In Ceiling Lights


No matter how well-designed your home, bad lighting can really kill the mood. Recessed lights are an option that when used strategically can remedy that—but they can also turn your ceiling into Swiss cheese and shroud your quarters in a dull light. A while back, Remodelista reader John Gibsonis wrote asking us to elucidate this “useful but often so badly applied tool.” One of our favorite designers, New York architect Oliver Freundlich, told us he’s known in his office as the Lighting Dictator and would be happy to guide us. Here’s what he had to say.

The goal for recessed lighting is to add not only visibility but also interest and ambiance to your environment. Toward that end, layering your lighting is critical: Combine recessed lights with a variety of other types (such as decorative pendants, table lamps, sconces, and candles) to make rooms feel balanced and inviting. This applies to modern spaces, where recessed lighting is most often used, and to traditional settings, such as old townhouses, where strategically placed recessed lights can work wonders.



1. Wash the wall, not the floor,
with light.

Recessed lighting comes in various configurations. A wall washer is a fixture that is typically placed 18 to 24 inches from the wall (depending on your ceiling height) and used in a series to spread light on a large surface. When light is bounced off a vertical surface into a room, it creates a great sense of illumination: You notice the wall rather than the fixture itself.


2. Spotlight art and objects.

Instead of blanketing a space with an even grid of lighting, introduce a spotlight (or a few) to orient the eye. Unlike wall washers, spotlights, with their narrow beams, draw your attention to a specific moment within a room. For example, installing spotlights in a bathroom over a porcelain sink and bathtub makes the fixtures sparkle and pop.


3. Choose the right trim style…..

T0 be continued…




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