skilled in lighting design, or, the lighting supplier that your design-build team works with will be able to provide additional expertise.

Additional Articles On Lighting and Kitchen Remodeling Projects

This article was updated by Abe Degnan on 1/24/19.

If you're planning a kitchen remodel in the Madison, Wisconsin area, and are wondering about your lighting options, give the experts at Degnan Design Build Remodel a call. We can help you to create the perfect lighting plan to cover all of your needs in the kitchen!