The 3 Layers of Recessed Lighting Design
When designing the recessed lighting for a room, approach it as three separate layers: General Lighting, Task Lighting, and Accent Lighting.
Begin by considering how the room will be used. What activities will the occupants be performing, and which lighting layers would be beneficial?
Every room needs general lighting to provide overall light for the room. The goal is to give you control over the ambient light in the room, day or night.
1. Determine the number of lights that are appropriate for the room.
2. Based on the number of lights, decide on a layout (pattern).
3. Decide where and how you’d like to control the the lighting.
4. Choose the LED lights that you plan to use.
If an area in the room would benefit from additional overhead lighting, consider adding task lights in addition to the general lighting. Examples would be above a kitchen sink or island, above a desk in a home office, or above a reading chair in the corner of a room. Task lights should be controlled by their own switch separate from the general lighting whenever possible.
The unobtrusive design of recessed lights makes them ideal for accent lighting. If appropriate for the room, choose one or more focal points such as artwork or architectural features to highlight. Niches and soffits are great places to install accent lights, and can provide a whole new feel to a room. Accent lights should also be controlled by their own switch. You can use this page for help with accent light placement.