- Q) What is a recessed light composed of?
- A) There are three main parts – a housing that rests above the ceiling, a trim which can be seen at the ceiling opening, and a light bulb.
- Q) What type of lighting do recessed lighting fixtures provide?
- A) Recessed lights generally provide most or all of the general lighting in a space. They can also give off good task lighting when they are directly focused over a particular area.
- Q) How would you describe your selection of recessed lights?
- A) We have a wide variety of materials, shapes, sizes, lamp wattages, trims, and light sources. Our trims in particular can help you create a truly unique light fixture. You can choose an unobtrusive style that will blend into any décor or a colorful and dramatic style that makes a statement.
- Q) What other terms are used for recessed lights?
- A) Terms that are often synonymous with the term, "recessed lights," are cans, recessed cans, high hats, pot lights, downlights, recessed downlights, recessed can lights, recessed lighting fixtures, recessed lighting trims, recessed light fixtures, and recessed ceiling lights.
- Q) Do you have any outdoor recessed pot lights?
- A) Yes! Actually, most of our recessed pot lights are damp location approved, so any can be used in outdoor protected areas. As long as there is not direct contact with snow, sleet, or water spray, they are perfectly compatible.
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- Q) What is the difference between a new construction can lighting housing and a remodel housing?
- A) A new construction housing is installed before the ceiling drywall is in place while a remodel housing can be installed after the ceiling drywall is in place.
- Q) When should an IC housing be used?
- A) An IC can lighting housing is designed for use in insulated ceilings and should be used if the recessed housing will be in physical contact with insulation. A non-IC housing can be used in an insulated ceiling as long as the insulation is at least 3 inches away from every part of the recessed housing.
- Q) Why don't you have an IC remodel housing that is 3 inches or 4 inches in diameter?
- A) To the best of our knowledge no recessed can lighting manufacturer makes such a housing. IC housings require an additional protective shroud to protect the ceiling insulation from the hot metal cone around the lamp. The protective shrouds make the IC remodel housings too large to fit in a 3 to 4 inch hole. Remember that you can use a regular IC housing in a remodel project if you have access to the space above the ceiling (for example, an attic).
- Q) Can a recessed housing be used with a "drop ceiling" or a suspended ceiling?
- A) Yes, the hanger bars of the new construction recessed housing can rest on the T-bars and then be secured into position by adjusting the length of the hanger bars.
- Q) How does an air-tight can lighting housing work?
- A) It prevents most of the air flowing through the fixture - either from the space above to the room below or from the room below to the space above. Use one in any space where you want to minimize the cost of heating and air-conditioning.
- Q) What is a sloped ceiling housing?
- A) It's a special recessed housing that is designed for use in ceilings that are not horizontal.
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- Q) When should a baffle trim be used?
- A) Baffle trims, or stepped baffle trims, have concentric circular grooves inside the cone that surrounds the lamp. Use a baffle trim when you want to minimize glare coming from the light fixture.
- Q) When should a reflector trim be used?
- A) Reflector trims have smooth, shiny cones surrounding the lamp to reflect the light. Use it when you want to maximize the amount of light coming from the recessed light fixtures.
- Q) What is the purpose of an adjustable trim?
- A) It allows the lamp inside the recessed fixture to be aimed at something like a sculpture or a wall hanging and, thereby, provide good accent lighting. Adjustable trims can rotate, revolve, and/or swivel. They can also provide good task lighting; for example, as a "reading light" over your bed.
- Q) What is the effect of a glass trim?
- A) It provides a bit of "sparkle lighting", adding flare, color, or patterning to the space. You've likely seen glass trims used in bars, restaurants, game rooms, or hotel lobbies.
- Q) What is a pinhole trim?
- A) It has an extremely narrow opening for the light to pass through. Use a pinhole trim when you want the light beam coming from the trim to be very narrow and well defined with little or no "spill light".
- Q) What is a shower trim?
- A) It has a glass diffuser and a special rubber gasket that together prevent most of the moisture in the space below from passing into the recessed fixture. It's specifically designed to be used over a tub, a shower, or a Jacuzzi® and in damp locations like outdoor soffits. Shower trims are not appropriate for wet locations that are exposed directly to rain, snow, sleet, or water spray.
- Q) How does a wall wash trim work?
- A) It has a partial opening so that light is emitted only through that opening of the recessed fixture. This creates an asymmetrical light beam that will "wash" the wall, drape, wall hanging, fireplace, etc. with light.
- Q) How should I determine which finish to select for recessed ceiling lights?
- A) The finish (white, black, copper, chrome, brushed nickel, etc.) is an aesthetic decision. You can use the trim to accent or complement some other feature in the space (i.e., using a brushed nickel recessed trim to complement brushed nickel wall sconces). If you're going for a subtle look, then match the finish to the color of your ceiling.
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- Q) Which light bulbs are compatible with your recessed can lights?
- A) Incandescent, line voltage halogen, low voltage halogen, fluorescent, or metal halide light bulbs. Check the Description tab on each product page for more details.
- Q) What is the difference between low voltage and line voltage?
- A) Low voltage is usually considered to be 12 volts or 24 volts and this means that the recessed housing comes with a transformer. Line voltage is usually considered to be 120 volts (residential applications) but sometimes is 277 volts (commercial applications).
- Q) Should I use an MR16 lamp with a front glass in a recessed downlight?
- A) Most low voltage halogen recessed downlights come with their own clear glass lenses. So, there is no need to use an MR16 lamp with a front glass if the clear glass lens is already being used. However, for the sake of safety at least one of these lenses should be used.
- Q) Should the can lighting trims from one manufacturer be used with the housings of another manufacturer?
- A) While this is a common practice because it is sometimes easy to do, it is not recommended. Even though the recessed light will probably work fine for years with no problems please be advised that this practice will probably negate the warranties of both the housings and the trims as well as the UL listings. Also, trims will not always fit in housings for can lights from other manufacturers.
- Q) How far apart should recessed ceiling lights be placed?
- A) For general lighting applications a good rule of thumb is to space recessed light fixtures a distance that is equal to about half the ceiling height. For example, if a room has an 8ft ceiling, you should probably space the recessed fixtures about 4ft apart. This rule of thumb should be used only as a base line. Depending on the lighting needs of the space you may want to put more recessed fixtures or fewer recessed fixtures than this baseline.
- Q) How many recessed downlights should I use in a given room?
- A) Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question! It depends on the height of the ceiling; the brightness/darkness of the ceiling, walls, and floor; the type/wattage of light bulb used; and the purpose of the downlights (general, task, or accent lighting). In addition, 50-year-olds need twice as much light as 20-year olds. We often recommend you “overlight” a room and then control the light levels with dimmers. In a residential kitchen with an 8 foot white ceiling and light-colored walls, cabinets, countertops, and floors, we would recommend placing the light fixtures four to five feet apart if you’re using 5 inch line voltage recessed can lights with white trims/baffles and 75W PAR30 lamps.
- Q) What is a honeycomb louver?
- A) A honeycomb louver is a device made of thin metal with a honeycomb pattern that is placed in front of a lamp to minimize the direct glare coming from that lamp.
- Written by Chris Johnson
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