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Recessed Lighting Vs Flush Mount Lighting

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Lighting is one of the crucial aspects that can make or break a good interior design. 

Great lighting can create the perfect atmosphere in your house. It can also elevate a certain mood to brighten up each and every other component inside the room like decorations, architectural design, or even something as simple as the color of your couch.

Planning a well-balanced ambiance takes more than just a lighting plan.

Recessed Lighting and Flush Mount Lighting

Recessed Lighting: What it is and How it Works

Recessed lighting, also known as can lights, downlights, and pot lights, are generally installed in the ceilings, walls, or even floors.

They consist of three major components: housing, trim, and bulb.

Housing can be defined as a fixture installed inside the ceiling or wall, which comprises of the electrical connections of the fixture.

Trim is a part of the fixture but visible. This includes reflectors, baffles, or shades.

Finally, the bulb is the main source of light for this whole lighting.

This type of lighting emits light directly into the surface of your rooms and floors.

Their diameter is between 3 and 5 inches.

Types Of Fixtures For Recessed Lighting

Adjustable Recessed Lighting

This type of recessed lighting fixture rotates and gives users the ability and freedom to choose the direction of the projected light.

Given its thin trim, it fits the ceiling evenly without any protruding parts.

Pinhole Recessed Lighting

pinhole recessed light

Pinhole recessed lighting offers a direct beam or a narrow projection of light from the ceiling through a small circle in the middle of the fixture.

Baffle Recessed Lighting

Baffle recessed lighting prevents the bulb from producing too much light. Its interior ribs in the metal housing are tightly packed.

Using this type of recessed lighting for a room with dark-colored walls is always the best option.

Decorative Recessed Lighting

This type of recessed lighting fixture offers an artistic style and unique design to your lighting.

Different trim designs are be found with this type of lighting to increase the sophisticated look of your interior design.

Slotted Recessed Lighting

The flat trim on slotted recessed lighting will conceal the light source but provide a direct projection of light through a narrow section of the rim, just like the pinhole recessed lighting.

Shower Recessed Lighting

You can guess from the name that this type of recessed lighting is best made for showers or any area with a high humidity level like the bathroom.

It has a cover made from tempered glass lenses to protect the bulb from water vapor and moisture.

Reflector Recessed Lighting

Using reflector recessed lighting can increase the illumination of light in the room.

This is due to the mirror in its housing that provides a better reflection of light.

Bulb Types

There are a few types of bulbs that can be used with recessed lighting.

Most of them are energy-consuming while others might be energy-efficient, depending on the number of bulbs being used.

This includes incandescent light bulbs, CFL light bulbs, Halogen light bulbs, LED light bulbs, and R-type light bulbs.

Each type of bulb offers a different level of efficiency, cost of energy, and brightness.

recessed ceiling light

Advantages  Of Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting comes with its own advantages such as:

  • This type of lighting offers directional light to illuminate a targeted area in the room or any decorative elements.

    Art galleries and exhibition halls use the directional lighting of a recessed light to elevate the mood and appearance of the painting and displayable items.
  • They are a great source of minimalistic lighting that can light up the whole room without cluttering or disturbing minimalistic interior design.
  • Recessed lighting gives directional fixtures that illuminate and cover edges or narrow spaces in the room.

    Their fixtures provide uniform illumination of light.
  • Most recessed lighting is waterproof, durable, and safe. Thus, they are suitable to be installed in the bathroom, toilet, or humid rooms.
  • Recessed lighting is one of the great options for houses with low ceilings because the way they are installed that doesn’t protrude down from the ceiling.

Disadvantages Of Recessed Lighting

There are some disadvantages of using recessed lighting:

  • Recessed lighting is categorized as a single directional light. This means that they emit light outwardly and straight to the floor.

    If you have a large room, you might need more than one to light up the whole room.
  • The metal housing is quite large. So, a much larger hole is needed to install them creating a gap between the ceiling board and the light.

    This could lead to some issues like air leaking and accumulated dust.
  • They consume more electricity than other lighting, especially if incandescent bulbs are being used.

    If you change to other energy-saving bulbs, you can reduce the cost of electricity. But this also depends on the number of recessed lights you have in one room.
  • There might be a risk of overheated bulbs and fixtures due to their high-energy consumption.

Flush Mount Lighting: What it is and How it Works

Flush mount lighting is installed close to the ceiling and wall fixtures.

They shine light downwards and can be used in any place inside a house, even in small rooms with low ceilings.

Since they are very close to the ceiling, they don’t need much cleaning because this type of lighting doesn’t accumulate too much dust.

Modern flush mount lighting comes in many different shapes, forms, and sizes.

Types Of Fixtures For Flush Mount Lighting

There are different fixtures of flush mount light that you can choose depending on your needs and purposes.

These are the three major flush mount lighting fixtures to consider:

vintage chandelier

Full Flush Mount Lighting

This type of flush mount lighting fixture is a great option for small rooms with low-hanging ceilings.

They are generally installed directly to the ceiling without taking up much space.

Also, they don’t accumulate dust because there is no space between the light and the surface of the ceiling.

Semi-Flush Mount Lighting

If you have rooms with higher ceilings, semi-flush mount lighting would be the best option.

They are generally installed in living rooms, lounges, bedrooms, and kitchens.

However, unlike full flush mount lighting, this type of lighting has some space between the light and the fixture.

Directional And Spotlight

Directional and spotlight provide the best illumination to light up certain areas in the room.

Unlike full flush and semi-flush mount light that cover larger surface areas, this type of lighting doesn’t light up the whole room.

Bulb Types

Like recessed lighting, the same type of bulbs can be used on flush mount lighting like CFL light bulbs, incandescent light bulbs, halogen light bulbs, and many more.

Most people prefer to use LED light bulbs and compact fluorescent light bulbs with flush mount lighting due to their low cost, energy-saving, and warmer light production.

Advantages Of Flush Mount Lighting

Flush mount lighting comes with its own advantages such as:

  • Flush mount lighting is energy-efficient. Unlike recessed lighting and other lights, newer models of flush mount lighting use LED bulbs.

    These bulbs produce less heat while consuming less electricity.
  • Flush mount lighting can be used for small rooms or houses with low ceilings.

    They don’t take up much space because they are installed on the ceilings. Unlike some types of lighting, they work really well in a tight space.
  • Unlike recessed lighting, flush mount lighting requires smaller holes to install them in the ceilings or walls.

    This avoids any dust accumulation and makes it easier to clean them.
stylish hanging lights
  • Flush mount lighting provides better and brighter ambient light over a large surface area.

    This makes them a great lighting option for wider and larger rooms.
  • This type of lighting comes in many different styles and concepts including modern, traditional, transitional, and contemporary styles.

    Depending on your interior design, each style could cater to your taste and needs.
  • Flush mount lighting is compact, versatile, and easy to install.

    Aside from being energy-efficient, they are also cost-efficient.

Disadvantages Of Flush Mount Lighting

There are some disadvantages of using flush mount lighting. For example:

  • They need to be cleaned regularly, because they tend to accumulate dust.
  • This type of lighting isn’t compatible with larger rooms, especially if you opt-out for semi-flush mount lighting.

    Also, they could cast a shadow if there is no other source of lighting in the room.
  • There might be some difficulties when changing the light bulbs because many designs of flush mount light fixtures require the removal of the diffuser before changing the bulbs.

    This might take some time and energy.
  • Installing this type of lighting without a proper lighting plan could disturb the ambience and mood of the room, especially if you want to go for a simplistic and brighter interior concept.

Final Verdict

Whether you want recessed lighting or flush mount lighting to complete your interior design or simply just to elevate the mood of your room, it is important to know how these types of lighting work.

Both of these lighting styles function the same way. What makes them different is the way they blend with every other component in the room.

If you prefer to have your furniture stand out without having to worry about cleaning dust, then recessed lighting is for you.

But if you are conscious about how well you use electricity and prefer to have warmer and calm ambience, then go for flush mount lighting.

It all comes down to your personal choices and preference.


Recessed Lighting

Flush Mount Lighting