Want to make your friends ooh and ahh over your beautiful living room? Don’t forget the recessed lighting. A good plan for recessed lighting is they key to creating a room that perfectly lights the room and adds some drama and romance. Take a look at a quick recessed lighting plan I designed.
The grey dots represents the recessed lights, or “downlighting” as we sometimes call then in the interior design trade. The first thing that might strike you is that they’re not placed in a grid pattern. You don’t need one because you want to highlight different areas of the room.
First, you must have proper ambient light. That means enough light so you can see. I’ve accomplished that pretty much with the lamps (in blue). Recessed lighting, set to their own switch, can add more if you need it.
Now for the most important part of your overall design of the room – the placement of your recessed lighting. You want to create drama! You may want brighter light on a rainy day. But you definitely want a romantic feel for parties and… well, use your imagination. Do this by putting you recessed lights on dimmers. This is essential! It might be the art, or it might be the seating.
Next, spot different areas you want to highlight. These can be things like artwork and separate seating areas, as I’ve done here. Set your switches so you can control what you want to highlight. Let’s take a look a few essentials.
On the left, I’ve installed three adjustable recessed lights to frame a large piece of art (in green). Lighting art obviously, brings more attention to it. The same goes for another adjustable recessed light over the mantle. By adjustable, I mean you can aim the lens at whatever you want. They’re not facing straight down.
Now, think of walking into a gently lit room for a party. The recessed lighting is focused on the seating and, therefore, highlights the people. There, again, is focus. That’s really important to creating a romantic and dramatic feeling. (Please note that the placement of my recessed lights aren’t perfect. Have your interior designer or a lighting expert plan the placement)
Here are a few tips to think about
Don’t place the recessed lighting directly over your guests’ heads or they’ll look like Frankenstein. Use a professional to help with the placement.
Step away from the grid! I promise you, no one will notice the recessed lights. They’ll be looking at that hot guy sitting on the love seat.
Use small, 4-inch recessed lights. The giant 6-inch “cans” are so last century.
Note that there a variety of adjustable recessed lights. You want the ones that don’t fall below the ceiling height. Halo makes a good product.
Don’t buy your recessed lights from the big box stores. They’re not the quality you want and a few dollars more will be money well spent. Go to a local electrical supply house. Or have your electrician buy them for you.
Have any questions, comments, photos you’d like to share? Ask away, comment away, and email your photos to me at designholeonline [at] gmail..com. Caio for now!