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Recessed Lights

Recessed lights (also called 'high hats'):

Recessed lights are composed of the housing, which is installed in (above) the ceiling and the trim which is attached to the house and is the visible portion you see from the room.  The trims are mostly interchangeable within a brand and model.  Obviously, different size trims (4" or 6") are not interchangeable since they have different housings.  To a limited extent, some trims can be used on different brands but only in certain cases.

A key concept in lighting is determining where you need lights.  Is for general illumination, fireplace mantle or paintings?  Based on the lighting needs, we come up with a layout of lights and 'zones'.  Zones refer to which lights are to be controlled together and where the switch should be for the set of lights.

There are several types and styles of recessed lights:
 


Type

Diameter

Voltage

'Down'-lights

     6" 

120 volt

Eyeball or Regressed Eyeball

     6"

120 volt

Low Voltage or High Intensity

     6"

12 volt (with transformer)

Slope ceiling

     6"

120 volt

Mini-recessed down lights

     4"

120 volt

Mini-recessed eyeball light

     4"

120 volt

Mini-recessed low voltage/high intensity

     4"

12 volt (with transformer)

The lights come in 2 basic installation methods:
 


New work

Ceiling is open without sheet rock.

Old work

Ceiling already had sheet rock on it.

Finally there are some issues regarding the space above the ceiling and insulation:
   


Regular light housing

No thermal (fiberglass) insulation within 3"

'Thermal' light housing

Insulation can surround the fixture

Air-Tight Fixture Trim

Special trim for regular housings which prevents drafts. Requires smaller wattage bulbs.

Air-Tight housing

Fixture is completely enclosed in a metal box, thereby preventing drafts.

Most of our work is in rooms where the ceiling is already in place.  If there is a room (a bedroom, for example) above the ceiling, the work is more difficult than if there is an accessible attic.

Fortunately, we excel at adding recessed lights even if there is no access.  Usually, our work is invisible with no signs of how we got our wires into place.  Occasionally, not often, we have to make a small hole at the top of a wall to snake wires.  We only do that after checking with you first.  Any hole we make, we will patch so it's smooth again.  Even if you have wallpapered walls, we have ways to do our work 'invisibly'.  For some photographs of our lighting work, click here.