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Recessed Lighting Spacing

Rutuja Jathar Dec 20, 2018
Did you know that the earliest instance of recessed lighting was during the 1930s, when the pioneer of lighting, Ivan Kirlin, developed this concept. Learn how to incorporate this decorative lighting technique in your interiors and take the ambiance up a notch.
Recessed lighting is one of the best types of light fixtures for interior lighting that can enhance your workplace or home decor.
It has become a common sight in big shopping malls, commercial complexes, multiplexes, offices, and contemporary homes too. Projects that are new constructions or call for home remodeling are asking for it, too.
One thing to remember here, and something that you cannot over or under do, is the recessed lighting spacing. The placement of these lights can either enhance the ambiance, or make the decor look completely disoriented. Read on to know more about the best ways to arrange the recessed lights.
First of all, decide why you really want to install recessed lights in a particular room. For instance, if you want to install them in a working area, then you should space them evenly throughout the room, so that no shadows are visible.
The same goes for kitchen lighting. But, if you want recessed lighting in living rooms or a dining area, then you may want to create some kind of a wall frame or artwork as a focal point of the room and illuminate them with recessed lights.
Also, you will need to place the lights near the walls and make sure that the light fixtures are spaced at least 3 inches away from insulation. Lastly, you need to consider the interior painting theme. For instance, if the shades of walls and furniture are lighter, then you may need lesser number of recessed lamps.
But if you have darker walls with leather furniture, then you may need more lamps. The spacing, placement, and arrangement of recessed lights mainly depends on the function that you want them to perform. Here are a few techniques that you could draw inspiration from.

Wall Washing Lights

Here, one wall of the room is completely illuminated with recessed lights. It typically highlights a piece of art or wall hanging on this wall, which is essentially the focal point of the entire room. Such an arrangement lends sophistication to the interiors with minimum efforts and lesser lights.
To install recessed lights using this, determine the spacing area. Divide the entire length of the wall by the wattage setting which is guided for wall washing. For eg, 100 watt is recommended for 2 feet, 150 watts is recommended for 4 feet, and 150 watts is recommended for 3 feet. Once you get the calculation right, install the lights at the same distance.

Grazing Lights

Another popular technique is the grazing technique. This technique also is used for highlighting a focal point of the room. It may be a wall, a frame, or a fireplace. The process of determining the space between two recessed light fixtures is the same as that in wall washing technique.
You first need to determine the length of the wall and then divide it by the recommended wattage for a specific area. The number that comes as an answer of this calculation, is the distance that you want keep between two recessed lamps.

Down Lights

If you don't wish to include chandelier or any other kind of light fixtures in your home and want to use recessed lights as the only illuminating source, then you can always opt for this technique. These lights are faced downwards and they illuminate the entire room.
The spacing of the lights will vary based on the design that you will choose. No matter what you choose, ensure that you space them in such a way that the sides of one light should overlap with the other. If you're using only down lighting, then maintain at least 25 sq ft of floor distance, between the two lamps.

Highlighting Lights

Techniques that space recessed lights to highlight an area, are totally different. Since these are not related to overall lighting of the room, you can subtly add the lights on the section that you want to highlight. The spacing depends on the subject that you have selected to highlight and wattage of the light bulbs that you are using.
When it comes to highlighting, make sure that the lights are placed at least 3 feet away from the wall. Most of the time, 50 watts and 75 watt bulbs are placed 2 feet away from the wall. But, smaller bulbs like 25 watts are placed 3 feet away from the wall.
According to some experts, another rule to calculate the spacing, is by measuring the height of the ceiling and dividing it by two. The figure that comes as an answer (in feet) is the distance that you would want to maintain between two lighting fixtures. For a lower or drop ceiling, which is typically 6 to 7 feet high, space the lights more sparingly.