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How Many Recessed Lights Do You Need in Your Bedroom?

how many recessed lights in bedroom

Do you like reading in bed? Renovating your house, you may think about modern design solutions for your bedroom. Recessed lighting is a good option. It looks great, letting you feel like bathing in sunlight. Planning the lighting, consider a lot of factors. How many recessed lights in bedroom are necessary to install? It depends on the room size, your common activities, and bulb types.

Which Bulbs to Use Nowadays?

Which lighting solutions do you prefer using in your house? Archaic, incandescent bulbs are commonly used to enable general illumination. They are preferable if you need comfort. Incandescents provide even, reliable light without flickering. Therefore, multiple small lamps or book lights for reading in bed are designed to fit traditional bulbs.

Incandescents are eco-friendly and dimmable. Are they outdated? According to the law, passed by Congress in 2007, traditional tungsten filament bulbs are phased out now. They are not manufactured in the USA. Nevertheless, several types of incandescent lamps are but still available on the store shelves and used is residential applications.

Here you can see more information about best book lights for reading in bed!
According to the US Department of Energy, they are:

  1. Standard (pear-shaped).
  2. Halogen.
  3. Reflector.

Energy-saving (halogen) bulbs contain halogen gas. On the other hand, they use less energy but burn hot. CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) are usually regarded as traditional-type bulbs. They are folded or curved to fit the space. Subsequently, bulbs save energy and last longer than their incandescent counterparts. However, the fixtures are not dimmable. Additionally, they contain mercury. Respectively, if a bulb is broken, it poisons everything around you!

How Many Recessed Lights’ Wattage Do I Need?

Therefore, LED (light-emitting diodes) technology is considered to be foremost and modern nowadays. These bulbs are widely used because they are:

  • long-lasting;
  • energy-efficient;
  • durable;
  • eco-friendly;
  • operational in a wide range of temperatures;
  • dimmable.

Best-recessed lighting is based on LED bulbs. They require a low-voltage power supply. LED bulbs are completely safe to mount and touch. They consume less energy to provide the same illumination. So, thinking about brightness in your bedroom, let’s consider the wattage.

Bulb Wattage Comparison Chart

Type of Bulbs1 Wattage Equivalent2 Wattage Equivalent3 Wattage Equivalent
Incandescent40-6060-7575-100
CFL12-1515-1818-23
LED5-88-1010-15

Recessed reading lights over bed shouldn’t be too bright. 75-100 Watts match a living room. When you want to read there, some brightness could be required. These lighting solutions, installed overhead, might be disruptive and blinding. Especially if you flip several foot candles on suddenly. A low-wattage light source is beneficial.

Here you can see more information about best recessed lighting!

Is Recessed Lighting Outdated?

Recessed lights are mounted to the ceiling openings. They are also called pot or can (canister) lights. These fixtures or housings are circular or cylindrical, metal and virtually not visible. is recessed lighting outdatedRecessed lighting solutions are usually selected as they are:

  • impressive;
  • hidden;
  • focused;
  • waterproof;
  • versatile.

The fixtures provide both ambient and task illumination to the special areas of your room. You might need it above your bed or closet, near the entrance zone. Recessed lighting trims and reflectors are available in various colors. You are free to select any tint you like or the style that matches your room design.

What color light helps you sleep? According to recent research, it should not be green or violet. Warm color temperature (about 1800-2500K) that resembles sunset is beneficial. Wall color matters too. According to designers, it might be pale, cream, grey or pastel blue.

Meanwhile, the lights are often selected for their aesthetical benefits. They make your room look modern and stylish. Additionally, recessed lights make it feel bigger. This effect arises not only because the fixtures are hidden, occupying no visual space. A special technique that is called wall washing makes it possible. Light is directed into the walls, highlighting busy areas of your house.

Recessed Lighting in Bedroom: Yes or No?

Quite naturally, track lighting is not the best option for your bathroom or bedroom. The fixtures look clunky, being not able to illuminate or highlight special areas of your house. On the other hand, recessed lights have some drawbacks. They are:

  1. difficult to install;
  2. covering small space;
  3. not the most energy-efficient;
  4. directional.

Vaulted ceiling recessed lighting placement is rather complicated. Most importantly, you would need to make holes in the ceiling, remove the insulation and avoid heating issues. Wires are to be run properly, using the special joints. Otherwise, a lot of energy would be wasted. Enormous heat might cause a fire.

Recessed lighting vs flush mount is flatter. It’s completely hidden, having virtually no visible parts. It consists of a housing, a trim, and a baffle. Trim fits flat onto the ceiling. Baffle reflects and directs light.

Flush mount items are attached to the ceiling, leaving no gap. They include bowls that are still very compact. So, they suit small spaces like bathrooms and low hanging ceiling.

recessed lighting in bedroom yes or no

What Size Recessed Lighting for Bedroom to Install?

Do you need task lighting in your sleeping area? If so, make it dimmable, adjustable, softened. Installing frosted lens is beneficial to avoid too bright illumination. Meanwhile, bulb type, configuration, beam angle and trim diameter matter. 3 or 4-inch diameter is preferable for a bedroom.

4-inch vs 6-inch recessed lighting is much more:

  • stylish;
  • comfortable;
  • dimmed.

Low-voltage, small LED bulbs don’t heat up so much as large ones. They provide more aesthetical feel and look. Meanwhile, balanced design is to be elaborated. Consider the room’s layout, it’s space and style.

How Many LED Recessed Lights per Room?

First of all, you need to remember that, lights are perfect to be used in pairs. Firstly, they are to be not less than 24” apart. Secondly, recessed lighting distance from the wall is to be 18” or longer. So, space is decisive to calculate the number of lights and their brightness! Let’s measure the room’s width and length, multiply these values and get area of the room. It might be divided into several zones that need task and ambient illumination.

Recommended Lumens Per Square Foot

Area, ft2Lights, No.Total Wattage of LED Bulbs (General/Task Lighting)
1004-820/40
1508-1030/60
20010-1240/80
26012-1652/104
35016-1870/140
50018-20100-200

An intuitive recessed lighting spacing calculator can be used. You would need 1-2 lights per 25 sq. ft. 1.5 watts /ft2 are sufficient for general lighting; 3 watts/ft2 provide bright task illumination. It’s true relating to incandescent bulbs. Modern LED fixtures consume much less energy.

How to Light a Room with No Overhead Lighting?

Ceiling fixtures are not the best solutions to use in such a private and personal space of your house like your bedroom. In addition to general illumination, you are free to take advantage of:

  • wall sconces;
  • floor lamps;
  • desk and table light fixtures;
  • night lights.

They require easier or no installation. Just plug the lamp into a socket and read. Flexible and dimmable fixtures are beneficial, as you adjust and direct them as you need without any efforts.

Overall Impression

Should you put recessed lights in a bedroom? If you like the style, of course, take the opportunity. Furthermore, if you have hanging ceiling, installation is not too complicated. Most importantly, calculate the number of lights, their wattage, lay them out. After that select a suitable diameter, color, and design arrange proper wiring and enjoy your cozy bedroom.

Video: How Many Recessed Lights in Bedroom do I Need?

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Harry Brown

Harry Brown

Hello, welcome to the blog! My name is Harry. I am concerned about my eyes health. What about you? Do you like reading? By choosing the right light intensity and color, you will avoid many awkward situations. I hope, my articles and reviews help you.

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