Recessed Lights: Which Type Is Right For You?

We talked awhile back in one of our blogs about the advantages of recessed lighting, and how it adds functionality, energy efficiency, and adaptability to any room of your home. Today we are going to talk about the different types of recessed lights you can choose from, and how each serves a different purpose.

Many people think that when it comes to recessed lighting, the only decision-making comes down to the type of light bulb (LED, CFL, Halogen etc.). But there are different variations of housings and trims for recessed lights that vary depending on your home’s structure, and what areas are being lit.


Types of Housings for Recessed Lights

Housings are the “homes” for recessed lights that attach to the ceiling, and store the electrical wiring and bulb. There are two different types of housings: new construction and remodel. Once you decide which is best for your type of home, there are two sub-types related to whether there will be contact with any insulation.

  • New Construction Housing

    This type of housing is for areas where there is open access to the ceiling structure, as seen below. Usually houses that are newly constructed or remodeled where the ceiling is still open, and you can see the ceiling joists would have new construction housing fixtures installed. The fixture is attached onto the ceiling joists before the drywall is constructed.


  • Remodel Housing

    This type of housing fixture is for homes in which the drywall of the ceiling is already in place, and there is no access to ceiling joists. Recessed lights with this housing are attached by clips to the drywall of the ceiling.

After you have established which of the two housing fixtures is right for your home’s recessed lights, it’s time to decide if your new construction or remodeled housing needs to be IC-Rated or Non-IC Rated.  


  • IC-Rated Housing

    If there is insulation in your ceiling, then this is the housing to go with for your recessed lights. Since light puts off heat, IC-Rated housing fixtures are designed to keep the fixture cool  so that when in contact with insulation, there will be no chance for a fire.


  • Non-IC Rated Housing

    If there is no insulation in your ceiling, then you are safe with choosing Non-IC Rated housing for your recessed lights.


Note: If you are unsure if there is insulation in your ceiling, one of the licensed electricians at KB Electric LLC will survey the area before installation. A thorough examination of your ceiling areas will ensure that the right new construction or remodeled housing fixture will be installed to withstand any insulation that may come into contact with the lights.

There are also different sizes of housing fixtures for recessed lights. The sizes can range from 2 inches to 6 inches. It’s all about preference as to which you want to go with, but if you are undecided, one of our master electricians can help you.


Types of Trims for Recessed Lights

There are many different types of trims to choose from for recessed lights. Trims are the visual aspect of the light (the light’s style), and which to choose can depend on the recessed light’s application. Here are a few types, among many others:


  • Baffle 

    The most popular trim used for recessed lighting is the baffle trim. Mainly used in living rooms, bedrooms, and dining areas, baffle trims are designed to absorb excess light and reduce glare with their many grooves. The baffle trim typically comes in either a black or white color.


  • Wall-Washed 

    Wall-washed trims are partially covered to direct light on a wall. These trims are typically used to accent objects on the walls, like a piece of artwork or a fireplace.


  • Reflector

    Reflector trims maximize light output with their smooth, metallic polished finish inside. These trims are generally used for recessed lights that are in commercial settings, as well as kitchens and areas with high ceilings.


  • Eyeball

    The eyeball trim is similar to the wall-washed trim in that it is designed to accent a particular area or object of a room. It can be angled and positioned in such a way to direct the light to accent things on the wall and replace a wall-washed trim, or accent other areas of a room with its adjustable features.


There are so many different types of recessed lights out there. If you are unsure of which to choose for different areas of your home, contact KB Electric LLC today. One of our licensed electricians will be able to go over your options, and make the necessary installations to make the rooms of your home as functional, adaptable, and energy efficient as possible!