As with any other home product, some types of recessed lighting are more energy efficient than others. Efficient options can use 80 percent less electricity than inefficient versions which provide the same amount of light output with practically the same appearance. At Electric Services Los Angeles, we can install, repair, and maintain recessed lighting and other electrical services.
What Do I Need To Know About the Installation of Recessed Lighting?
Recessed light fixtures are unique because they penetrate and are mounted in the ceiling of a room. From an energy conservation standpoint, this is not an issue when installed in the first floor ceiling of a two-story house. However, if fixtures are installed in the second-story ceiling or the first floor ceiling of a one-story house, a hole is created between a conditioned living area and the open, unconditioned attic area.
Without an efficient design and proper installation, a recessed lighting fixture can allow conditioned air to leak out of the house. This is particularly true during winter, when the warmer air inside a home naturally rises to the ceiling. This not only wastes energy, but may create a chilly draft in rooms where cold outdoor air leaks indoors. There are new energy-efficient recessed light designs that meet Energy Star standards. All of these fixtures use fluorescent light sources instead of inefficient incandescent bulbs. This fact alone reduces electricity consumption by 75 percent. The inside surface of the new fixtures is also more reflective, which reduces the amount of light trapped and dissipated inside a fixture before ever getting into a room. For fixtures in ceilings where indoor air leakage seems likely, select a new airtight design with a sealed canister. When installed properly, this unit forms an airtight seal between the ceiling and the fixture. These types of fixtures are most often used in ceilings beneath an unconditioned attic, but they are also effective for unheated basement ceilings, minimizing drafts between floors. As a safety note, if you already have recessed lighting in your home, do not go into the attic and wrap them with insulation to try to save energy. Wrapping older fixtures with insulation can hold in too much heat, particularly when standard incandescent bulbs are used. These fixtures are not designed to be airtight and the excess heat buildup can become an electrical or fire hazard. If recessed lighting will be installed in a ceiling under an insulated attic floor, select an insulation contact-rated (IC) design. These are designed to touch insulation without overheating the fixture. When installing new non-IC fixtures, the insulation must be kept away from the canister. This insulation void increases heat loss from the room below even if the installation is airtight. When installing recessed light fixtures yourself, first determine your lighting goals. To brighten an entire room, downlighting can be quite effective. In a normal-height ceiling, a 4-foot spacing provides an even lighting pattern at floor level. Typical 6-inch-diameter fluorescent fixed vertical fixtures work well for downlighting. If you’d like to dim some of the lights, consider installing a second circuit and dimmer switch with incandescent bulbs in those fixtures. For task lighting, a single fixed vertical unit directly over the work area seems effective. Wall-wash recessed lighting can be used to accent a painting or other wall hangings. An eyeball recessed light is best for this application because the light path can be adjusted. For a sloped cathedral ceiling, install an angular recessed fixture—preferably an IC model, since it will contact with ceiling insulation. It’s not difficult to install recessed lighting fixtures by yourself. For an attractive, efficient installation, cut the mounting holes the exact size recommended by the manufacturer. This makes it much easier to create a good seal between the fixture and the ceiling. Before drilling and cutting holes, make sure your fixture layout clears all the floor joists. For a free estimate, please contact Los Angeles Electricians today!