Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Recessed Lighting...The Basics

I want to simplify recessed lighting. Its really not that hard. I am thinking 3 posts or less until you have expertise. Recessed comprises of the housing or the electrical part and the trim or the decorative part.

For this post, I will concentrate on the housing. Recessed housings are available residentially in 3, 4 , 5 and 6 inch diameters. Typically, the larger cans support larger bulbs, BUT do not use a 6 inch can for ceilings less than 10 feet...Why? It looks awful, and your contractor is probably buying them now. For standard ceilings use the 5 inch size or low voltage, which is available at 4 inch.

As pictured below, there are 4 different types of housings:

IC New Construction

Insulated New Construction: This is the best type of housing. It is nailed to the studs and you can place insulation over it. Insulated cans save a small fortune per year in energy, because air, heat, and air conditioning does not exfiltrate out of the room(as I said yesterday)

Non-IC New Construction

Non Insulated New Construction: Why? you are saving $5-$10 and spending double that in higher enegy costs yearly

IC Remodel

Insulated Remodel Cans: For existing ceilngs, instead of nailing the unit to studs, the ceiling is cut from below, and the can is pushed through. Insulated remodel cans are not available in all sizes yet.

Non-IC Remodel

Non Insulated Remodel cans: Again, why? Unless, the above is not available


  1. Anonymous3:42 PM


    How far from the wall should cans be located? I've heard that they should be installed so that the edge of the counter is aligned with the halfway point (i.e., as if you bisected the circle) of the cans. Is that the case? Thanks.

  2. You could be teaching me...The key with lining recessed is the ability to have the scalloping" or edhes of the light hit the cabinet so you can see

    Add a few under counter lights, and you to light


  3. thats edges not edhes

  4. Anonymous1:27 PM

    Steve, are you aware of any sort of energy efficient indoor flood light type of bulb that can also be dimmed? I have 20+ recessed lights but can't find anything that might be a little more green.

    I like the new blog format.

  5. I have fluorescents in my own house. They are 18 watt with a lumen equivalent of 75 watts.

    We do not sell dimmable flood fluorescents. Most dimmables have a ballast that enables that function. A ballast would cause a bulb to extend past the trim, which would ruin the visual.

    I have not looked at this segment in a awhile, so there may be a new product. Send me your email, and I will try to find some updated information


  6. Anonymous6:28 AM

    Are there any retro fits for 5" recessed to LED in your store or on the market.

  7. Not yet...LED has only 6 inch retrofits at this point