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In Lighting tips and advice

By Steven Roziers

10 lighting tips for recessed spots

On 21, Jun 2016 | No Comments | In Lighting tips and advice | By Steven Roziers

Recessed spots are on the comeback. They are unobtrusive and ideal for use as base lighting or accent lighting. However, the exact placement of recessed spots requires forethought. Extra attention should also be given to other factors such as the directionality, light colour and IP rating. Only then will you be 100% happy with the outcome. We have put together ten lighting tips to assist you in installing your recessed spots.

Tip 1: Recessed spots in hollow-core and precast slabs

Are you going to install recessed spots in a solid ceiling? (for example, hollow-core and precast slabs) In this case, it is prudent to first look up the diameter of the spots, the distance between them, their position, etc. This information is crucial to be able to drill in the concrete without any problems.

Tip 2: Width of the light beam

The width of the light beam from recessed spots can vary greatly. Most models have a diameter of 8°, 10°, 24°, 36°, 48° or 60°. For example, a recessed spot with a light beam of 8° is much more focused (and smaller) than that of a 60° model.

Thus, a diameter should be chosen that is best suited to the application. For example, fixed recessed spotlights above a kitchen island can have a fairly wide angle of opening. If you want to accentuate artwork using an adjustable recessed spot, it’s best to choose a smaller beam.

light a painting

To light a painting, you should choose a small beam.

Tip 3: Connection

In the past, you had to choose between 12V or 230V halogen spots. The main advantage of a 12V spot was that the light output was twice as good as the consumption and lifespan. However, you needed a transformer.

Currently, LEDs are the “in” thing. Given that you can barely notice any difference between a 12V LED and a 230V LED, it is best to choose the simplest solution, namely, a 230V LED.

If you prefer even better quality from your LED spots, you can use an external power supply for the LEDs. This power supply provides a higher quality than that an internal power supply in a 230V LED. Your spots will last longer, dimming will be more stable and you have the option of choosing heavier spots to provide more light output. If you opt for an external power supply, keep in mind that in contrast to lighting without an external power supply, a power supply operating at a constant current must always be connected in series.

Tip 4: Position of recessed spots

For best results, think twice about the best position for recessed spots. Adjusting the position at a later time will not always be easy.

The number of recessed spotlights is determined by the quantity of light needed. This is expressed using the Lumens. (Lumens are a better measure than Watts.) To evenly illuminate a room, use the guideline of one 300 Lumens lamp for each square metre for a kitchen and one 200 Lumens lamp for each square metre in a bedroom. Consider the light output and angle of opening of the selected spots and this will give you the best distance apart for the spots.

However, it is better to consider where the light is actually needed, rather than installing spots across the entire ceiling so that some light is not useful. A good example is the kitchen. Spots are often installed between the kitchen island and the cupboards, exactly where the light is not needed. You are better served by having spots 20 cm away from the cupboards to light them and other spots above the kitchen island so that the work surface is lit.

Tip 5: Directionality

Directional recessed spots provide added flexibility. If needed, you can easily change their direction. This is very useful when the layout of your room changes in the future.

Tip 6: Choose LED recessed spots

Halogen spots are still hugely popular. Nevertheless, we recommend that you opt for LED spots. In the first place, LEDs consume a lot less energy. Some models even consume as much as 70% less than halogen lamps. That’s good news for your energy bill. In addition, LED recessed spots have much longer lifespans. You need to buy much fewer new lamps when the average lifespan is 20,000 hours. This reduces waste, which is great for the environment.

Tip 7: Dimming for extra cosiness

Another interesting tip for recessed spots… install a dimmer. Dimming the lights in your living room provides a warmer colour of light that gives the room a cosier ambiance. To a large extent, this effect had already gone by the wayside with modern 12V halogen lamps. This is even more so with LED lighting. However, there are some manufacturers, such as Delta Light and Wever & Ducré, who have developed special LEDs that provide a warmer colour when dimmed. Note: not all spots can be dimmed!

Tip 8: IP rating for bathrooms

Every lamp has an IP rating. The two-digit code indicates the level of protection against dust and water. Why is this important? Because certain rooms require custom lighting, for example, bathrooms. Recessed spots above a shower or bath must be have at least an IPX4 rating. In addition, there are other bathroom safety zones that require specific IP ratings.

Recessed spots in the bathroom

Pay attention to the IP rating for recessed spots in the bathroom.

Tip 9: With or without rims

Do you like a sleek modern look? If so, you can opt for our trimless spots. These recessed spots have no rim, which makes them stand out even more. Keep in mind that these models require a special recessed housing. You can find these under “Accessories” on our product pages.

Tip 10: Warm or cool light

Have you noticed in our webshop that there is a filter option for light colour? We make a distinction between different shades of white, namely, from cool white to warm extra. Keep this in mind when choosing your recessed spots. Warm colours are perfect for intimate spaces like the living room or bedroom. A cooler light colour rooms is fine for a room where you work, for example, in an office, over a desk, etc. However, if you need a cool light colour, it’s best not to use recessed spots because there is a very limited choice of spots with cold white light. In this case, you would be better to go with fluorescent lamps, LED panels or LED downlighters.

Tip: RGB recessed spots are available in our webshop. Use these to provide a wellness feeling in your bathroom or to freshen up other rooms.

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